In 2014, MACBA recovered "Todos juntos podemos parar el sida" (Together we can stop AIDS), the mural that Keith Haring had painted in the Raval neighbourhood 25 years earlier as a way of raising awareness of the condition, and of reminding us that combating it was a joint societal effort. It has remained there since then, on one of the walls next to the Museum, addressing everyone walking past it. Art learns at a distance: when it observes the Other, it questions itself; when it looks to the past, it calls on the present. The current pandemic has its mirror in that of AIDS, which has been with us since the 1980s. HIV triggered what Élisabeth Lebovici referred to as the ‘epidemic of meaning’, as a result of which nothing would ever be the same: a resignification of multiple aspects of communal life, from the way we relate to one another to the way we love. Lebovici, the author of Sida – the fourth volume of the “et al.” collection published by MACBA in conjunction with the publishing house Arcàdia – emphasises the impersonal Self that impregnates Haring’s work in that “all together” statement. An ephemeral monument that, decades later, has become a work that arms us with strength and serenity to once again combat a virus, this time with fairness and solidarity.
Ferran Barenblit, Barcelona, 17.03.2020