Kai Dikhas Gallery in Berlin features painter Laďa Gažiová in group show "Kali Berga"
Last week the vernissage was held in Berlin for a group exhibition entitled "Kali Berga" (Black Mountain) introducing five contemporary artists of Romani origin from several European countries. Painter Laďa Gažiová, who creates her work in Prague, is among those exhibited.
Kai Dikhas Gallery presented the exhibition in collaboration with the Romani arts foundation Jaw Dikh!, based in Poland, which was represented by artist Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, and also invited internationally-recognized artists Damien Le Bas and Delaine Le Bas to attend the opening. The exhibition will be open until 3 June at the gallery, which is located in the Aufbau Haus at Prinzenstrasse 84 in Berlin.
The exhibition is named after the village of Czarna Góra in Poland, which lies on the border between two regions, Podhale and Spiš, and is home to both Goral and Romani communities. Every year this little village in northern Poland becomes a center for both non-Romani and Romani artists from all over Europe to meet each other and organize workshops about Romani culture.
The most important thing for those contributing to the Kali Gora artistic concept is not that they declare themselves to be of Romani nationality, but that they embrace the cultural, political and social experience that Romipen involves. Works of the academic painter Laďa Gažiová, who creates in Prague, and Emília Rigová of Slovakia are now on display in Berlin.
Gažiová is represented by selected paintings from her show last year called "Oblak v kalhotách" ("A Cloud in Trousers"). Among other things, the images reflect military conflicts currently underway.
Emília Rigová is presenting a video installation called "Constant Metamorphosis" ("Neustálá proměna"). Last year her works were shown at a stand-alone exhibition, "Archetyp Pra-Bari" ("The Pra-Bari Archetype") as part of the KHAMORO World Roma Festival in Prague.
The name of the Berlin exhibition also refers to Black Mountain College in North Carolina, USA and the ideas of this particular school of art. Those involved with Black Mountain College included avant garde artists such as the choreographer Merce Cunningham and composer John Cage, painters such as Elaine de Kooning and Robert De Niro, Sr., or poets such as Robert Creeley, Fielding Dawson and Ed Dorn.
Their creations prefigured those of the "Beat" generation in the 1960s. The school was established in North Carolina in 1933 after the Nazis closed the Bauhaus school of arts in Germany.
A gallery for contemporary art by Roma and Sinti in the Aufbau Haus
The Kai Dikhas Gallery was created in 2011. It is presenting the creations of almost all contemporary European Romani artists.
Moritz Pankok is the gallery's curator and founder. It is located in a former factory building, the Aufbau Haus, where various other creative and cultural organizations are headquartered as well as several Romani organizations, such as the Berlin office of the Documentation and Cultural Center of German Sinti and Roma.
The gallery's activity follows other exhibitions of contemporary Romani art such as "Second Site" in London, England in 2006, or the first-ever pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007 dedicated to Romani art, entitled "Paradise Lost". Besides the Museum of Romani Culture in Brno, which does not specialize just in fine arts, prior to the Kai Dikhas Gallery beginning its activity there was no other institution exclusively dedicated to popularizing Romani art.
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