HOLD MY HAND
I WAKE EARLY READY FOR A FIGHT / I WAKE EARLY READY FOR A FUCK
A new performance piece based on my serial David Wojnarowicz poems, HOLD MY HAND I-IX
In response to the David Wojnarowicz show at the Whitney (summer 2018), I wrote a series of poems on site at the exhibit on September 30, 2018, transcribed them on November 11, 2018 and were then published in the spring of 2019 in BAEST: A Journal of Queer Forms and Affects. This work reinhabits rage and desire, longs for intergenerational queer mentorship from those whose lives were decimated by the AIDS crisis and drips with an uncontainable queer eros—unstoppable—even when compressed by the gears of late stage capitalism. This work shatters the singularity and isolation of museum curatorial practices and the failed institutional remembrance of queers and queer community that bore toe tags instead of price tags through lens of the board.
During the summer of 2019, I versioned this work into a visceral performance piece: sewed my hand together with red thread in resignification and continuation of David Wojnarowicz’s baguette with space between the edges and his mouth sewn shut on the cover of an issue of “High Performance”.
In collaboration with Jo Valdes and Lix Z, we collectively organized: UNLEASHED through an open call for submissions of mutated forms of queer performance nightlife spaces and performers who crave heightened risks in their everyday practices to take place at DRTY SMMR on December 1st, AKA World AIDS Day.
In gathering materials a different kind of stitchery emerged. I covered a six foot table with silver reflective mylar and aimed a clamp light at the mylar to illuminate the surgical field. I laid out my materials: cassette player, piercing play needles, red wire, wire cutters, a black latex glove. I pressed play on the cassette player to begin a recording of my voice reading HOLD MY HAND, followed by an electric guitar riff I composed and played, and ending with NYC sounds from the 1980s mixed with planes taking off. Vertically, finger by finger, I inserted piercing play needles between the tops of my middle and lower knuckles. I rewound and pressed play to loop the tape. After five of my fingers were pierced, I threaded red wire in between needle and finger, alternating above and below. Once my hand was wired together, I pulled the wire through extending my connection to queer hxtory.