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A Conversation with David Wojnarowicz (to emerge from the Earth is to know you will return to it)
screenprint on painted masonite
2018

The text in the image:

“This is a photograph of David Wojnarowicz by David Wojnarowicz. This photograph was
published three months after his death in Aperture Magazine. He had died three months earlier in
July of complications related to AIDS. Or rather he died three months earlier of complications
related to the lack of shit given about people with AIDS. By 1992 tens of thousands of people
had died of this illness. This is because people did not give a shit about the people most
susceptible to the disease AIDS. These people were seen as deserving of this disease all because
their lifestyles did not line up with what Wojnarowicz called the One-Tribe Nation. Seeing
another person as a human was a problem for these people and it killed. I wonder all the time
about the lives cut short by this lack of care shown to others. All of this because people’s
conception of what constitutes a human is so shortsighted. There are currently 7.6 billion people
on Earth, and all I can think about are the vast amounts of difference accrued over lifetimes
lived, and how these differences are stifled by the One-Tribe Nation. There are these bodies
which we live in day to day that eat and breathe and shit and fuck and change. We are so
placated by the ideas about our bodies that are tied down to our bodies that we lose sight of the
fact that every day we wake up and our bodies and our ideas of those bodies are different. I am a
rock sedentary with mass, but always changing. I am an ocean pushed and pulled by gravity, but
always evaporating. I am a body manipulated by structures, but always resisting. I refuse to
believe that I am a stagnant being which is born, grows up, and dies the exact same. What my
body is today is not what it has to be tomorrow. How is this body so frustrated by what is around
it, by the people looking at it? How is this body so easily fucked by a gaze of some unknowing
person, stranger or not? What would it be to simply allow myself to be subsumed by the dirt? Or
rather what if I think of myself as always emerging from it? My face always just peering out, and
in all reality no one can actually see my body. They see the dirt and the debris that constitutes the
encasing of it, but there is always a barrier that prevents a proper looking directly at the real of
my body. Maybe this is all just unnecessary bullshit and there is no dirt and it’s really that people
will never see what they don’t want to see. There is a complacency to a preconceived notion of
thought that they are normal, they don’t have to worry about the gay virus, they don’t care about
the way they construct their own body. It’s all so easy to move when you allow the structures to
guide you. I am just simply surrounded by dirt.”