Artists have always enriched the world through their work, even when confronted with great suffering, loss, and fear. With the pervasiveness of AIDS at the end of the twentieth century, how did musicians respond to that epidemic through their music?
The exhibition I’ve Got U Under My Skin: AIDS & Classical Music consists of print scores, audio recordings, related ephemera, and an accompanying QR code listening list curated by Kevin Madill, Music Librarian, the University of British Columbia. Exhibited works were selected from the music collection of UBC Library or borrowed from anonymous sources.
The exhibition runs from September 27, 2023, to December 15, 2023, in the foyers of Music Library and Gerstein Library, University of Toronto, and at Hart House Library.
Activism in the Arts: I’ve Got U Under My Skin: AIDS & Classical Music
One thing is certain with age: the accumulation of personal history. Some of it you may want to forget. Some of it you can’t help but forget. And some of it you should never forget. For those of us old enough to have lived a part of our adult lives through the 1980s and 90s, the AIDS crisis falls into the latter category.Kevin Madill
Kevin Madill is Music Librarian at the University of British Columbia. He was born in Ottawa, Ontario in 1955 and spent his formative years living in small towns and on army bases scattered across rural Canada. He holds a Master of Library and Information Studies degree from UBC, a BMus (Honors, Theory and Composition) from Western University, as well as an MFA and a BFA from UBC. Previous positions include library administrator, library manager, and liaison/collections librarian in academic and special libraries in the United States and Canada including the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. Along with his role as Music Librarian at UBC, Kevin has served as Adjunct Faculty with the UBC iSchool where he taught library collection management (2017-19) and as Elected Representative of Professional Librarians on UBC Senate (2015-19). Kevin is active in the cultural realm as both writer and visual artist. He is the author of the exhibition’s accompanying article, I’ve Got U Under My Skin: AIDS and Classical Music, published in Imaginations, a multilingual, open-access journal of international visual cultural studies. His photomurals explore the interconnectedness of modernity, personal identity, and portraiture and are held by several museums in the Pacific Northwest. A collection of his work is available for online viewing through the solo exhibition Vancouver Modern: on the limits of portraiture.
Dr. Laura Bisaillon
Dr. Laura Bisaillon is a political sociologist. Her career is dedicated to social research, services, care and activism. She studies the production and organization of knowledge about migration, minoritization, the body and the state. Her book Screening Out: HIV Testing and the Canadian Immigration Experience (2022) is an institutional ethnography of the Canadian immigration system’s medical program and HIV-related policy. Her graduate appointments are at the Department of Sociology and the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.
Director, Music Library
Janneka Guise joined the University of Toronto Music Library as Head Librarian in 2017. She has worked in academic libraries in Canada and the United States since 1999. Prior to her move to Toronto, she was Head of the Eckhardt-Gramatté Music Library at the University of Manitoba for ten years. She holds Masters degrees in Music Theory (Western) and Library and Information Studies (Alberta), and a Graduate Professional Certificate in Library Sector Leadership (Victoria). She has published extensively and is currently co-lead editor of the open access, peer reviewed journal CAML Review. In 2015 she published Succession Planning in Canadian Academic Libraries (Chandos) and this year she co-authored a peer-reviewed paper with U of T colleagues on music score collection assessment for the forthcoming issue of Fontes Artis Musicae. In July 2023, she will begin a one-year research leave to research and write the history of the Canadian Association of Music Libraries, Archives and Documentation Centres (CAML).
Coordinator, Integrated Arts Education
Saša Rajšić (he/him/his) joined Hart House in 2022 as Coordinator, Integrated Arts Education. He creates and manages arts education programming initiatives focused on experiential learning, and serves as staff advisor to student leaders on the Hart House Student Arts Committee in delivering their annual programs. Saša has held previous roles at Blackwood Gallery and Cambridge Art Galleries, and studied at OCAD University and Uniarts Helsinki. As a former refugee, he is committed to reconciliation, human rights, community, learning, and the environment.