In her book Gentrification of the Mind, Sarah Schulman recalls a devastating coincidence: in 1981, as Manhattan developers were converting low-income housing into luxury homes for the wealthy, the AIDS crisis began. AIDS, Schulman argues, maximized gentrification, with yuppies appropriating neighborhoods that were formerly populated by queer artists, immigrants, and the socially marginal. For Schulman, this was a decisive moment, one that created “a diminished consciousness about how social and political change gets made.” It led to anti-subversive, unoriginal art, thought, and ethics, much of which persists to this day. Drawing work from downtown Manhattan in the 1980s, this exhibition presents the last radical years before AIDs, gentrification, and corporatization indelibly changed American life. —C.J.F.
Timothy Taylor Gallery 515 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011, United States Get Directions »