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The Lazaretto. An Installation About the Current Status of the AIDS Crisis

The Lazaretto. An Installation About the Current Status of the AIDS Crisis

Wojnarowicz, David and 4 x 6" postcard, offset printed on coated stock on recto. Addressed and mailed at verso. The rare postcard exhibition announcement for one of the most remarkable and harrowing works of the AIDS era at PPOW, which was created by David Wojnarowicz, Paul Marcus, and Susan Pyzow. The installation was partially restaged at PPOW in 2018. From Fire in the Belly: "David and Marcus had been collecting stories from people with AIDS about the physical horrors, the victimization, and the discrimination they often faced. (For example, 'I spent nine days in a hospital emergency room corridor. They sent me home when I refused a colonoscopy in the hallway.') They began the installation by constructing a labyrinth with black plastic bags. They wrote out the stories they'd collected on large sheets of paper and attached those to the billowing walls. This maze led to a grotesque sickroom where, in a corner, a skeleton lay under a blanket on a cot. Decorating the walls around the cot was a screed about access to health care and other issues affecting the politicized body. On a nightstand sat many bottles of pills and a small TV pumping out daytime drivel, crowned on top with an actual dead cockroach. there was garbage on the floor, splotches of vomit, a Raggedy Ann. In the hallway leading from this room, blue hands reached out of the walls. This led to a ship of fools and its papier-mâché passengers--Cardinal O'Connor, Jesse Helms, and George H.W. Bush. They floated across a sea in mid-cry and hundreds of human hands reached out for help. Past this centerpiece came a dancing Howdy Doody, who talked nonstop. Just outside the installation stood three long tables covered with pamphlets, fact sheets, condoms, and needle bleaching kits from a diverse selection of groups trying to address the crisis. The soundtrack to it all, on a loop, was what David claimed as his favorite song, Louie Armstrong's 'What a Wonderful World.'" - Cynthia Carr, Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz, p. 505. Near fine.
Rosa Luxemburg: Ihre Leben und Wirken

Rosa Luxemburg: Ihre Leben und Wirken

Roland-Holst, Henriette [Lohse, Richard Paul] 8vo, 223 pp, bound in dove grey cloth printed in blue; illustrated dust jacket. The first German translation of a work which had originally appeared in Dutch two years prior. The poet and socialist Roland-Holst was a close friend of Luxemburg. Following the ascent of the Nazi party, it was almost impossible to publish books with a socialist or pacifist attitude in Germany, and many such German language books were published in Switzerland, as with this title. Jean-Christophe Verlag was a publishing house closely allied with the Buchergilde Gutenberg, famous for publishing B. Traven. This shift allowed the Swiss designer Richard Paul Lohse to work on a variety of socialist books, including this title, which features one of the most striking and enduring dust jackets of the 1930's. The front is graced with a photograph of Luxemburg; the rear panel reproduces a letter from Luxemburg to the author. The two panels are linked by a photomontage of marching socialists which begins on the back panel and marches downward to disappear into darkness on the spine, but not before coloring the word "Rosa" rose - a striking link between meaning and form. The procession ascends again at the front panel to burst into stark relief against Luxemburg's blouse, the flags seeming to burst into flames. We can't think of a dust jacket of the 1930's better captures the drama of the time. Some light foxing to edges of the text block, else fine, with the charcoal topstain still rich. The rare dust jacket is good only, having been laid down onto a textured paper binding for strengthening, with extensive creasing and some chips to extremities, but largely intact with the colors still remarkably vivid. Socialism.