[May 6 2015]
Rebelliously struggling against conformity and materialism, multidisciplinary artist, writer and activist David Wojnarowicz was one of the most potent voices of his generation. Born in New Jersey in 1954, Wojnarowicz lived an extremely difficult childhood brought on by an abusive family life and an emerging sense of his own homosexuality. He dropped out of high school and was living on the streets by the age of sixteen, eventually settling in New York’s East Village in 1978. As part of the first wave of East Village artists he befriended and collaborated with many notable artists, including photographer Nan Goldin. By the late 1970s Wojnarowicz’s work took on a focus of “making and preserving an authentic version of history that would contest state-supported forms of ‘history.'” (Wojnarowicz)
Wojnarowicz’s perspective from the fringe directly opposed the idea of a nicely tuned, harmonic society, instead promoting the uncontrollable noise of radical diversity. Diagnosed with AIDS in the 1980s, his art took on a more sharply political edge regarding medical research and funding, and morality and censorship in the arts. He died of AIDS-related illness in New York in 1992, at age 37.
CTM 2015′s Opening Concert on 24 January paid homage to Wojnarowicz’s powerful untuned stance through the world premiere of the latest work by Soundwalk Collective with Nan Goldin and video artist Tina Frank. “A Memoir Of Disintegration” is a sound composition based on David Wojnarowicz’s homonymous and provocative correspondence that explores and captures existence at the margin of society in 1980s underground New York City. An intense and dark journey over street life, drugs, art and nature, politics, friendship, and acceptance, the live performance features Nan Goldin interpreting the most expressive excerpts of Wojnarowicz’s writings. Soundwalk Collective perform a live musical score thick with jarring physicality juxtaposed to a sound memento of field recordings from New York City throughout the past two decades. With live visuals from video artist Tina Frank, and Samuel Rohrer on drums.