Oral history interview with Lyle Ashton Harris

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.harris17
Creators:
Harris, Lyle Ashton, 1965-
Fialho, Alex, 1989-
Dates:
2017 March 27-29
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
6 Items
Sound recording: 6 sound files (8 hr., 6 min.)
digital, wav
95 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Lyle Ashton Harris, conducted 2017 March 27 and 29, by Alex Fialho, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at Harris's studio and home in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Harris speaks of his childhood in the Bronx; his family's influence on his race-consciousness; living in Tanzania for two years as a child and the effects on his understanding of race and sexuality; his grandfather's extensive photographic archive; contact with the South African diaspora through his step-father; attending Wesleyan University; formative experiences in London, Amsterdam, and New York in the mid-1980s; his education and development as a photographer; attending CalArts and encountering West Coast AIDS activism; encountering systemic racism in Los Angeles; close friendships with Marlon Riggs and Essex Hemphill; exhibitions of his work in New York in the early 1990s; the production of his Ektachrome Archive and his impulse to photograph daily life; his work on the Black Community AIDS Research and Education (Black C.A.R.E.) project in Los Angeles; participating in the Whitney Museum's Independent Study Program; being diagnosed with HIV and remaining asymptomatic; attending the Dia Black Popular Culture Conference in 1992; photographing and mounting "The Good Life" in 1994 and "The Watering Hole" in 1996; issues of blackness and queerness in his photographic work; his residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2000; moving to Accra, Ghana for seven years in 2005; his pedagogy as an art professor; his thoughts on the lack of voices of color in the Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic Oral History Project and in the larger power structures of the art world; and his hope that his artistic legacy will be evaluated in its proper context. Harris also recalls Jackie and Robert O'Meally, Jay Seeley, Ellen O'Dench, Francesca Woodman, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jim Collier, Robert Mapplethorpe, Allan Sekula, Hazel Carby, Isaac Julien, Catherine Lord, Millie Wilson, Todd Gray, John Grayson, Tommy Gear, Marlon Riggs, Essex Hemphill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Nancy Barton, Vickie Mays, Connie Butler, Greg Tate, Henry Louis Gates, Houston Baker, Nan Goldin, Jack Tilton, Simon Watson, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Lyle Ashton Harris (1965- ) is an artist who works in video, photography, and performance in New York, New York. Alex Fialho (1989- ) is a curator and arts writer and works as 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
African American artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS activists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) and art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Performance artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photography -- Study and teaching Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Racism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
England -- London -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ghana -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Netherlands -- Amsterdam -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
New York (N.Y.) -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tanzania -- Description and Travel Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Baker, Houston A., Jr., 1943- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Barton, Nancy, (Artist) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Basquiat, Jean-Michel, 1960-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Butler, Cornelia H. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carby, Hazel V. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Collier, Jim Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gates, Henry Louis, Jr. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Geer, Tommy Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Goldin, Nan, 1953- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gonzalez-Torres, Felix, 1957-1996 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gray, Todd, 1954- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Grayson, John, 1943- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hemphill, Essex Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Julien, Isaac Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lord, Catherine, 1949- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mapplethorpe, Robert Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mays, Vickie M. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Dench, Ellen Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Meally, Jackie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
O'Meally, Robert G., 1948- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Riggs, Marlon T. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seeley, J. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sekula, Allan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tate, Greg Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tilton, Jack Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watson, Simon Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wilson, Millie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Woodman, Francesca, 1958-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
American Academy in Rome -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
California Institute of the Arts -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Wesleyan University (Middletown, Conn.) -- Students Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Whitney Museum of American Art 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/