is an exhibition-concept which aims to raise awareness and to purge the noxious growth of discrimination against Roma communities. This exhibition takes as its point of departure, reenacts and extends Adrian Piper’s concept of Calling Cards. This reenactment is a form of social activism which attempts to rectify discrimination by re-acting and re-staging one of the most important artistic assertions against racism formulated by a first generation conceptual artist. Piper confronted the pervasive racism of our society.
With Calling Cards
, she challenges viewers to take the confrontation with racism “into their own hands”. A calling card is the precursor of the contemporary “business card”. It is an old fashioned social convention which used to signify an invitation, an introduction for oneself or a means of communication. Each piece of art from this exhibition acts symbolically as a calling card meant to draw attention to the Roma’s social, cultural and spatial segregation. Actual “Calling Cards” (inspired by Adrian Piper’s Calling Card No.1
, 1986-1990) will be disseminated within and beyond the art space.
This exhibition focuses on the relational (collaborative) component of art practice (even in terms of co-authorship). Both Roma and Non-Roma European artists, cultural workers, educators, activists, poets and writers are invited to collaborate. The works displayed are both disturbing (critical, thought provoking) and beautiful (heartbreaking and sentimental). In spite of their conceptual and material variety, they have in common the fact that all of them act politically, as a temporary displacement of agency from people to art in order to foster collaboration and social justice.
The force fields are diversified in such a manner that not only the impulse to act and react will count as political and critical but also the rekindling of our feelings and emotions. This exhibition attempts to illustrate that not only radical forms of artistic activism can be effective but also what Tom Block would call a “prophetic activist art”.
The pieces displayed range from mail art and confession art to video performance and digital-collages. Calling Cards
intends to be an open, de-centralized network of “correspondence art” which will expand the audience by focusing on collaboration, sharing and exchange. Collaboration is envisioned in dialogical terms: where all members involved partake actively and decisively in the artistic project. Calling Cards
is conceived as an itinerant and cumulative exhibition.