EVENINGS WITH WHW AKADEMIJA
20/05 at 7 pm CET
This conversation is hosted via the Zoom platform and will be livestreamed on WHW Akademija’s Facebook page.
Dan Perjovschi will report from in front of the public wall in his hometown of Sibiu, Romania, where he has been drawing Horizontal Newspaper since 2010. After a decade of constant traveling and making art elsewhere, in this year of pandemic the wall has become Perjovschi’s constant canvas, used as a site of exhibition and for sharing local and global “news” with the citizens of Sibiu.
“I was born, raised, and educated as an artist on the side of the Berlin Wall with no graffiti. The Romanian Communist dictatorship did not allow uncensored public expression. So, decades later, I created my own wall to fill. I started Horizontal Newspaper eleven years ago. I had no idea it would resist so long. I adjusted its mission and appearance while doing it. Every year, something different. White. Black. White on black. Black on black. Simple, direct, sophisticated, multilayered … The basic idea was to do a ‘live’ public chronicle of our times. Local and global. Romanian and English language. And Spanish, because two million Romanians live and work in Spain, and some German, because Sibiu is also called Hermannstadt, and some Hungarian, because Sibiu is also Nagyszeben, and some Roma … and French, Italian, and more, because the whole world comes here during summer. Sibiu is an old medieval conservative multicultural city with tons of tourists. The drawings address all of them. Black and white as a manifesto. Updated constantly. New edition every spring or summer. Brexit, Trump l’Oeil, Abortion in Poland, Police Brutality, Justice Laws, Climate Change, Nationalism, Free Osman Kavala, The Virus, The Fear … And so on. Total freedom. Nobody asks to see the drawings in advance. I got a blank check from my partners, the city theatre, and the city council. But the freedom comes with responsibility. And a delicate balance between what one should say or not in public space. Let’s meet at the wall … Let's check it out.”
With probably the simplest and most economical of current art practices, Dan Perjovschi’s work manages to comment on the widest possible terrain of political, economic, and artistic subjects. Living in Bucharest and Sibiu in Romania, his view of the world is both particular to those places and riddled with all the contradictions, wisdom, and absurdity that global information systems offer. His work is humorous, sharp, and sometimes cutting in its exposure of human behavior and fragility. In simple terms, he draws pictures and texts on walls. The architectural spaces that he inhabits determine certain outcomes of his installations; the sights and sounds that he experiences at the time influence some of the subjects in his drawings, while current affairs and local gossip shape others. Together they form a visual diary that is a microcosm of what is going on in and around the exhibition space, the city, and the world at the moment. He received the George Maciunas Prize (2004), the European Cultural Foundation Prize (2012, with Lia Perjovschi), and the Rosa Schapire Art Prize from Kunsthalle Hamburg (2016).
This talk is realized in collaboration with CapitalCultural and is presented as part of the collaborativeproject Communitiesof Learning, Bridging the Gap of Isolation, initiated by WHW and supported by the Culture of Solidarity Fund of the European Cultural Foundation.
The program is supported by:
Kontakt Collection / ERSTE Foundation
Foundation for Arts Initiatives
European Cultural Foundation
City of Zagreb
Ministry of Culture and Media of the Republic ofCroatia
Kultura Nova Foundation