A raging global pandemic handled inadequately and indifferently by the Republican-led US federal government, with Dr. Anthony Fauci in a featured role; an antiracist uprising in response to police brutality; a resurgent political Right fomenting and stoking culture wars; activists' demands for a diverse and equitable art world; increasing fiscal precarity for small, innovative live art spaces; a looming recession; and an escalating housing crisis fueled by accelerating income inequality: welcome to Los Angeles between 1989 and 1993. In this period, AIDS became the leading cause of death for US men ages 25-44; ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power)/LA called public health infrastructure to account and successfully fought for an AIDS ward at Los Angeles County Hospital. A widely circulated video of Los Angeles Police Department officers viciously beating Black motorist Rodney King, and their subsequent acquittal of criminal charges by a suburban jury, ignited five days of antiracist rebellion. The rising number of unhoused people in Los Angeles was becoming difficult to ignore, though not for the city's, state's, or federal government's lack of trying. Multiculturalism became a widely embraced - if sometimes cynically deployed - aesthetic and programming imperative.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Visual Arts and Performing Arts