Displayed in Archives Center exhibition, "Archiving the History of an Epdemic: HIV and AIDS, 1985-2009," June 3, 2011-October 3, 2011. Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., curator.
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An interview with Julie Tolentino conducted 2018 April 11 and 12, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at a friend's apartment in the East Village, New York.
Tolentino speaks of her childhood in San Francisco; her family dynamics, including caring for her developmentally disabled sister; Harvey Milk's assassination; early exposure to dance and art-making; early exposure to queer nightlife; briefly pursuing dance training in Los Angeles after high school; soon thereafter moving to New York; volunteering for the National Gay and Lesbian Suicide Hotline; her involvement with ACT UP; experiences of AIDS-related grief; her close friendships during this time; continuing her dance education and performance practice in the late '80s and '90s; founding and operating the Clit Club; changes in the landscape of queerness during the '90s; managing the performance companies of David Roussève and Ron Athey; the beginning of her solo practice with Mestiza-Que Ojos Bonitos Tienes; the installation Marks of My Civilization; the beginning of ART+; her role in Madonna's book Sex; her reflections on the visibility of her body; developing the Lesbian AIDS Project's Safer Sex Handbook; her performance works For You, Sky Remains the Same, and Honey; her video work evidence; and her awareness of the past's construction and meaning in the present. Tolentino also recalls Page Hodel, Doug McDowell, Maxine Wolfe, Ann Northrup, David Robinson, Ray Navarro, Aldo Hernandez, Anthony Ledesma, Lola Flash, Catherine Gund, Zoe Leonard, Robert Garcia, Jocelyn Taylor, Martina Yamin, Cookie Mueller, Diamanda Galas, D.M. Machuca, Pigpen, John Lovett, Alessandro Codagnone, John Killacky, Lia Gangitano, Alistair Fate, Steven Meisel, Cythia Madansky, Kim Christensen, Kate Clinton, Lori Seid, Ori Flomin, Abigail Severance, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Julie Tolentino (1964- ) is a visual and performance artist in New York and Josua Tree, California. Alex Fialho (1989- ) is a curator and arts writer who is the Programs Director for Visual AIDS in New York, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
The transcript and audio recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
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