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Wojnarowicz created masks, costumes, and props for his performances, films, and photography work. For ITSOFOMO, he used papier-mâché to create a large egg and sperm sculpture, and he created a wolf's mask out of a current issue of the New York Times. He also created a skeleton costume with a large penis, a monstrous head, and a googly-eyed face attached to the ribcage, which he used for a photo series he shot in 1990 in Normal, IL featuring Patrick McDonnell as a model. The shoot resulted in the photographs Death in the Forest and Death in a Cornfield.

In addition to objects he made or altered, Wojnarowicz also frequently used found or purchased objects as props. For his early installation work, he gathered urban detritus from around the city (for example in the Mnuchin installation). During a trip to Teotihuacan in 1986, he brought along a series of props that he filmed covered in fire ants: a crucifix, a toy soldier, watches, and coins. Some of this footage appears in Fire in My Belly (a work in progress). This imagery also appears in photographs from the Ant Series, such as Untitled from the Ant Series (control), 1988-89, which shows a toy soldier covered in ants.

Media and techniques

As in other areas of his practice, Wojnarowicz favored the use of readily available materials. As one example, while working with Zoe Leonard on sculptural headstones to use for a die-in demonstration with their ACT-UP affinity group "the Candelabras", Leonard recalls that while she had been planning to construct them out of complex materials, Wojnarowicz insisted “They’re signs. Foamcore and paint.” [1] For the props for ITSOFOMO, the use of papier-mâché, or newspaper stiffened with flour, water, and adhesive, reflects a similar inclination towards rough and ready materials that allowed him to quickly achieve desired forms. [add information about creating these props from Marion Scemama when she answers emailed questions--she may have helped construct the sperm]

Conservation and display

[add information about conserving papier-mâché?]



  1. Cynthia Carr, Fire in the Belly: The Life and Times of David Wojnarowicz (London: Bloomsbury, 2012): 399.