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.
In Aperture's new and expanded 20th-anniversary rerelease, Brush Fires in the Social Landscape retains every bit of the high-intensity rage, sadness, and fear that Wojnarowicz's work always had. With its focus on prejudice against gays during the time of the AIDS crisis, Wojnarowicz's work could easily feel like a time capsule, but it doesn't. –ARTnews
18.29 x 2.54 x 23.11 cm