The European Roma Institute for Arts and Culture (ERIAC) is opening a new online group exhibition entitled ‘Performing the Museum.’ This exhibition brings together two projects that question the absence of Roma representation in arts and culture spaces. Firstly, the project ‘Invisible Museum’—initiated by the Slovak artist Oto Hudec in 2017 at tranzit.sk—which challenges the idea of traditional ethnographic role of museums, where “othering” through the observation, documentation and mapping of the essentialized subject is strongly embedded. Hudec’s project rather proposes a new kind of institution that serves a more discursive, collaborative and emancipatory function. Secondly, and complementary to Hudec’s idea, is the proposal by ERIAC and OFF-Biennale in Budapest, which imagines a transnational Museum of Roma Contemporary Art.
The exhibition, curated by Denisa Tomkova, launches the European manifesto of the imagined transnational Roma Museum of Modern Art, RomaMoMA. The RomaMoMA Manifesto for Roma Cultural Inclusion addresses the vicious circle that paralyzed Roma culture for over a millennium, prohibiting a truly diverse European cultural scene and hindering the development of democratic societies. RomaMoMa advocates a policy change in institutional practices, to ensure Roma cultural inclusion and eventually enables social inclusion of Europe`s largest minority.
The exhibition ‘Performing the Museum’ will be launched on eriac.org and on ERIAC social media on the occasion of the International Roma Day, April 8th, 2020 at 5pm. ‘Performing the Museum’ presents works of six Roma and non-Roma artists: Oto Hudec, Daniela Krajčová, Emília Rigová, Selma Selman, Robert Gabris and Marcela Hadová and Marka romňakero gendalos. The exhibition encompasses a wide range of media, including video, performance, photographs, community art projects, mural painting and engravings. The exhibited works discuss multiple challenges that Roma people face, from the unique intersectional struggle of artists who are Roma and women, to the general difficulty of preserving the Roma memory and history by building relationships through community art projects. ‘Performing the Museum’ highlights the history of decolonizing museum practices in art history and brings attention to the lack of representation of Roma art in mainstream art institutions.