David Wojnarowicz’s In the Shadow of Forward Motion was originally published in 1989 as a limited-run zine/catalog to accompany an exhibition by the artist at P.P.O.W gallery.
This is not the 2020 Primary Information reprint.
Despite its meager print run of just 50 copies, the publication has garnered a legendary status, and for good reason. In it we find Wojnarowicz’s writing and visual art—two mediums for which the artist is renowned—sitting side by side for the first time, playing off each other in equal measure. We glimpse the artist’s now-iconic mixed media works, with motifs of ants, locomotives, money, tornadoes, and dinosaurs, juxtaposed with journal entries and other texts that examine historical and global mechanisms of power symbolized through the technology of their times. Wojnarowicz uses the fractured experience of his day-to-day life (including dreams, which he recorded fastidiously) to expose these technologies as weapons of class, cultural, and racial oppression.