The epistemic, institutional and political development of Roma contemporary art by Timea Junghaus

October 4, 2016

The Roma cultural movement and its central notion Roma contemporary art have been one of the most efficient vehicles in the past four decades for the exploration of Roma subjectivities.

This lecture/seminar attempts a short historical analysis about the image of the Roma in Western Art, with the guiding questions: What are the modes of representations developed by European artists to depict the Roma? What geographical, political and cultural impulses shaped the development of the specific iconographical types? How can we reveal the processes of differentiation, othering, demonization and abjectification of the Roma in European visual history?
The lecture will continue with a review of the Roma cultural movement, building a chronology, of the major events, exhibitions, artist’s monographs, conferences in order to construct the long-hidden and oppressed genealogy, which eventually builds up and contributes – even without proper spaces and institutions - to the “institutionalization” of the notion: Roma Art.
By studying the oeuvres of leading Roma contemporary artists, we will explore: What are the most current and defining discourses in Roma contemporary art? How does the imagining of a Roma diaspora shape Roma art? What are the strategies for Roma cultural survival and resistance?
We will explore how the epistemic, political and institutional developments contribute to the formation of Roma contemporary art.
Tímea Junghaus is an art historian and contemporary art curator of Roma origin. She curated the First Roma Pavilion at the 2007 Venice Contemporary Art Biennale. She has researched and published extensively on the conjunctions of contemporary art and critical theory - with particular reference to issues of cultural difference, colonialism and minority representation. She is the founding director of the European Roma Cultural Foundation and Gallery8 - Roma Contemporary Art Space. As the first Roma art historian in Hungary and an acknowledged advocate of the cultural rights of minorities, she plays an active role in raising public awareness about the cultural oppression of Roma people and defining inclusive cultural strategies.

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