Curated by Stephanie Snyder, John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
I Wanna Be Well is the first retrospective of the work of renowned American artist, activist, writer, and educator Gregg Bordowitz. The exhibition features Bordowitz’ seminal films and activist materials; rarely-seen sculptures and drawings; books, essays, and poetry; personal ephemera; and recent performance films. The title of the exhibition pays homage to the infamous punk band the Ramones, and to their 1977 album Rocket To Russia. Born in Brooklyn in 1964 and raised in Long Island, Queens, Bordowitz moved to Manhattan’s East Village when he was eighteen and came of age during America’s last great analog era. Over the last thirty years, Bordowitz has marshalled his prodigious intellect and artistic vision to analyze and confront oppression, shame, prejudice, and death—working across interrelated forms including film, essays, poetry, lectures, plays, and live performance. These investigations have allowed Bordowitz to assume different subject positions while addressing illness, existence, and love with profound intimacy and introspection. Bordowitz’ films, writings, and performances share a concern with pedagogies of healing and learning, while embracing doubt and vulnerability.
Gregg Bordowitz is an award-winning artist, writer, and activist. His films have shown internationally in screenings and exhibitions at museums including: The New Museum, NY; Artist Space, NY; TATE Modern, UK; and MoMA, NY. Bordowitz is the author of many books, including: The AIDS Crisis Is Ridiculous and Other Writings, 1986–2003. He was a member of the groundbreaking AIDS activist group ACT UP, and a founding member of the 1980’s film collective Testing the Limits. He is the recipient of a Rockefeller Intercultural Arts Fellowship, and a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship. Bordowitz is the Director of the Low-Residency Master of Fine Arts program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He comes to Reed College as a Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitor in the Arts.