Recent publication on project:
Alexander McClelland & Jessica Whitbread. (2016). PosterVirus: Claiming sexual autonomy for people with HIV through collective action. Editors: Michael Orsini & Christine Kelly, Mobilizing Metaphor: Art, Culture and Disability Activism in Canada. Vancouver, BC: University of British Columbia Press.
PosterVirus is a ongoing community-based activist street and online art initiative and affinity group of Toronto's AIDS ACTION NOW! The curatorial project was developed collaboratively between Alexander McClelland and Jessica Whitbread to expand the limits imposed on how we can talk about AIDS. The posters have been shown across North America in a range of exhibits and on the streets or various cities.
"We are tired of individualized responses that ignore the realities and complexities of our lives. We are tired of being defined through acronyms. We are tired of the buzzwords, language that privileges groups over others and the increased divide between us and them. The bureaucratization of AIDS that has silenced and marginalized voices that complicate for too long. With this project we are calling for a return to dialogue and complexity. We are moving away from one-way social marketing AIDS campaigns. We are critiquing Public Health messages that individuate people and divorces them from the harmful impacts of institutions and the state. This is why these works were developed as a dialogue between activists and artists, and this is why we encourage these works to help promote community dialogues. We continue the tradition of claiming space for those of us who are most impacted by the epidemic. We hope that these works provoke, critique and encourage new ways of conceptualizing and talking about AIDS. The AIDS experience is spoken through many voices. As a diverse community, we have always been able to take care of each other. We need to remember where we came from. We need to continue to self-organize."
- PosterVirus collective statement 2012
Poster Artists & Collaborators
Jessica Karuhanga, Shan Kelley, FASTWÜRMS, Brendan Fernandes & Kia LaBeija.
Ted Kerr & Christopher Jones, Vincent Chevalier & Ian Bradley-Perrin, Scott Treleaven, Natalie Wood, JJ Levine & Alexis Mitchell.
Micah Lexier, Onya Hogan-Finlay with Morgan Page, Neal Freeland with Giselle Dias, Marcus Ware with Zoë Dodd & Tim McCaskell, Jordan Arseneault, Ryan Conrad, & Jessica MacCormack.
Allyson Mitchell with Jessica Whitbread, Kent Monkman, John Greyson with Zoë Dodd, Daryl Vocat, Cecilia Berkovic, & Mikiki with Scott Donald
CBC Arts, Art and HIV: This powerful public poster series is challenging how we look at the virus. By Ted Kerr
Poz Magazine, PosterVirus Returns to Raise HIV Awareness! By Alicia Green
Filthy Dreams, Dead Tired Of Being So Bloody Positive: PosterVirus Reflects AIDS Activism Now. By Emily Colucci
PositiveLite.ca PosterVirus 2012Interview with Alex McClelland & Jessica Whitbread. By John McCullagh
No More Potlucks, AIDS ACTION NOW: FUCK POSITIVE WOMEN. By Allyson Mitchell, Jessica Whitbread & Alex McClelland
About.com, Have your every tried to burn a condom? By Cory Silverberg
Positive Frontiers L.A., Revisitation Rights: poster/VIRUS And A New Era Of Response. By Ted Kerr
Toronto Standard, Artist-Led Activism Wins the AIDS Day. By Sholem Krishtalka