Introduction by Lucy R. Lippard.
Text by Vince Aletti, Barry Blinderman, Cynthia Carr, David Cole, Shannon Ebner, Leonard Fink, Karen Finley, Nan Goldin, Félix Guattari, Wade Guyton, Melissa Harris, Elizabeth Hess, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Peter Hujar, Fran Lebowitz, Sylvère Lotringer, Carlo McCormick, Henrik Olesen, Wendy Olsoff, Adam Putnam, Tom Rauffenbart, James Romberger, Emily Roysdon, Marion Scemama, Gary Schneider, Amy Scholder, Kiki Smith, Andreas Sterzing, Zoe Strauss, Marvin J. Taylor, Lynne Tillman, & Wolfgang Tillmans.
David Wojnarowicz’s use of photography, often done in conjunction with writing or painting, was extraordinary—as was his way of addressing the AIDS crisis and issues of censorship and homophobia. Brush Fires in the Social Landscape, begun in collaboration with the artist before his death in 1992 and first published in 1994, engaged what Wojnarowicz would refer to as his “tribe” or community. Contributors—from artist and writer friends such as Karen Finley, Nan Goldin, Kiki Smith, Vince Aletti, C. Carr and Lucy R. Lippard, to David Cole, the lawyer who represented him in his case against Donald Wildmon and the American Family Association—together offer a compelling, provocative understanding of the artist and his work. Brush Fires is also the only book that features the breadth of Wojnarowicz’s work with photography. Now, on the twentieth anniversary of Brush Fires, when interest in the artist’s work has increased exponentially, this expanded and redesigned edition of this seminal publication puts the work in front of an audience all over again while maintaining the integrity of the original. Through the lens of various contributors, the book addresses Wojnarowicz’s profound legacy: the relentless censorship and ethical issues, alongside his aesthetic brilliance, courage and influence.
David Wojnarowicz was born in Redbank, New Jersey, in 1954 and died of AIDS in New York in 1992. His artwork is in numerous private and public collections, including The Museum of Modern Art and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, among other institutions. The author of five books, Wojnarowicz attained national prominence as a writer and advocate for AIDS awareness, and for his stance against censorship.