In conjunction with Laughter and Forgetting, an exhibition curated by Swiss-based arts writer and curator Olga Stefan within the frame of the second edition of Bucharest Art Week, a series of interviews were conducted with participating international artists.
In the weeks leading up to Laughter and Forgetting, ArtSlant will be publishing this series with artists including Clemens Von Wedemeyer, Dread Scott, Himali Singh Soin, and Agnieska Polska.
Laughter and Forgetting is a citywide project taking place October 9-16 in Bucharest. The exhibition’s architecture is inspired by the structure of Milan Kundera's 1979 eponymous novel, featuring seven autonomous stories that manifest themselves as time-based events or exhibitions connected together by common themes established on the first day within the main exhibition, i.e. laughter, forgetting, love, regret/humiliation (litost in Czech), totalitarianism, and the border. Artists, filmmakers, historians, and other researchers explore these themes from different angles, while the exhibition develops over the course of the week like a musical score through their repetition and variation, ultimately providing the viewer one experience composed of multiple perspectives, each unique in its own right.
—Complete text with Olga Stefan’s curatorial mission
—General information about Bucharest Art Week
AP: In the beginning of my practice, many times I was addressing the issues of misreading the historical events and confabulation. My interest was focused mostly on the phenomena related to art history: I tried to analyze the mechanisms of legitimization and mythologization of certain works of art, artists or art movements. Today, my interest shifted to the processes of legitimization or exclusion undergoing on a wider area: in the field of language, consciousness.
Agnieszka Polska, Future Days, 2013, Video still. Courtesy of the artist
BAW: What is the role of politics in your art? Do you regard yourself as a “political artist”?
AP: My work cannot be used as an active agent producing a real political change, so I wouldn't call it political. Nevertheless, many works of mine address the issue of the social responsibilities of an artist and describe the evolution of certain politically charged ideas.
—The ArtSlant Team
(Image at top: Agnieszka Polska, Correction Exercises, 2008, Video still. Courtesy of the artist)
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