Visual artist Dan Perjovschi at the Theatre Confrontations in Lublin

It is Perjovschi’s first ever visit to Lublin. The Romanian artist, who has so far exhibited his works in the most prestigious galleries in the world, has been invited to participate in the 2014 Theatre Confrontations Festival. For the duration of the Festival, his specially commissioned project will be exhibited at the Centre for Culture. We hope that the works of this socially “committed” artist will create a very interesting context for this year’s theatrical events. It is therefore worth considering what he true artistic value of his ascetic realisations is.

When one takes away the irony that his comic strip-like pictures, drawn with a marker pen, are steeped in, they actually resemble the drawings usually associated with sketches used as an aid during lectures, conferences and company meetings. This is the environment where one should search for the genesis of this type of lines and shapes. The artist presents a schematic outline of human silhouettes, frequently accompanied with a caption. Sometimes he is engaged in plays on words, building puns. In this graphical form reduced to a minimum, the artist is able to include a maximum load of very accurate commentary, and the range of the issues that he deals with reaches an almost global dimension.

Perjovschi opts precisely for this type of comprehensibility and user-friendliness in his works. For this reason, simple “admiration” and “a sense of awe” is not what the drawings are made for. They are rather a specific food for thought. And, paradoxically, it is exactly this “functional” feature of Perjovshi’s works which brings out their artistic strength. The viewer’s gaze is automatically redirected from the visual medium towards the message. In these drawings-lectures the author gives up everything unnecessary, and instead tries to directly pinpoint the heart of the given matter. Thus, the message conveyed by these drawings reduced in their form, considerably exceeds their ascetic visual layer. By using this seemingly “amateurish” way, the artist creates extremely multi-dimensional works of art.

Perjovschi can be called a “contextual” artist. His works are mainly a response to a certain socio-political situation. In this sense, they can be loosely associated with editorial cartoons, since the artist is unceremonious in his commentaries on the reality. However, in the case of the Perjovschi’s works, one cannot help but detect the bitter taste of truth about social problems under the surface of the satire. A non-gallery nature of the Romanian artist’s works can be also found in the kinship of his works with illegal street art.

Just like in the case of the above, Perjovschi creates the majority of his works directly on the walls. However, the final results much exceed what the aesthetics of the street has to offer. Deprived of the linear narrative, the monumental murals radiate a unique aura. These multi-threaded realisations placed inside a gallery space bring out the magic of the cave paintings. These timeless and – perhaps better – anachronistic installations show a surprisingly accurate map of the current historical moment, where under the surface of the neo-liberal democracy the drum of tribal conflicts still resonates.
Piotr Pękala