David Wojnarowicz is in his leather jacket from 1988, protesting the government's inaction. "You might not be familiar with the American artist and activist David Wojnarowicz’s name, but if you’re of a certain age, you have probably seen at least one image by him. His photograph of buffalo tumbling off a cliff was used as the cover of U2’s One, taking his art to a global audience a few months before his death in 1992 of AIDS-related complications; he was only 37 when he died. We have been selling his 𝘊𝘭𝘰𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘒𝘯𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴, 𝘈 𝘔𝘦𝘮𝘰𝘪𝘳 𝘰𝘧 𝘋𝘪𝘴𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘨𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 since opening the shop five years ago.
Many people have found Adam's Nest through the work we do with The AIDS Memorial on Instagram. It is an endeavor that is our way of giving back to the community and honoring all those we lost, those living with, and those who fought and continue to fight to end AIDS.
As someone who came out in 1985, whose first apartment in NYC was across the street from Uncle Charlie's, and around the corner from Saint Vincent’s Hospital, it was humbling, to say the least, when The NYC AIDS Memorial reached out to ask if we'd help get the word out and sell these limited edition tees from Red Hot. We own the original Red, Hot + Blue album from 30 years ago, and it's been playing in store this past week in Provincetown. Everyone of a certain age that has entered has commented on the music.
“In partnership with RED HOT, and in honor of the 30th anniversary of the release of their first album, Red Hot + Blue, the New York City AIDS Memorial is thrilled to offer these iconic, artist-designed items for the first time in decades. Originally created in 1990 by the artists Jenny Holzer and David Wojnarowicz, today they have been reproduced in a very limited edition of 500." The NYC AIDS Memorial.
The back of the David Wojnarowicz tee, features his words from a reading at the Drawing Center in New York City in 1992 shortly before his death from complications due to AIDS:
“If I had a dollar to spend for healthcare I’d rather spend it on a baby or innocent person with some defect or illness not of their own responsibility; not some person with AIDS…” says the healthcare official on national television and this is in the middle of an hour long video of people dying on camera because they can’t afford the limited drugs available that might extend their lives and I can’t even remember what this official looked like because I reached in through the T.V. screen and ripped his face in half and I was diagnosed with AIDS recently and this was after the last few years of losing count of the friends and neighbors who have been dying slow and vicious and unnecessary deaths because fags and dykes and junkies are expendable in this country “If you want to stop AIDS shoot the queers” says the governor of texas on the radio and his press secretary later claims that the governor was only joking and didn’t know the microphone was turned on and besides they didn’t think it would hurt his chances for re-election anyways and I wake up every morning in this killing machine called america and I’m carrying this rage like a blood filled egg and there’s a thin line between the inside and the outside a thin line between thought and action and that line is simply made up of blood and muscle and bone and I’m waking up more and more from daydreams of tipping amazonian blowdarts in “infected blood” and spitting them at the exposed necklines of certain politicians or government healthcare officials or those thinly disguised walking swastikas that wear religious garments over their murderous intentions or those rabid strangers parading against AIDS clinics in the nightly news suburbs there’s a thin line a very thin line between the inside and the outside and I’ve been looking all my life at the signs surrounding us in the media or on peoples lips; the religious types outside st. patricks cathedral shouting to men and women in the gay parade: “You won’t be here next year—you’ll get AIDS and die ha ha” and the areas of the u.s.a. where it is possible to murder a man and when brought to trial one only has to say that the victim was a queer and that he tried to touch you and the courts will set you free and the difficulties that a bunch of republican senators have in albany with supporting an anti-violence bill that includes ‘sexual orientation’ as a category of crime victims there’s a thin line a very thin line and as each t-cell disappears from my body it’s replaced by ten pounds of pressure ten pounds of rage and I focus that rage into non-violent resistance but that focus is starting to slip my hands are beginning to move independent of self-restraint and the egg is starting to crack america seems to understand and accept murder as a self defense against those who would murder other people and its been murder on a daily basis for eight count them eight [nine, ten…] long years and we’re expected to quietly and politely make house in this windstorm of murder but I say there’s certain politicians that had better increase their security forces and there’s religious leaders and healthcare officials that had better get bigger dogs and higher fences and more complex security alarms for their homes and queer-bashers better start doing their work from inside howitzer tanks because the thin line between the inside and the outside is beginning to erode and at the moment I’m a thirty seven foot tall one thousand one hundred and seventy-two pound man inside this six foot frame and all I can feel is the pressure all I can feel is the pressure and the need for release."
If you have yet to check out The AIDS Memorial on Instagram it is a memorial that is lovingly maintained by Stuart Armstrong in Scotland, and now has over 180,000 followers. It shares stories of love, loss, and remembrance and helps the younger generation understand the scope and scale of the pandemic so many in the community have been impacted by.
We are selling all of these tees in our Provincetown shop and online. The RED HOT reissue t-shirts are in limited quantity of 500 each. As it is PRIDE weekend in Provincetown, these items serve as a reminder of all those lost, and the continuing fight to end AIDS; what is remembered lives.