The first solo museum presentation by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas will open in the Bonnefanten in June 2024. It is a major premiere that will include one of the most important and largest works in the oeuvre of Mirga-Tas: Re-enchanting the World.
About the artist
Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (Zakopane, 1978) is a Polish artist and activist who belongs to the Roma culture; an originally nomadic people who are spread over large parts of the world. Mirga-Tas works in various media, but is renowned mainly for her large-scale textile works, in which she celebrates the Roma identity from a feminist perspective, stripping it of prejudices. Her career has really taken off in recent years, culminating in her contribution to the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022.
Re-enchanting the World
The monumental, twelve-part series of panels entitled Re-enchanting the World was originally made for the Polish pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2022. The Bonnefanten acquired two parts of this series, which are accompanied in the exhibition by other work that is typical of Mirga-Tas, as well as new works and ones that have never been exhibited before.
The project Re-enchanting the World (2022) is an attempt to expand the art history and idiom of Europe with representations of the Roma culture. For her Polish pavilion, Mirga-Tas created a magical world that is linked to myths, astronomy and ancient customs. The project comprises twelve works, each of which depicts a month of the year. These zodiac signs are often seen in Western European art (usually classical art). We see gods from Ancient Greece and Rome, or Christian motifs: stories and visual motifs that are well-known by Western European standards and can be used almost as a language. But these zodiac signs are very specific to one particular art history in Europe, and they exclude many other cultures.
Central theme: being Roma
The central theme in the work of Mirga-Tas is the experience of being Roma, whereby she always takes a female perspective. In her art, she tries to capture the trans-national identity of the Roma people, but she is also concerned with breaking down the folklore image associated with Roma communities and their culture. At the same time, she shows the enormous impact of colonialism and colonisation on her people. We do not have to look far beyond our borders to find cultures that Europeans regard as ‘non-Western’.
The exhibition has received support from Ammodo.
Ammodo also supports the solo presentation by the Lebanese artist Mounira Al Solh (Beirut, 1978), which will be shown in the Bonnefanten in 2025.
Header: Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Re-enchanting the World: March, 2022, mixed media on textile, 462 x 387 cm. Collection Bonnefanten