Survivor’s Remorse

9-channel video installation with 29.8 x 14 x 50.4 inch shipping crate. HD color, stereo sound, 20:11 minutes.

Survivors Remorse’ (2018) is a video installation that looks at the valuation of various forms of vitality—not only lives but the material residue of lives—in particular through an arts economy built on mythologizing artist.

This work was created to in response to the experience of being invited into the Harvard Art Museum Archives to peruse a series of photographic works by David Wojnarowicz. I was there by invitation to respond—artist to artist—across a generational and situational divide. But what divides David and me most is his premature death. In all likelihood our queer paths should have crossed. This is a fact I reflect on all too frequently; a whole generation is missing from the experiences of my generation. Trauma precipitates well beyond its apex. It was in this sterile, evenly lit, white-gloved environment, inside this meticulously preserved sarcophagus, that I see the remains of David. His images of a society that values his body of work more than it valued his body. Survivor’s Remorse looks at how both art and bodies are maintained and the socio-political influences that create a chasm between the value of things and people.

Installation view of Survivor’s Remorse, at Harvard Art Museums

Installation view of Survivor’s Remorse, at MMK Frankfurt

Installation view of Survivor’s Remorse, at MMK Frankfurt

SURVIVORS REMORSE, 2016 from A.K. Burns on Vimeo.