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Whitney Museum of American Art

By Belinda Hungerford


Recently I was delighted to receive an enquiry from the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. They are currently undertaking research on American artist David Wojnarowicz (1954-1992) for an upcoming exhibition (Fall 2016/Winter 2017). It will be the first major, monographic presentation of Wojnarowicz’s work. 

The Curatorial Research Assistant wished to confirm the dates of a show at ACP that Wojnarowicz was a part of and copies of any promotional material produced. 

The show in question was FUEL and was held at ACP 5 February – 7 March 1992. Alongside Wojnarowicz the exhibition featured Maria Kozic, Ian Haig, Jeanelle Hurst, Bronia Iwanczak, Stelarc, Liz Stirling, Fiona Templeton, Linda Wallace and Nicholas Zurbrugg – what a fascinating lineup! Curated by Jay Younger, the exhibition was initiated by the Institute of Modern Art in Brisbane then toured to ACP and the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art in Melbourne.


As the press release stated:

In FUEL we are presented with a collection of artists working in a highly experimental, less conventional and less marketable range of media focusing on concerns as varied as AIDS, the city, language, the body, virtual reality, popular culture, survival, sexuality, humour, poetry, art theory and spirituality. The works are not united nor do they necessarily support each other visually – so what’s the connection?

In an era where we are told there are no longer any positions from which to speak these artists persist in what is possible, thereby escaping the rhetoric of nihilism. The works look to create, empower and renew so as to avoid a harmless celebration of the end-game, an aesthetic of exhaustion.

The artists in FUEL shed light on that dark uncertain place we know as the ‘Future’ and the role artists might play in that future.


The Whitney Museum was very pleased with the 1992 press release and exhibition postcard I was able to send. I too was pleased to dig into ACP’s archives and discover this interesting show. However, in doing so I was also saddened to learn that Wojnarowicz passed away just months after the showing at ACP. The comprehensive show at The Whitney is sure to be worthwhile.



Images: FUEL postcard. © Australian Centre for Photography Archives