Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis


402 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-6824-3
DDC 704.9'496169792




Edited by James Miller
Reviewed by Ian C. Nelson

Ian C. Nelson is Assistant Director of Libraries, University of
Saskatchewan; and Director, Saskatoon Gateway Plays, Regina Summer
Stage, and La Troupe du Jour.


Despite bearing a title of unprecedented significance and resonance,
Fluid Exchanges remains a rather dry, erudite, anthologized record of
the “first global summit on the prevention of AIDS,” which was held
in London, Ontario, in February 1988. History marches so quickly: that
was the year that HIV–2 was initially being identified in North
American victims, and 650 delegates gathered at this “Representing
AIDS” conference.

The scholarship is amply supported by footnotes and appropriate
black-and-white reproductions of posters, pictures, and the like.
Unfortunately, the illustrations are grouped sporadically, occasionally
with no immediate captions to clarify their attachment to specific

It goes without saying that the subject now touches us all, and the
record of these presentations is important. This volume, however, does
little to keep the reader’s interest, having first captured it via a
catchy and telling title. For the most part, the papers are exhaustingly
thorough (as is the index), but the publication, as a whole, comes
across as a good idea not fully realized. What this volume might have
been may be found in A Leap in the Dark (1992). The two publications
have four authors/contributors in common.


“Fluid Exchanges: Artists and Critics in the AIDS Crisis,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 19, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/30535.