« April 2007 | Main | June 2007 »

May 2007 Archives

May 11, 2007

Paradise Lost: Separate But Equal?

The first Roma Pavilion will open at the 52nd Venice Biennale on June7, 2007 at 4:30 p.m. to invited guests. The Pavilion, located on thepiano nobile of the 16th-century Palazzo Pisani Santa Marina, Calledelle Erbe, in the Canareggio district, will feature the premiere of"Paradise Lost," an exhibition featuring the work of sixteencontemporary Roma artists representing eight European countries. At6:00 p.m., following the grand opening festivities, there will be apanel discussion involving European cultural and political leaders,including Roma artists and commentators.  They will address some ofthe fundamental questions and controversy inherent in this firstBiennale Pavilion created along ethnic lines: Is a separate RomaPavilion necessary?  Is there such a thing as "Roma art"?  Doescreating a separate space for Roma artists help or hinder socialinclusion?World renowned film director Wim Wenders sees the Pavilion as anopportunity "to correct our image of the largest minority in Europe,which is still shaped by Gypsy romance and Gypsy kitsch."  Forcenturies, Roma people have been romanticized by non-Roma artists, whohave conjured up images of barefoot dancers happily banging ontambourines.  At the same time, works created by Roma artists havebeen relegated to the level of kitsch by mainstream European arbitersof culture. The ultimate goal of 'Paradise Lost' is to destroy theexotic stereotype of the "Gypsies" that has been prevalent in Europesince the 19th century and to put Roma artists on an equal footing inthe international art world.According to Tímea Junghaus, curator of the exhibition, "It is ourbelief that the identity of the Roma serves as a model for a modern,European transnational identity that is capable of cultural fusion andadaptation to changing circumstances. This is how the invited artistsrepresent themselves, and this is how they experience their Gypsyidentity."The Roma Pavilion, alongside the Biennale's national pavilions, marksthe arrival of Roma contemporary culture on the international stageand sends an important message: Roma have a vital role to play in thecultural and political landscape of Europe.

Continue reading "Paradise Lost: Separate But Equal?" »

About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to QUE PASA in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

April 2007 is the previous archive.

June 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

To POST a New Article or a Comment to an Existing Article
Click Here