Oral history interview with Douglas Crimp

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.crimp17
Creators:
Crimp, Douglas
Fialho, Alex, 1989-
Dates:
2017 January 3-4
Languages:
English
.
Physical Description:
5 Items
Sound recording: 5 sound files (6 hr., 2 min.)
digital, wav
69 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Douglas Crimp, conducted 2017 January 3-4, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Crimp's home in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Crimp speaks of growing up in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho; his athleticism in water skiing and ice skating; sibling rivalry as a child; seeing art for the first time at the Seattle World Fair; being closeted and conflicted as a young gay man in 1950s Idaho; attending Tulane University in New Orleans and the culture shock he experienced there; his first year in Tulane's rigorous architecture program and ultimately changing his major to art history; the pageantry of Mardi Gras parades and the gay society he explored; writing an undergraduate paper analyzing Marcel Duchamp's "The Large Glass"; deciding to go to New York City; finding his voice as an art critic while beginning his career at Art News and Art International; his extensive analysis of Joan Jonas; attending Firehouse dances sponsored by Gay Activist Alliance and coming into his sexuality; being a patient of esteemed doctor Dr. Dan William; first learning of the AIDS crisis and epidemic through a New York Times article in 1981 describing a gay cancer; receiving an NEA art critic grant and spending a year in Germany from 1985-86; returning to find friends and acquaintances sick with HIV/AIDS or having died from it; the Dia Conversations; his role as editor of October and bringing queerness and AIDS to the forefront; joining ACT UP; the genesis of October's AIDS double issue in 1987-1988 and its success; how the journal issue changed the course of his career and steered him to teach gay studies and further his work with AIDS activism; the inner workings of ACT UP meetings; the sense of community ACT UP provided and the empowerment everyone felt; noting a sense of personal and professional urgency during the crisis; the timeline of his AIDS writings; his reaction to seeing the AIDS quilt for the first time at the March on Washington; writing to a wide, non-academic audience; his 1988 course at Rutgers University on AIDS video; his complex relationships with Rosalind Krauss and Annette Michelson; the poor coverage of the AIDS epidemic in the media and how it informed his writing; the understanding of the need for safe sex practices and writing "How to Have Promiscuity in an Epidemic;" teaching courses on AIDS at the University of Rochester and how his teaching interest evolved into queer theory and studies; evaluating Warhol's work with a queer lens; writing about his experience with queer life in New York City in the 1970s to counter the condescending conservative narrative; his current writing projects and interests; experience in demonstrations held by ACT UP; and the tremendous communal support he felt during his seroconversion. Crimp also recalls Marilynne Summers (Robinson), Bernard Lemann, Marimar Benetiz, Ida Kohlmeyer, Lynn Emory, Diane Waldman, Betsy Baker, Lucinda Hawkins, Christian Belaygue, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Rosalind Krauss, Joan Copjec, Gregg Bordowitz, Terri Cafaro, Rene Santos, Craig Owens, Fernando Torm, Bill Olander, Richard Elovich, Daniel Wolfe, Hector Caicedo, Lynne Cooke, and Zoe Leonard.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Douglas Crimp (1944- 2019) was a professor and art critic in New York, New York. Alex Fialho (1989- ) is a curator and arts writer who is the Programs Director for Visual AIDS in New York, New York.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Author
Sponsor
Funded by the Keith Haring Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
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.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
AIDS activists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- History -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay activists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay and lesbian studies Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
HIV and AIDS Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mardi Gras Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Queer theory Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Germany -- description and travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bordowitz, Gregg Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baker, Elizabeth C., 1934- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Belaygue, Christian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooke, Lynne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Copjec, Joan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Elovich, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Jonas, Joan, 1936- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kohlmeyer, Ida, 1912-1997 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Krauss, Rosalind E. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lemann, Bernard, 1905- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Leonard, Zoe Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Michelson, Annette Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Olander, William Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Owens, Craig Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robinson, Marilynne Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Santos, René, 1954-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Torm, Fernando Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Waldman, Diane Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wodiczko, Krzysztof Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wolfe, Daniel, 1960- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
ACT UP (Organization) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay Activists Alliance Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rutgers University. Institute of Jazz Studies -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tulane University -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
University of Rochester -- Faculty Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Century 21 Exposition (1962 : Seattle, Wash.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/