In the lead up to the opening of the New York City AIDS MemorialSurface spoke with notable cultural figures who experienced the height of the crisis. Jenny Holzer turned excerpts from those interviews into a new series of artworks projected on the city's buildings.

Nelson Santos
Executive Director, Visual AIDS

The pandemic has gotten even more complex. In the beginning it seemed like there was one united voice. The charge was really clear—bring drugs into bodies. Now it’s more complicated. There are issues like the growth of HIV criminalization, and what does it mean to be undetectable, and now that we have PEP and PrEP, what is safer sex? Many illnesses can be considered a deadly weapon; why is HIV the only one treated that way? [At Visual AIDS], we are watching what’s going on in discussions of HIV/AIDS and saying, “That’s not the full story” or “Where are the people of color in your discussion?” We try to safeguard the history.

View the full collaboration here: Reflecting on AIDS: Jenny Holzer in Collaboration with Surface

Artwork by Jenny Holzer
©2016 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Photos: Dani Vernon