Oral history interview with Robert Vázquez-Pacheco

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.vazque17
Creators:
Vázquez-Pacheco, Robert, 1956-
Kerr, Theodore
Dates:
2017 December 16-17
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
8 Items
sound files (6 hr., 59 min.) Audio
digital, wav
131 Pages
Transcript
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
An interview with Robert Vázquez-Pacheco conducted 2017 December 16 and 17, by Theodore Kerr, for the Archives of American Art's Visual Arts and the AIDS Epidemic: An Oral History Project, at The New School, in New York, New York.
Scope and Contents
Vazquez-Pacheco speaks of his childhood in South Bronx housing projects; members and dynamics of his family growing up; experiences and discourses of religion, race, gender, sexuality, reading, and the arts as a child and adolescent; attending SUNY Oswego for one year; an existentially pivotal year in Miami in 1975; returning to New York in 1976, immersing himself in Latino gay culture, and being exposed to white gay culture; living in Hempstead, New York for two years with a boyfriend, and beginning to paint again; working at Chase Manhattan Bank and volunteering for the Gay Switchboard in New York City in the late '70s; the beginning of the AIDS epidemic; caring for his boyfriend, Jeff, who died of AIDS in 1986; the particular experience and effect of HIV on communities of color and low-income communities; mounting societal homophobia during the epidemic; leading Gay Circles, a gay men's consciousness-raising group, in the late '80s; his involvement in ACT UP, and burgeoning political consciousness, after Jeff's death; activism as a creative outlet; working at different times with the People With AIDS health group, the Anti-Violence Project, the Minority AIDS Taskforce, Latino Gay Men of New York, Minority AIDS Coalition in Philadelphia, and LLEGO in Washington; AIDS activism's failure to think intersectionally and build coalitions; his involvement in Gran Fury; becoming a more prolific writer, and getting involved with Other Countries, in the early '90s; Gran Fury's 2011 retrospective; the need for racial diversity and representation in activism and the art world; white flight from AIDS activism following the arrival of protease inhibitors; personal frustrations with the current AIDS activism discourse and nonprofit organizational complex, and the general cultural conversation about HIV/AIDS; contrasting representations of AIDS activism in How to Survive a Plague and BPM; and the essential role of art in AIDS activism. Vazquez-Pacheco also recalls Mark Simpson, Craig Metroka, David Kirschenbaum, Maxine Wolfe, Avram Finkelstein, Deb Levine, Charles King, Robert Garcia, Ortez Alderson, Derek Hodel, Gregg Bordowitz, Michael Callen, Carl George, Joey Walsh, Matt Foreman, Vito Russo, Larry Kramer, Tom Kalin, Marlene McCarty, Charles Rice-González, George Ayala, Essex Hemphill, Manolo Guzmán, Donald Moffett, Cladd Stevens, Richard Elovich, Loring McAlpin, Michael Nesline, Peter Staley, David France, Andrew Miller, and others.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Robert Vázquez-Pacheco (1956- ) is a visual artist and writer in New York, New York. Theodore Kerr (1979- ) is a writer and organizer 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.

Using the Collection
System Details
Recorded on Tascam DR-100MKII R00329.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Activism Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS activists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) -- Political aspects Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) and art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
AIDS (Disease) and the arts Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Political activists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ayala, George Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bordowitz, Gregg Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Callen, Michael, 1955-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Elovich, Richard Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Finkelstein, Avram, 1952- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Foreman, Matt Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
France, David, 1959- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Garcia, Robert, 1933-2017 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
George, Carl Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Guzmán, Manolo Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kalin, Tom Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
King, Charles Bird, 1785-1862 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kirschenbaum, David A. Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Kramer, Larry Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Levine, Deb Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McAlpin, Loring, 1960- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McCarty, Marlene, 1957- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Metroka, Craig Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Moffett, Donald, 1955- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rice-González, Charles Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Russo, Vito Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Simpson, Mark, 1965- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Staley, Peter Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Walsh, Joey, 1938- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
ACT UP (Organization) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gay Switchboard (Berkeley, Calif.) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Gran Fury (Artists' collective) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Latino/a Lesbian and Gay Organization Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Other Countries, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
People with AIDS Coalition Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
State University College (Oswego, N.Y.) -- 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

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/