Magazine article ROM Magazine

In Conversation

Magazine article ROM Magazine

In Conversation

Article excerpt


Francisco Alvarez, managing director of the ROM's Institute for Contemporary Culture, speaks with artist Dan Perjovschi, whose work is featured in the ICC exhibition Dan Perjovschi: Late News.

Francisco Alvarez: How did you begin the practice of drawing directly on the walls of galleries and museums?

Dan Perjovschi: I became an artist in a communist, then later a post-communist, country where there were shortages of everything from toilet paper to books. There was no money for the arts, no spaces to work, and no real public interest. I was controlled by censorship and propaganda for 28 years of my life, searching for ways to be in charge. So, I tried to reduce my dependence on others, using very simple tactics. I first drew on a wall in 1995 in New York, and it took another 15 years to establish my current practice. I created my first cartoon/ graffiti project at the Venice Biennale in 1999, when I drew over the entire floor of the Romanian Pavilion.

FA: How do you feel your work is different from that of political cartoonists in newspapers and magazines?

DP: In my case it isn't. I often publish drawings in newspapers and magazines. Until 1997, I believed that the newspaper work and the work in art institutions were two different things. Then Kristine Stiles, a theorist from Duke University, suggested that what I do at the newspaper is also a form of public art. In 1998, I was invited to the Manifesta 2 biennial, not to show at the museum but to publish drawings in the local Luxembourg newspapers during the exhibition. …

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