First meeting with Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, whose project Bewitching the World represents Poland at this year’s Venice Art Biennale. The meeting with the artist and the project’s curators, Wojciech Szymański and Joanna Warsza, will be hosted by Hanna Rydlewska. The meeting will be broadcast from the artist’s temporary studio arranged in the unusual space of the abandoned Imperial Hotel in Zakopane, where intensive work on the project is underway. Online transmission on FB channels: Zachęta, Polish Pavilion, Vogue Polska, Onet.
The project of the Polish-Roma artist Bewitching the World, which will be presented in the Polish Pavilion at the 59th International Art Exhibition in Venice, is an attempt to expand the Polish and European iconosphere and art history with representations of Roma culture. Referring to the title of this year’s edition of the Art Biennale (The Milk of Dreams), the artist will create a magical world, constantly subjected to ‘disenchantment’, which will become for the audience a kind of shelter offering hope and respite. Małgorzata Mirga-Tas will design and make a series of twelve large-format textiles, which will cover the walls of the Polish Pavilion in Venice. The arrangement, form and motifs of the fabrics refer to the famous ‘calendar’ cycle of frescoes from the Renaissance Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara. The artist takes the images, which are crucial for the European history of art and visuality, and “appropriates” them, inscribing in them a specific Polish-Roman identity and vernacular historical experience. The project of the Polish Pavilion, based on the idea of transnationality, cyclicity, and the change of often appropriated meanings, proposes a new narrative about the constant cultural migration of images and mutual influences between Roma, Polish, and European cultures. The title of the exhibition in the Polish Pavilion was inspired by Silvia Federici’s book Re-enchanting the World. Feminism and the Politics of the Commons (2019), which proposes re-enchanting the world as a way of recovering the idea of community and rebuilding relationships with others, including non-human actors: animals, plants, water or mountains. Re-bewitching – a non-violent process in which women play an important role – reverses the world’s unsuccessful fortunes, taking off its evil spell and charm.