David Wojnarowicz & Marion Scemama
David Wojnarowicz has established himself as one of the essential American artists of the 80s. He was born in New Jersey in 1954. Beaten and abused as a child, he fled to New York, discovered his homosexuality, lived on the streets and subsisted on occasional prostitution. He hitchhiked across the United States. During the 80s, he became a recognized artist (photographer, video artist, painter, sculptor and writer). He belonged to the East Village art movement, and was active in New York’s alternative scene (Nan Goldin, Richard Kern, Lydia Lunch, Kathy Acker…) A militant homosexual, fiercely critical of American society, he died of AIDS in 1992 (Notice from Désordres).
It is because David Wojnarowicz’s creative work is the product of his entire life that it has acquired such power. While everything seems to be said over and over again, something emerges from David Wojnarowicz’s chaos that confronts us with our responsibility to have something to do with the course of the world’s movement. Félix Guattari
Marion Scemama (1950) is a photographer and filmmaker. Her career has been marked by her close friendship with the artist David Wojnarowicz, whom she met in 1984, assisted and co-directed several videos with. She has dedicated a film to him, Self-Portrait in 23 Rounds: a Chapter in David Wojnarowicz’s Life 1989-1991 (2018), selected at the 2019 Berlinale and nominated in the Best Documentary Essay category. She is publishing A Slow Boat to China (2021) and Une histoire particulière (forthcoming February 2023) dedicated to the artist. In the 1990s, she organized the traveling exhibition La Vie, l’Amour, la Mort (1994) at the Galeries photo de la Fnac, in connection with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Sex series and others
by David Wojnarowicz, Marion Scemama and François Pain (1989-1998, 30′)
Through his hallucinatory art, David Wojnarowicz described the East Village’s underworld fauna, its furtive, anonymous sexual encounters, its political revolt against American society, its homophobia and ultra-conservatism in the face of the AIDS epidemic, in particular.
The Sex Series and others series, co-directed with filmmakers Marion Scemama and François Pain, is the result of their long friendship, and reveals Wojnarowicz’s dreams and nightmares, his rage at the treatment meted out by the “American killing factory” to the marginalized and disenfranchised of the American dream.