Ladislava Gažiová – artist in residence in September 2014

AiR_Sep_Ladislava Gaziova

Ladislava Gažiová from Czech Republic is the Artist in Residence at the quartier21 / MuseumsQuartier in Vienna for the month of September.

“Within the residence in Vienna, I would like to process two subjects that I aim to develop. The first of them relates to the work and the topic that is associated with issues of cultural relativism and cultural identity focused on the Roma culture. I wonder how the Roma cultural institutions (in the Czech Republic, e.g. The Museum of Romani Culture) identify (create) a national or ethnic awareness, emancipation processes, or the uniqueness and how positive the effects are for society and its perception of the Roma and by the Roma themselves.

This topic is linked to the fundamental issues of concern such as What is culture? What is ethnicity? How is the culture used for political purposes – as a source of political power? etc. It is also important to establish the post-colonial thinking and to transfer this thinking into our context, as well as into the context of Roma culture.

The recently published book “Gypsies and Czech Village” by Daniel Soukup brings the first interpretation of gypsyness in 19th century Czech literature. Author wonders who a gypsy is and to what extent it relates, or rather does not relate to the Roma ethnicity. I wonder how this topic was conducted in Austria, or rather the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and especially in the visual arts. The history of the Czech Republic and Slovakia is strongly associated with Vienna and I would like to go through various collections and museums where I could comprehensively understand our past in the perception of Roma and other “barbarians” or “Orientals” (modeled after Edward Said). If possible, I would like to document (or use in other way) at least a small part of the works of art that fall into this topic, or other closely related topics. In Vienna there is also a strong background of Roma institutions, e.g. Kulturverein Österreichischer Roma, Romano Centro, Roma Fonds and also many important Roma personalities, artists live there whom I would like to meet. Generally speaking, important Roma figures are older and often associated with the Roma Holocaust, which of course is important and interesting, but I would like to make contact with a younger generation.

The second field of interest refers to the research of the alternative community places. In Prague we plan to create a similar place that would become a place for meeting, discussions and activities in the fields of art and politics. I know that in Vienna there is a number of places like this which could inspire me” – Ladislava Gažiová about her residency in Vienna.

Born in 1981 in Spišská Nová Ves, Slovakia, Ladislava Gažiová lives and works as artist in Prague, Czech Republic. She studied from 2002–2003 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (Studio of Vladimir Skrepl) and from 2003–2008 at the Academy of Fine Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague (Studio of Conceptual and Intermedial Art, Jiří David). Since 2008 she cooperates with a number of non-profit organizations focused on Roma culture and issues of social exclusion.