Many of us remember vividly the period in the 1980s and 90s when campaigns promoting safer sex practices developed, looking back on the visual materials from these campaigns has been both a moving experience of memory and an exciting new perspective of the work many of us did in that time. As these posters and other materials begin to pass in to something more like history than recent memory, we get to see them again. Thankfully, we can now see a little more of their artistry rather than only seeing the urgency that created their message.
These materials are of both cultural and artistic significance. They were often created by advertising and illustration professionals who were suddenly free to apply their best and most innovative ideas that may have been constrained by mainstream business. With the lives and health of their community at stake, and often their own, these artists brought all of their skill to bear on efforts to save lives.
The catalog will contain images of these collected materials, primarily posters, including safer sex campaigns from North America, Europe, and Oceania. We will also include an art historical essay by Alex Fialho as well as Alex’s interview of Buzz Bense about the collection he accumulated and a foreward by Dr. Carol Queen.
Please join us in producing this important volume of materials, both for the preservation of history and to communicate to the world more broadly the great power of the work so many did in desperate times. Your contribution is critical to our success. You will be rewarded at various levels with copies of the catalog, original posters (duplicates from the collection), CSC Library tote bags (it’s like we are PBS, no?), and even a personalized tour of the archive guided by our gallerist, Dorian Katz and CSC executive director Dr. Carol Queen.
CSC’s exhibition displaying nearly 100 of these safer sex posters from the Buzz Bense collection opens on November 7 at 7 pm
, and runs through January 31st 2014.
Thank you so much for your support of this project. It means a great deal.