MODA exhibits offer a ‘Graphic Intervention’

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imageIt’s not enough for Museum of Design Atlanta to simply put on a show. With three exhibits — a collection of world AIDS posters, gorgeous object d’art, and AIDS Quilt panels — MODA goes big.

We got a walk-through of the exhibits before Sunday’s opening reception with a talk by the curator of the centerpiece exhibit “Graphic Intervention: 25 years of AIDS Awareness Posters.”

The exhibit presents not just the historic perspective implied in the title, but a fascinating worldview never before seen in Atlanta. An almost overwhelming contrast in aesthetics and approach (top photo) to the AIDS crisis from countries around the world – Denmark, France, South America and Papua New Guinea, to name a few – offers a comprehensive take with 153 posters on display.

Messages range from melancholic warnings to overt sexual openness, from sad and serious to frank and funny. And this being MODA, the graphics are stunning examples of art and design. Imagery from stark minimalism to eye-popping cacophonies bombard the senses with a rich history of the crisis as well as a sense of how expressions of sexuality differ in other cultures from what you’ve seen in the U.S., some much more conservative and some much less staid.

imageIf reflecting over the exhibit wasn’t already part of your Pride plans, MODA performs a “Graphic Intervention” for the gays on special nights in October. As part of a long list of “Stride Into Pride” events, Wednesday Oct. 5 is Pride Night at MODA. The event immediately follows the Atlanta Pride AIDS Vigil. Also look for Atlanta Queer Literary Festival night at MODA on Oct. 20.

The “Graphic Intervention” posters on display are complemented by select panels from the Names Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. And in case you thought otherwise or forgot, the personal perspectives of those lost – and the sheer number of them – still packs an emotional punch. The blocks of eight panels each (fourth photo) will be changed out each month during the exhibit, which runs through Jan. 1.

imageWith all the gay interest in the poster and quilt exhibits, guess what’s gay about “The Opulent Object in Wood, Metal & Fiber”? The artists, of course! John Riis displays tapestries and textiles with a distinctly global feel (bottom photo). Riis’ partner Richard Mafong teams with artist Mike Harrison to present selections of their beautiful inlaid wood and metal sculptures, some big enough to overtake a small apartment, and others small enough to fit in your hand.

All three exhibits open on Sunday, Oct. 2 and are on display Tuesday to Sunday each week through Jan. 1. Each Thursday includes wine viewings from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m.


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