9/15/18: Corse and Wojnarowicz at the Whitney

At the Whitney, two stunning exhibits: Mary Corse: A Survey in Light (https://whitney.org/Exhibitions/MaryCorseexhibit) and a David Wojnarowicz retrospective (History Keeps Me Awake At Night) (https://whitney.org/Exhibitions/DavidWojnarowicz). Wojnarowicz’s “Close to the Knives,” a hybrid meditation on sexuality, politics, HIV, and outrage was so important to me, coming of age, coming to art in the early 90’s, at ACT/UP rallies, at needle exchange, in the Bay Area. It reminded me what it’s like to live within urgency, with rage and wildness as one’s rare routes to subversion. Seeing a Mapplethorpe exhibit at the UAM in Berkeley, maybe 1990; a Christian Boltanski installation; a first Karen Finley performance. I’m so grateful, now, for them, and shaken; how difficult it has been, 20 years later, to remain focused and active and awake in this stupendously fucked up regime, with this painful autocracy (itself a huge privilege on my part to be able to back away, to take a break). So thank you, to all of you who have stayed vibrant and resolute through this attrition, for continually reestablishing that giving back is a fundamental part of humanhood; that listening, participating strategically, and finding ways to cede power (without a pat on the back, without a necessary response) are some of the most difficult and most urgent things some of us can do.

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