Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: This is not the end of the road and Dream On

Bonnefanten is presenting two new exhibitions featuring works by artist who re-imagine – and dream- of a path to a better future.

This is not the end of the road is Bonnefanten is presenting two new exhibitions featuring works by artist who re-imagine – and dream- of a path to a better future. This is not the end of the road is the first solo museum presentation by Małgorzata Mirga-Tas (Zakopane, 1978) in the Netherlands. The internationally acclaimed Polish artist and activist belongs to the Roma people – the largest and arguably the most discriminated and misunderstood ethnic minority in Europe. Her identity is an important recurring theme in her work. By drawing inspiration from the everyday life of her own community, Mirga-Tas creates a compelling counter-narrative about Roma culture that is rooted in authenticity and intimacy of the Roma’s own experience. Using myths, astronomy, religion and ancient customs, she creates a magical world that is linked to the Roma.

Enchanting experience

Mirga-Tas’ tapestry series Re-enchanting the World is being brought together again by the Bonnefanten for the first time since its successful presentation at the Polish Pavilion at the 2022 Venice Biennale. The monumental installation is an attempt to expand and re-interpret European art history and its visual idiom through scenes inspired by Roma culture. Following the Biennale, the Bonnefanten acquired two parts of this critically acclaimed series: the months of March and April. In Re-enchanting the World, the artist alludes to the famous ‘Hall of the Months’ fresco series from the Renaissance Palazzo Schifanoia in Ferrara, Italy, recreating its three-section layout and symbolic references.

New work and works never shown before

Re-enchanting the World is presented alongside other distinctive works by Mirga-Tas, as well as new works that have not been shown before. Here, too, she honours her Roma identity and strips it of prejudices. From a feminist perspective, Mirga-Tas sheds light on the important role played by women in her community, paying tribute to some remarkable Roma and Sinti women depicted in large portraits. Distancing herself from a folkloric image that surrounds the Roma communities and their culture, she underlines the transnational character of the Roma diaspora that is bound together by common history and sense of solidarity which transgresses national borders. Present in her works are also strong de-colonial themes; after all, as a community regarded by Europeans as ‘non-Western’ and oriental, legacy of colonialist practices has left a lasting imprint on Roma lives today. 

Linking work

As part of this exhibition, Mirga-Tas has entered into a unique dialogue with Morena Bamberger (Roermond, 1994), a Dutch artist with roots in the Sinti culture which resulted in new works developed by both artists. To make visible the centuries old present of Roma in the Netherlands, Mirga-Tas created textile portraits depicting contemporary women champions of Roma and Sinti emancipation in the Netherlands. In turn, Bamberger was inspired to create a large-scale installation, on commission from the Bonnefanten. This installation, in the form of a covered wagon, forms the link to the new collection presentation Dream On. It is a caravan that Bamberger sees as a chapel, a small sanctuary that pays tribute to the Sinti and Roma way of life. Two films from 2017 are shown on laundry hanging out to dry on the washing line. The films are the first tentative attempt at reconciliation between Bamberger and her roots.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: This is not the end of the road and Dream On

Alia Farid, At the Time of the Ebb, 2019, video (still), 15 min. 4 sec. Collection Bonnefanten. Photo: Courtesy Alia Farid/Bonnefanten.

Collection exhibition Dream On

This topical collection presentation keeps a finger on the pulse of contemporary art and explores a new line in the Bonnefanten collection. More than twenty artists are presented, who are hopeful of putting the world to rights in uncertain and frightening times. They are not enticed by doom-mongering in their art. They are activist but not cynical. The artists put politically and socially engaged topics like decolonialisation and intersectional feminism (and various forms of social injustice) on the agenda. They claim a place for marginalised groups and vanished cultures, and thus essentially for under-represented and under-valued stories. The artists denounce injustices but often do so in a light-hearted and humorous way.

A magical world

In the presentation, old folklore, legends, rituals and incantations form the starting point for new artworks. New life is breathed into historical customs and stories, which serve as mirrors for current social problems and the depiction of an alternative future. The artists in Dream On dare to muse nostalgically and dream about things to come while laughing. With works by melanie bonajo, Antoine Berghs, Ali Cherri, Sofiia Dubyna, Hadassah Emmerich, Alia Farid, Camille Henrot, Laura Lima, Aristote Mago, Danaë Moons, Otobong Nkanga, Grayson Perry, Lee Scratch Perry, Laure Prouvost, Marleen Rothaus, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Patrick Van Caeckenbergh, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra and Marta Volkova & Slava Shevelenko.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: This is not the end of the road has been made possible by Ammodo en het Mondriaan Fund.

Małgorzata Mirga-Tas: This is not the end of the road en Dream On zijn is on show from 08.06.2024 until 16.02.2025/30.03.2025.

Note to press: for more information, please contact Kris Németh via or +31 (0)6 27 36 48 02


Header: Małgorzata Mirga-Tas, Out of Egypt, 2024, textile and acryl on canvas, 300 x 225 cm. Photo: Bartek Solik. Courtesy the artist, Foksal Gallery Foundation, Warschau, Frith Street Gallery, Londen and Karma International, Zürich.


No results found.