AV Festival 2016: Meanwhile, what about Socialism?
Known for drawing with felt pen directly onto the walls and windows of galleries in-situ during exhibitions, Perjovschi’s installations take the form of satirical newspaper cartoons or graffiti. Commenting on current political, social or cultural issues, ideas are extracted from international news stories and his own personal observations of everyday life. The gallery becomes a cavernous site of communication and exchange, reflecting what is happening in the world around us at that specific moment in time.
Simple, direct and humorous, individual drawings extend from floor to ceiling, without the control of any system or order. Working in an improvised and spontaneous way, Perjovschi sums up the current state of affairs we are confronted with on a daily basis under neoliberal capitalism. Temporary and ephemeral, the work disappears when the exhibition is over and the gallery repainted.
The installation curated by AV Festival includeed drawings on the gallery walls and windows, creating a direct connection between the public, private and communal spaces of the street and the gallery.
During the Festival opening and closing weekends Perjovschi was in the gallery, enabling visitors to observe him working.
We were joined by the artist for an informal discussion with AV Festival director Rebecca Shatwell in the gallery space. During the opening weekend he worked in-situ on the gallery walls and windows, commenting on current political, social and cultural issues.
Curated by AV Festival 2016: Meanwhile, what about Socialism? as part of the Festival group exhibition across nine venues in Newcastle and Gateshead. The exhibition includes work by the following artists and archives: Thomas Spence (UK), Amber Films (UK), Jack Common/North East Film Archive (UK), Tim Brennan (UK), Hugo Canoilas (Portugal), Dan Perjovschi (Romania), Madhusudhanan (India), Pallavi Paul (India), Haim Sokol (Russia), R.E.P. (Ukraine), Claire Fontaine (France). The Festival title comes from a quote in George Orwell’s book ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’, which is the thematic framework for AV Festival 2016–2018. In 1936, Orwell spent two months living in the industrial North observing working-class life amidst growing social injustice, poverty and unemployment. The book is an analysis of English socialism, concluding that the basis of democratic socialism is equality and fairness. Mirroring the book’s structure, AV Festival 2016 is Part One, with artists situating themselves in relation to historic and contemporary political struggle. Presented in 14 venues the programme features 12 solo installations, 48 film screenings, nine artist talks and four performances.
For more information about the whole AV Festival, please visit: www.avfestival.co.uk