David Wojnarowicz. Film poster for Rosa von Praunheim’s Silence=Death. Photo: Andreas Sterzing, 1989. Courtesy © Andreas Sterzing.
Public programming in conjunction with David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of My Flesh
Films by David Wojnarowicz and collaborators: July 22, 5pm, followed by a conversation between Dr. Daniel S. Berger and Barry Blinderman
Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University
40 Arts Circle Drive
60208 Evanston, IL
David Wojnarowicz is arguably one of the most important artists to emerge from the New York art world of the 1980s. While his career spanned less than 20 years—his life was cut short due to AIDS at the age of 37—from 1979 to 1992 he created a large body of work in collage, paintings, photography, performances, sculpture, writing and video.
In Iceberg Projects exhibition, David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of My Flesh, themes of desire and corporeality are foregrounded with the juxtaposition of images of abattoirs, animals, HIV/AIDS, industrial pollution, political corruption and censorship in order to awaken public awareness. Singular views of the artist’s work are not sufficient to understand the diversity of Wojnarowicz’s iconography and the sophistication of his montage techniques. Throughout his oeuvre, his images and symbols seem odd and disturbing; upon further study, queer juxtapositions emerge. The current film program complements the gallery exhibition and provides for a more full appreciation of David Wojnarowicz’s work as a whole; this selection of video and films allows one to see theartist as powerful narrator, orator and subject, and to experience his sense of intensity and purpose.
This program, hosted by the Block Museum, is held in conjunction with Iceberg Projects exhibition David Wojnarowicz: Flesh of My Flesh (June 23–August 4, 2018). Following the film presentation, exhibition curator Dr. Daniel S. Berger will converse with recently retired director of University Galleries, Barry Blinderman. Their discussion will include Blinderman’s experience of working with David Wojnarowicz during his lifetime and provide an insightful view into how Wojnarowicz’s practice and symbology propelled the artist’s individualized critical response to the conditions in which he found himself. Given current global issues, his work is even more urgent and relevant today.
Barry Blinderman, as director of University Galleries at Illinois State University, organized the artist’s first major museum retrospective, David Wojnarowicz: Tongues of Flame, in 1990. He had the rare experience of working with Wojnarowicz throughout the artist’s visits to Normal, Illinois, from 1989-1990, during which time he created some of his most important late work. Dr. Daniel S. Berger is director of Iceberg Projects, Chicago. He is a leading HIV specialist in the United States and an active patron of the arts. He is co-editor of Militant Eroticism: The Art+Positive Archives and founder and director of Iceberg Projects, an alternative exhibition space in Chicago.