It’s hard to believe that the AIDS activist-artist collective Gran Fury have never been given a full retrospective in a New York art gallery or institution before, but then again, part of the group’s agenda was to display their work in public places where it would have the most impact on people. In pieces like “Read My Lips”, “Kissing Doesn’t Kill”, “Women Don’t Get AIDS”, the group worked to create angry, potent propaganda to counter the murderous effects of AIDS misinformation by politicians, the media, and hatemongers. This week, a comprehensive exhibition of the collective’s work opened at the 80WSE gallery on Washington Square, and for anyone interested in the history of AIDS, gay life in New York, Act-Up, protests and civil disobedience, its a must-see. Timed perfectly for the rise of the Occupy movement, the show –along with two excellent forthcoming documentaries on Act-Up– offers a lesson in how one group effected change and saved lives, even in the face of massive public disapproval. Don’t miss it!
Adam Baran is a NYC-based writer/director with a passion for making films that tell queer stories in unique, risk-taking ways. After graduating in 2003 from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a Bachelor’s degree in Film and TV Production, Adam wrote and directed two short films, Love and Deaf (2004) and Jinx! (2007), which aired in regular rotation on Here! TV and the IFC Channel in the US, respectively. Love and Deaf was released in popular gay shorts collections on DVD in the U.S., Germany and France. In 2009, Adam wrote the daily web comedy MTV Detox for MTV.com. That same year, he finished the feature script Jackpot, which was selected for the 2010 Outfest Screenwriting Lab and performed as a staged reading during the festival. That script led to his being asked to write the webseries The Great Cock Hunt, which is being produced and directed by Jon Marcus (Party Monster) and executive produced by Rose Troche (The L Word) and will premiere in late 2011.
Adam’s work as a writer and editor began in 2004 with contributions to the groundbreaking gay journal BUTT Magazine. He became a contributing editor in 2007, had several articles featured in the BUTT Book, and was the online editor of ButtMagazine.com from 2008-2011. He has also written for V Magazine, Pin-Up, Foam and the “T Blog” for the New York Times Style Section.
Adam also co-curates the monthly film series Queer/Art/Film with Keep The Lights On director Ira Sachs at the IFC Center in New York. An “essential” series according to the New Yorker, Queer/Art/Film invites queer artists to screen films that have influenced their development. Past guests include Justin Bond, Antony Hegarty, John Kelly, John Cameron Mitchell, Barbara Hammer, Kate Bornstein and Genesis P-Orridge. Adam currently lives in Brooklyn and is working on making a short film based on his feature script Jackpot and writing several new features and shorts.