Magazine article ROM Magazine

In Conversation

Magazine article ROM Magazine

In Conversation

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

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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