NADA Presents “FAIR” || Week 1: Failed State Redux w/ Jo Shane (1991)

Post-minimal strategies applied to mainstream consumer products portray a woefully mismanaged AIDS crisis.

Jo Shane
President’s Choice [This is a P.C. Product], 1991
President’s Choice brand toilet paper, shrink wrap, photographs, wood pallet
40 x 40 x 59 inches || 101 x 101 x 150 centimeters

This work was created in response to the Reagan Administration’s complete dismissal of the 1980’s AIDS Crisis. The work, a post-minimalist cube composed of “President’s Choice” brand toilet paper rolls, features portraits of loved ones and celebrities that died of AIDS during Ronald Reagan’s eight-year presidency. This work figured prominently in From Media To Metaphor: Art About AIDS, Thomas W. Sokolowski and Robert Atkins’ seminal touring exhibition.

From the catalogue for From Media To Metaphor: Art About AIDS:

“Jo Shane’s straightforward evocation of the apparent disposability of homosexual, non white, or drug using PWAs combines portraits of deceased PWAs and the aptly named ‘President’s’ Choice’ brand toilet paper. President Reagan did not mention the word, ‘AIDS’ in public until 1988.”

Critics like Roberta Smith at The New York Times, and Elizabeth Hess for The Village Voice praised Shane’s contribution to this traveling, institutional show, which became one of the most important American art exhibitions regarding the AIDS crisis. Throughout the decade, other works in Shane’s catalogue of slyly feminist, post-minimal sculpture received high critical praise from John Russell at the New York Times; Peter Frank at ARTnews; Cookie Mueller for Details magazine; Marc Balet/Robert Becker for Interview magazine, among others.

Select solo exhibitions include those at Kendra Jayne Patrick, New York, NY; Hal Bromm, New York, NY; and Artmart, New York, NY. Select group exhibitions include those at Neue Geschellshaft Kunst, Berlin, DE; Grey Art Gallery, New York, NY; Barbara Gladstone, New York, NY; Artist’s  Space, New York, NY; SPRING/BREAK Art Show, Los Angeles, CA; PUBLIC Art, New York, NY;  Patrick Fox Gallery, New York; Holly Solomon Gallery, New York, NY; Artmart, New York, NY; Nature Morte Gallery, New York, NY; White Columns, New York, NY. She completed the The Whitney Independent Study Program in 1975, and holds a B.A. from Carnegie Mellon, a BFA from Pratt Institute.