"NO NAME FEVER - AIDS in the age of globalisation"


The statistics are frightening: Every tenth second, someone dies from AIDS. The disease has so far killed 24 million people. All told, 65 million people have been struck with the disease and 14,000 new sufferers join the ranks every day.

The "No Name Fever" exhibition at the Museum of World Culture in Göteborg is one way of putting the epidemic into a global context. HIV/AIDS is a problem that recognises no geographical boundaries, but it is also a problem that is unfortunately often shrouded in taboos, indifference and prejudice.

"No Name Fever" was the first exhibition that we decided on", says Museum of World Culture manager Jette Sandahl. "We were quick to take a stance on the issue. Because if we want to be an institution with relevance to our contemporary age, we must also show themes that are defined by contemporary problems.

"The disease is a microcosm of our eras unsolved economic and power-related relationships. The HIV/AIDS phenomenon encompasses all the mechanisms, antagonisms and conflicts of globalisation in a frighteningly clear manner."

Emotive themes such as Denial, Fear, Rage, Lust, Despair, Sorrow and Hope are used to reflect two decades of reactions to the epidemic.
The youthful expression is both poetic and powerful, and the exhibition is based on personal tales, art, photographs, films and campaign materials from the USA in the west to China in the east.

Among the features are posters from New York-based protest group Act Up, Chinese photographer Lu Guang´s pictures that uncovered the blood donor scandal in China, and excerpts from Brazilian artist Adriana Bertins project "Dressing Up For AIDS" - an exclusive and elegant collection of fashion clothing made of condoms.

The extensive and varied exhibition is also supplemented with pedagogical projects and programmes, not least in the form of a "madcap" performance by The Biters and digital presentations of photographer Elisabeth Olssons deserving and controversial suite of photographs, the "Via Dolorosa".

"In the midst of all the tragedy, it has been a life-giving process to work with this theme", says Jette Sandahl. "Ranged against the sadness, the anger and the powerlessness is all the empathy and the determination generated among people living in close proximity to the disease - expressing solidarity without borders."

The task of designing the exhibition went to Denmarks KHR Arkitekter, not least thanks to their winning contribution to the international competition in New York for the design of mobile HIV clinics