Statement by David Wojnarowicz Co-Filmaker and Collaborator Marion Scemama, Paris

August 23, 2012

Filed under: extra

On David’s Short Version of “A Fire In My Belly”

I would just like to bring my testimony concerning the short version of “A Fire In My Belly” Semiotexte put on Youtube. I never met Diamanda and didn’t know her work before David showed me the short version of “A Fire In My Belly” he did in 1989. This short version has been made by David with the support of Phil Zwickler for Rosa Von Praunheim’s film “Silence=Death”. The length is 4 min. & 13 sec. and was edited to that length to cover Diamanda’s song. The song is really David’s choice and this I can confirm it with no doubts. I was in NY in April 1989 when David was shooting different performances for Rosa’s film. David asked me to come to NY with a video camera to help him in this work. That’s where we shot “When I Put My Hands On Your Body” with Paul Smith, and Andreas Sterzing can testify about this, he was in David’s loft and helped for the shooting. David completely directed this editing and really liked it. At that point he showed me the unfinished version with no sound and told me he dismantled it several times. In the text James wrote recently about David and “A Fire In My Belly”, I saw he published a credit for that piece where a portion of the painting “Street Kid” has been used for the credit: you can read “A Fire in My Belly, musique Diamanda Galás”. If you observe that the word “musique” is in French it’s because we made a compilation of the videos I did with David that have been screened at The Palaisde Tokyo and at The Pompidou Center for the release of the French version of “Close to the knives”. It’s also the compilation I wanted to show at PPOW for the Semiotext party, but the projection failed technically. I remember also that somebody from the Fales library (and I think it’s Brent Phillips, but I’m not sure) contacted me when I was in NY . He wanted to meet me to give him some precisions about the videos we shot in Atoll summer ’89. We spoke about FIMB and I told him about David’s version for Rosa and showed it to him. He didn’t know that version and found it very interesting because it was the only version he saw that was accomplished. I gave him the source (Rosas’ VHS). I hope my testimony will help to close this controversy.

Marion Scemama