David Wojnarowicz Event February 17th

Next week’s Wojnarowicz event at the Paul Robeson Galleries will feature a presentation by freelance writer and founding director of Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, Hugh Ryan, and photographer Matt Leifheit. Ryan’s lecture will be about Wojnarowicz’s final secret: The Magic Box, a mysterious assortment of symbolic objects that was found only after Wojnarowicz’s death. The Magic Box is currently housed within The Fales Library & Special Collections at NYU, but Leifheit’s photographs will give the audience a chance to see these items themselves. [1]

Ryan’s presentation will be based on an article that he wrote for VICE Magazine. He will also draw upon Wojnarowicz’s published writings and diaries as well as Cynthia Carr’s biography of the artist, Fire in the Belly. The lecture will consider the objects’ significance and investigate why Wojnarowicz took such pains to keep them hidden. Ryan will address a range of topics including writing, art history, photographic technique, and AIDS activism. [2]

For more of Ryan’s work on queer history, follow the link for an op-ed he wrote about the New York Historical Society’s 2013 exhibition on the first five years of the AIDS crisis, “How to Whitewash a Plague.” Check back soon for an update about what time the event will be on the 17th!

[1] Ryan, Hugh. “The Final Secret of David Wojnarowicz.” Hugh Ryan. 2014. Accessed February 9, 2015. https://hughryan.squarespace.com/the-final-secret-of-david-wojnarowicz/.

[2] Ryan, Hugh. “The Final Secret of David Wojnarowicz.”


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