United by AIDS

United by AIDS

An Anthology on Art in Response to HIV / AIDS

HIV / AIDS writes many stories in life and in art: a survey of art and activism in response to a severe, global disease



Title Information

Edited by Raphael Gygax and Heike Munder. With contributions from Douglas Crimp, Alexander García Düttmann, Raphael Gygax, Elsa Himmer, Ted Kerr, Elisabeth Lebovici, and Nurja Ritter

1st edition

, 2019


260 pages, 66 color and 4 b/w illustrations

14.5 x 23.5 cm

ISBN 978-3-85881-839-3

In collaboration with the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst, Zurich


The appearance of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) in the 1980s and its rapid spread around the world has left deep marks in society. The illness itself and its effects on society have also caused manifold responses by artists and activists in many countries.

United by AIDS, published in conjunction with an extensive group show on the topic of loss, remembrance, activism and art in response to HIV/AIDS at Zurich’s Migros Museum of Contemporary Art, sheds light on the multifaceted and complex interrelation between art and HIV/AIDS from the 1980s to the present. It examines the blurred boundaries between art production and HIV/AIDS activism and showcases artists who played—and still play leading roles in this discourse. Alongside images of artworks and brief texts on the represented artists, the book features voices from the past and present. Essays by Douglas Crimp, Alexander García Düttmann, Raphael Gygax, Elsa Himmer, Ted Kerr, Elisabeth Lebovici ,and Nurja Ritter broaden the view oft he international discourse on HIV/AIDS society’s confrontation with the disease.

Authors & Editors

Douglas Crimp

Alexander García Düttmann

Raphael Gygax

 is a Zurich-based art historian, curator and writer, and director of the BA program in art and media at Zurich University of the Arts ZHdK since 2019. He has been a curator at Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich 2003–19.

Elsa Himmer

Ted Kerr

Elisabeth Lebovici

Heike Munder

 is director of Migros Museum of Contemporary Art in Zurich since 2001.

Nurja Ritter