“The texts that David Wojnarowicz reads are an antidote to abstraction. Passionate, grounded, and dead-precise, these texts violently reclaim the body by forcing us to experience the visceral reality of space and time. Set against Ben Neill’s delicate composed mutantrumpet, percussion, interactive electronics, and Southern American ethno-music, ITSOFOMO’s forward motion becomes a battle to reclaim the organism of life.”
– Sylvère Lotringer, 1992
Recorded in 1991, ITSOFOMO is a collaboration between the artist David Wojnarowicz and the musician Ben Neill. Originally presented as a live performance at The Kitchen in 1989, the piece binds the haunting urgency of Wojnarowicz’s words to a sinister, elastic composition by Neill. Their gestures circle and intertwine with a telepathic energy, revealing the deep affinity shared by these two artists. Joined by percussionist Don Yallech, the group moves with the agility and purpose of a rock band while maintaining the rigor and empathy of their conceptual force. ITSOFOMO escalates from barely-whispered monologues and unnerving textures to a rallying, full-throated charge.
Originally released on CD by New Tone records in 1992, this is the first vinyl pressing of ITSOFOMO. The 2 x LP includes two unreleased tracks: an instrumental version of the climactic track “THE COLLAPSE OF THE ILLUSORY ONE TRIBE NATION” and a new remix by Ben Neill, “ITSOFOMO Septimal Dub.” Printed in an edition of 500 copies with a gatefold sleeve and an essay by Sylvère Lotringer. A portion of the proceeds from this LP will be donated to Visual AIDS.
“Raquel Vogl: Wojnarowicz was an artist/writer and AIDS activist from New York. The record is a mix of spoken word, sounds, trumpets, percussion where Wojnarowicz in part documents the horrendous way the American government and society handled the AIDS epidemic. It has a special resonance now with the current pandemic raging and how badly the US (and UK) government have dealt with this one. A difficult but powerful and artful record to listen to on a long walk.”
– From “Introducing Persona: an interview with Raquel Vogl” on Buds & Spawn, October 2020 [LINK]
“ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion) (1989), a gut-socking multimedia performance about the violent motivity of the AIDS crisis, which Wojnarowicz made with the musician Ben Neill, played in a separate theater at the museum for only a few nights. These curatorial minimizations and omissions present Wojnarowicz as a more pristine artist than he was. This is not to say that his work wasn’t beautiful or thoughtful or at times meditative. But most importantly, it was furious and intentionally abrasive to encounter. ”
– From “Echoes from the Edge” by Kate Wolf, published in X-Tra, Volume 21, Number 3, Spring 2019 [LINK]
“Wojnarowicz’s voice, a dry-throated whisper, opened the piece, a straight line cutting through an uneasy, ambient soundscape. I remember almost straining to keep within comprehension of his words, when a thunderous drum hit cut through, startling the whole room. The music stretched and careened through defiance, tenderness, and rage. Before long, the latter of these moods took over, an onslaught of sound, Wojnarowicz’s full-throated voice hammering through the text. It was a powerful, familiar kind of music, but hard to locate in the late 1980s it emerged from, feeling closer to the skinless, patient humanity of post-Y2K omnivores like Xiu Xiu or Blood Orange.”
– From “Long Slow Accelerations” by Ethan Swan, published on Flash Art, November 10, 2018 [LINK]
“The oeuvre of late artist David Wojnarowicz spanned photography, painting, film, music, writing, and performance, all of which are incorporated into the hybrid work “ITSOFOMO: In The Shadow of Forward Motion” (1989). Produced in collaboration with composer Ben Neill, the multimedia work originally took the form of a performance that included a four-channel video piece accompanied by a live reading by Wojnarowicz with Neill’s original score. In writing for KCET in 2013, Jennifer Doyle characterized the work as “a formal, poetic meditation on acceleration,” based on theorist Paul Virilio’s writings, that addresses the AIDS crisis of the time through this lens.”
– From “A David Wojnarowicz Performance from 1989 Is Released on Vinyl” by Matt Stromberg, published on Hyperallergic, October 24, 2018
To view the complete production costs for this record, click HERE