project

A.K. Burns Produces an Installation Reflecting on David Wojnarowicz



May 19 2018 - Aug 12 2018


LOCATION

Lightbox Gallery, Harvard Art Museums
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Discipline

Visual Arts

This newly commissioned installation by American artist A.K. Burns (b. 1975) for the Harvard Art Museums takes the life and art of David Wojnarowicz as a point of departure. 

The human body requires a tremendous amount of maintenance: fuel, protection from the elements, psychic safety, buffers from violence and illness. Yet the bodies that persist do so in a state of uncertainty between lethal events and the inevitable degradation caused by time. Survivor’s Remorse looks at the valuation of various forms of vitality—not only lives but the material residue of lives—particularly through the economy of art. This work was spurred by a painful realization I had while looking through David Wojnarowicz’s photo prints in the Harvard Art Museums study rooms: art institutions take painstaking care of bodies of work (the art object), yet medical, political, and social institutions would not properly care for David’s body throughout his lifetime—because he was queer, had AIDS, and at times was homeless.

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