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WHY WE FIGHT: HIV and AIDS in New York City Neighborhoods - Call for Artists, Writers, and Activists

Silence = Death (Poster), Digital ID 1619229, New York Public Library

Opportunity to study and collaborate with artist, writer, and activist Avram Finkelstein.

In partnership with Visual AIDS.

In conjunction with the WHY WE FIGHT: Remembering AIDS Activism exhibition, The New York Public Library will be hosting a project to create site-specific installations in four library branches—across the Bronx, Manhattan, and Staten Island—that explore the ways that HIV and AIDS are currently affecting these local New York City communities. The Library is putting out a call for artists, writers, and activists to participate in the project.

Twenty participants will have the opportunity to take a series of workshops with artist, writer, and activist Avram Finkelstein to develop the project. Participants will form working groups, develop installation concepts, and execute the installation. Each group will have a project budget for materials and production. They will also participate in a public program in the Library site to launch and discuss the installation.

To apply, please send:

  • A letter introducing your work and explaining your reasons for wanting to participate
  • A current resume or C.V.
  • A short portfolio representing your work. This may be 10 images, up to 10 pages of writing, links to video or audio clips, or documentation of community engagement.

Please submit your materials by email to by March 14. Twenty participants will be selected. Participants will be notified of acceptance by March 21. Workshops will be conducted in March and April, with launch of finished project in May. Dates will be confirmed in collaboration with project participants.

Avram Finkelstein is an artist and writer living in Brooklyn. His work has shown at The Whitney Museum, The Cooper Hewitt Museum, Kunsthalle Wien, The Harbor Gallery, Exit Art, Sue Scott Gallery, Monya Rowe Gallery, La MaMa La Galleria and The Leslie Lohman Museum, and is in the permanent collections of MoMA, The Whitney, The Metropolitan Museum, The New Museum, The Smithsonian, The Brooklyn Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum and The New York Public Library.

Finkelstein is a founding member of the collective responsible for Silence=Death and AIDSGATE, which was recently included in Regarding Warhol: Sixty Artists, Fifty Years at The Metropolitan Museum in New York.

He is also a founding member of the art collective, Gran Fury, with whom he collaborated on public art projects for international institutions including The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Venice Biennale, ArtForum, MOCA LA, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, Creative Time, and The Public Art Fund. The collective had its first retrospective at 80 WSE in 2012, and has work in the permanent collections of The Whitney, MoMA, The New Museum and The New York Public Library.

He is a contributing culture writer for Artwrit and Critical Mob, and has produced art and culture features for Italian Vogue, Dazed and Confused, Visionaire, Van, Dune, NY Arts Magazine, Pride and Genre. He has created public awareness campaigns for AmFAR, The AIDS Policy Project, The Campaign To End AIDS, ACT UP, POZ, United Against AIDS, and ACRIA.

MAC AIDS Fund is the Lead Corporate Sponsor of the Why We Fight exhibition and related programming.

This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Hermes Mallea and Carey Maloney, with additional support from the LGBT Initiative of The New York Public Library. Time Warner is a founding supporter of the LGBT Initiative.

Support for The New York Public Library’s Exhibitions Program has been provided by Celeste Bartos, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Mahnaz Ispahani Bartos and Adam Bartos Exhibitions Fund, and Jonathan Altman.


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