David Wojnarowicz: Photography & Film 1978–1992

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Berlin, Germany
9 February – 5 May 19

David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992) came into prominence in the East Village art world of the 1980s, actively embracing all media and forging an expansive range of work both fiercely political and highly personal. Although largely self-taught, he worked as an artist and writer to merge a sophisticated combination of found and discarded material with an uncanny understanding of literary influences. First displayed in rough storefront galleries, his work already gained national prominence at the very moment. Diagnosed with HIV in the late 1980s his work became resolutely and fervently political at a time where the AIDS epidemic was cutting down a generation of artists. From the late 1970s until his death in 1992, Wojnarowicz produced a body of work that was as conceptually rigorous as it was stylistically diverse.

KW Institute for Contemporary Art is pleased to present the exhibition Photography & Film 1978–1992 that will be the first to solely concentrate on Wojnarowicz’s photographic and filmic work. It will present over 150 works including photographs, test prints, silkscreens, 16mm and super-8 film, and collaborative video works. Afterwards the exhibition will travel to the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery in Vancouver (CA).

Alongside the exhibition, the short film Fear of Disclosure (1989) by Phil Zwickler and David Wojnarowicz as well as the essay document Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: A Chapter in David Wojnarowicz’s Life 1989–1991(2018) by the French photographer and filmmaker Marion Scemama will be shown in the framework of the anniversary program Panorama 40 of the Berlinale’s Panorama section.

Curator: Krist Gruijthuijsen


Public Program

5/4 and F.R.DAVID Black Sun
Performance andbook launch
8 February 19, 10.30 pm
Venue: Pogo Bar
Please RSVP at reservation@kw-berlin.de

Marion Scemama: Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: a Chapter in David Wojnarowicz’s Life, 1989–1991 (2018)
Berlinale film screening (Panorama 40)
9 February 19, 7 pm
Venue: Berlinale, Zoo Palast 2, Hardenbergstraße 29A, 10623 Berlin
Tickets via Berlinale website

Phil Zwickler and David Wojnarowicz: Fear of Disclosure (1989)
Berlinale film screening (Panorama 40)
13 February 19, 11 am
Venue: CinemaxX 8, Potsdamer Straße 5 / Eingang Voxstraße, Berlin
14 February 19, 7.15 pm
Venue: Ort: Arsenal, 2 Potsdamer Straße 2, Berlin
Tickets via Berlinale website

The Berlin Sesssions:
Reading David Wojnarowicz
15 March 19, 8.30–10.30 pm
Venue: Eisenherz bookstore, Motzstraße 23, 10777 Berlin
In English

ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion) (1989)
Multimedia performance by David Wojnarowicz and Ben Neill
Performed by Ben Neill and Don Yallech
26 April 19, 8 pm
27 April 19, 6 pm
Venue: Main hall

Ektachrome Archives
Performance by Lyle Ashton Harris
2 and 3 May 19, 9 pm
Venue: Volksbühne Grüner Salon, Linienstraße 227, 10178 Berlin
Admission: 5 € / 3 € reduced
Tickets via Volksbühne website

Andreas Sterzing, David Wojnarowicz (Silence = Death), 1989, New York, Photograph, Courtesy the artist, the Estate of David Wojnarowicz, and P·P·O·W, New York