David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (One Day This Kid…), 1990-91

July 3, 2018


David Wojnarowicz, Untitled (One Day This Kid…), 1990-91


David Breslin: Toward the end of Wojnarowicz's life, he made a number of works that combined image and text.

Narrator: David Breslin.

David Breslin: And this work, One Day This Kid..., from 1990 to 1991, is a work that combines a text that really talks about this kid, and this kid, in particular here, being David Wojnarowicz as a child.

And the text that's surrounding him is really about the phases he or any other queer kid might face growing up. The really tough things that he's going to go through. The reason why we feel like this is such an important work, and also such a key work to end the exhibition with, is, I find it to be really a work about both survival, and also a kind of triumph.

Narrator: David Wojnarowicz died of an AIDS-related illness on July 22, 1992. He was thirty-seven years old.

David Breslin: One of the most kind of important things when putting this exhibition together was a friend who was reading an initial text and was talking─I wrote something about David Wojnarowicz's quote-unquote untimely death, and this friend said, "Why do you have to say untimely? He did so much during his life that, yes, we wish that things had happened differently, that drugs had been made and been distributed at a quicker pace, but in some ways, a lot of those what-ifs and wishes can really take away from everything that certain people, including Wojnarowicz, were able to do in the time that they were alive and were making work."

And to end this exhibition with this note of the power of making artwork, the power of having a voice, the power to make a change, was something that was really crucial to us.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us today.

More work by David Wojnarowicz will be on view at New York University’s Fales Archive in an exhibition organized in conjunction with this one called The Unflinching Eye: The Symbols of David Wojnarowicz.