Thursday, December 9, 2010

David Wojnarowicz Is Alive

I'm posting a piece by David Wojnarowicz, his most famous and celebrated work from the 1980s, in support of artistic freedom in a country supposedly dedicated to Free Speech and Expression. An echo of the 1980s Culture War is bouncing off the walls again as the newly-empowered Republican right wing attacks The Smithsonian for showing a film by Wojnarowicz they deem blasphemous. The museum's show examines homophobia in American society and is called Hide/Seek. The Smithsonian withdrew the film, giving weight apparently to the HIDE side of the show and igniting a fresh round in the never-ending Culture War that seemed to have died down in recent years.
In San Francisco, on Friday December 10th, a protest screening of the piece will happen at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. I'll attend, as I'm curious about the work having never seen it, but I wonder if I should dig out my Silence=Death t-shirt and Keith Haring Radiant Child button. It all feels so twenty years ago. The fight never ends, does it?
The work below is still relevent as a depiction of a society in the midst of natural splendour intent on driving the best aspects of itself into extinction. Hit the post title for a link to a piece in Guernica Magazine on the cultural importance of this photograph in the 1980s, written by John Sevigny.

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