Agosto Machado Shrine (White) 2022

  • MoMA, Floor 2, 202

Downtown New York has hosted generations of underground cultural communities, providing a vibrant home for drag queens, theater performers, filmmakers, and outcasts. Performance artist and queer liberation activist Machado has been a long-standing figure in these scenes. Over five decades, he’s amassed a large collection of art and ephemera from the city’s counterculture, which he assembles into shrines. Many of these objects memorialize losses he has experienced—some due to street violence against queer folks, others due to federally sanctioned negligence during the AIDS crisis. “It’s really ancestor worship, my gratitude for all these people who came through my life,” Machado has explained.

Gallery label from 2024
Mixed-media installation, with jewelry, pins, and textiles; plastic, metal, glass, and papier-mâché objects; photographs, postcards, paper mask, protest sign, memorial-service cards and programs, and newspaper and magazine clippings; and original artworks by Scott Covert, Ken Angel Davis with CAConrad, and Gene Fedorko with Stephen Tashjian (Tabboo!)
91 1/2 × 36 × 10" (232.4 × 91.4 × 25.4 cm)
Acquired through the generosity of Scott Lorinsky
Object number
© 2024 Agosto Machado. Courtesy of the artist
Media and Performance

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