New Media in Our Hands

Roma New Media Artists in Central-Europe

09. April 2011. – 30. April
MegnyitóOpening: April 8, 2011, 5:00 pm
KurátorCurator: Péli Sarolta
In the past few years there have been important changes in Central European Roma art. The attention of Roma artists more intensely turned towards media art and the means of new media. Partly due to the saturating effect of the call of the second Roma Pavilion for new media works, and partly thanks to the rise of Roma artists receiving official art education. The exhibition, opening on April 8, the International Roma Day, aims to present these newest tendencies, offering a new perspective for people interested in contemporary Roma art. Roma art, because of structural, institutional and infrastructural reasons was not prone to diverse representation for a long time and was forced to show itself in a monolithic fashion, the way how the majority regards “gypsy art”.

The works of young Roma artists show that Roma culture and identity are just as varied and polarised as majority cultures. Although new media appeared in the lack of physical apparatuses (representational space, location, building and objects), it seems an effective alternative in Roma art to make the diversity of Roma communities and artistic teams visible. Can past political and artistic actions, performances, non-profit and virtual activities (that often ease the lack of a tangible apparatus) be interpreted in a contemporary artistic context?

The exhibition will present examples from Central Europe – Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic -, showing that Roma art and culture is using developing technologies to explore cultural, political and aesthetic possibilities. It aims to exhibit phenomena such as the rearrangement of computer parts gathered from searching through junk (hardware art), the conscious media and public appearances of Roma artists or interactive community projects.

Participating artists were selected through an Open Call for Application announced in the fine art colleges and universities of the three countries in February.