History Keeps Me Awake at Night


By turns kicky and plaintive, this group show offers a spirited homage to the life and work of Lower East Side artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz (1954–1992). Performance duo Lovett/Codagnone’s slide projection (lavender letters onto a black-leather jacket) of a passage from Pier Paolo Pasolini reads, in part: “Where everything has become transgression, there is no more danger.” Carrie Mae Weems’s photo of a blurred viewer taking in a scene of buffalo tumbling down a cliff evokes the self-destructive pressures felt by the “Other” in America; Wolfgang Tillmans’s enigmatic shot of a crawling figure radiates a pungent vibe through its green, seraglio-like light. At times hilarious—when not shocking with footage of the brutal beatings doled out by Mayor Daley’s cops during the 1968 Democratic Convention—Frédéric Moffet’s 2006 video, Jean Genet in Chicago, revisits the French provocateur’s coverage of America’s political and psychic meltdown. A photo by Zoe Strauss, one of the most moving works in the show, riffs on a portrait of Wojnarowicz with his mouth tightly stitched shut: A woman revealing her unglamorous torso is bisected by a picture of a bird flying between taut wires, its wings meeting on the downbeat as if in prayer.

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m. Starts: Aug. 6. Continues through Aug. 22, 2008