In 1994, Aperture was proud to have published Brush Fires in the Social Landscape, a collection of David Wojnarowicz’s work, accompanied by remembrances of the artist by his friends and colleagues. In that issue of the magazine, which was also released in hardcover, Nan Goldin interviewed the artist shortly before his death. In that interview, Goldin and Wojnarowicz had the following exchange:
Nan Goldin: What would you like your work to do?
David Wojnarowicz: I want to make somebody else feel less alienated—that’s the most meaningful thing to me. …
NG: A lot of people I know still see you as kind of the moral conscience of our time. How does that make you feel?
DW: I want people to hear me. I want to be understood and acknowledged to some extent. But do I think that something I say might have the weight to shift something? I don’t know.
NG: For me it does. It does for a lot of people.
DW: Good, but then you also have that effect on me. We can all affect each other, by being open enough to make each other feel less alienated. We all are able to have a profound affect on each other, a positive effect that sustains us … But I ain’t no Jesus. [Laughs].
We are proud and honored to have been a part of giving David Wojnarowicz’s work and voice a larger platform for being seen and heard and we abhor the Smithsonian’s decision to withdraw his 1987 film piece “A Fire in My Belly” from the National Portrait Gallery’s current exhibition, “Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture.” (For more information on the controversy, click here.)
You can stop by the Aperture Gallery & Bookstore to see the censored work in its entirety. Copies of Brush Fires in the Social Landscape will also be available for sale. Gallery & Bookstore hours here.