Kirsten Bates and Allen Frame. Turmoil in the Garden
USA, 1983, colour, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, video, 38’
Script: an adaptation of Sounds in the Distance, by David Wojnarowicz
Cast: Allen Frame, Tara Kelly, Nan Goldin, Kirsten Bates, Elisabeth Walker, Bill Rice, Brian Burchill, Suzanne Fletcher, Frank Franca.
Richard Kern. Manhattan Love Suicides: Stray Dogs
USA, 1985, b/w, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, Super8 transferred to digital, 12’
Cast: Montanna Houston, Robin Renzi, Bill Rice and David Wojnarowicz
Music: J.G. Thirlwell
Richard Kern. You Killed Me First
USA, 1985, colour, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, Super8 transferred to digital, 12’
Cast: David Wojnarowicz, Nick Cooper, Jessica Craig-Martin, Karen Finley, Montana Houston, Lung Leg
Music: J.G. Thirlwell
David Wojnarowicz and Tommy Turner. Where Evil Dwells
USA, 1985, b/w, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, video, 31’
Cast: Joe Coleman, Devil Doodie, Richard Klemann, Lung Leg, Jack Nantz, Rockets Redglare, Tommy Turner, Charlotte Webb, Scott Werner, David Wojnarowicz
Music: AC/DC, J.G. Thirlwell and Wiseblood.
Tom Rubnitz. Listen to This
USA, 1992, colour, original version in English with Spanish subtitles, video, 16’
Cast: David Wojnarowicz
This first session is presented by artist, researcher and writer Alan W. Moore. A key component of New York’s punk scene and an activist in the 1970s and 1980s, he is a member of groups and platforms such as ABC No Rio, Colab and MWF Video Club, and the author of books that include Art Gangs: Protest and Counterculture in New York City (2011) and Occupation Culture: Art and Squatting in the City from Below (2015).
Turmoil in the Garden is a theatrical production with monologues adapted from David Wojnarowicz’s first book, Sounds in the Distance (1982). The texts are an example of artistic ethnography and describe a life of survival on the streets of New York, listening to and recording marginal figures Wojnarowicz dealt with in his experiences as a male prostitute. The work, with echoes of Jean Genet and Tennessee Williams, is performed by friends of the artist, for instance Nan Goldin, Frank Franca, Allen Frame and Elizabeth Walker. In Manhattan Love Suicides, Wojnarowicz plays a stalker compulsively in love with a man he meets randomly on the street, and who turns out to be an artist, played by Bill Rice. You Killed Me First is the story of a dysfunctional, repressive family and its children, one of which is played by Sonic Youth and Cinema of Transgression muse, Lung Leg, who has reached breaking point. Wojnarowiz plays an abusive and authoritarian father, drawing on his own autobiographical experience. Where Evil Dwells explores a traumatic crime from that period: the murder of a teenager by his teenage friend, Ricky Kasso, who was under the influence of drugs and the alleged satanic occultism alluded to in heavy metal, music which marks the pulse and rhythm of the film. For Wojnarowicz, Ricky Kasso was the leader of a dark and repressed America, “a kind of Ronald Reagan”, as he would write in his memoir. Finally, in Listen to This Wojnorawicz plays an executive who, from his office, delivers a tirade against the situation of the homosexual artist in American society, interspersing images of contemporary culture – a short film demonstrating the power of Wojnarowicz as a symbol and social model, his fiery response against venomous backlash and the US Government’s failure to act during the AIDS crisis.