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  • Arena: lecture of MICHAL ROVNER

Arena: lecture of MICHAL ROVNER

Friday, 11 April, 2014 at 8 pm, at Cinema CSW

lecture of:


within the opening of the exhibition



Michal Rovner is one of the most acclaimed contemporary Israeli artists, who comes back to Poland with monumental video-work Fresco Scene especially re-edited for CoCA Torun, after her last years’ deep involvement in the Permanent Exhibition Shoah in Block 27 at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. In the occasion of the opening of the exhibition Arena, which is curated by Dobrila Denegri, Michal Rovner will hold a lecture about her artistic practice and her recent projects realised in Poland and elsewhere. 


Michal Rovner is known for strongly engaging and evocative work concerning the intersection of reality, feeling, and memory. In order to express the intensity of her personal experience adequately but in terms general enough to apply to the broader human condition, Rovner often interweaves photography, video, digital art, and painting in a mélange that ignores traditional categories of medium and process. This technological fluency helps her generate pictures of strong visual and emotional resonance: fusions of the real and the imaginary as familiar as scenes in our own dreams and just as spare, haunting, and elusive. She seeks to grasp what is almost undefinable and difficult to put in words, and therefore her artistic work contains many layers which mark the shift from particular to universal and from current to timeless. Time itself is one of great themes for this artist; she considers it: “a material, like are the human marks, places and light. In my works, time is not linear—the past, the present and imaginary future layers are communicating simultaneously.” Working with the theme of time, memory, human condition and human tragedies, Michal Rovner realised some of the most touching and moving artworks, such as Living Landscape at Yed Vashem - The Holocaust History Museum, Makom at The Louvre Museum and most recently Traces of Life: The World of the Children at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum. Now she comes back to Poland with a new work, a monumental digital fresco which recalls images of migration, displacement and forced eradication, a themes to which she dedicated much of her artistic engagement since this themes are pervading not only Jewish, but histories of different populations generally. 

Within the lecture at CoCA Torun Michal Rovner will talk about her work, which is indeed very complex and profound, and which deals with archeology, history and memory as well as with politics. In this sense this lecture will be the first of the series that exhibition Arena will host in the time of it’s duration, inviting audience to engage in more profound dialogue about art and its engagement within brother social and political domain. 


Michal Rovner’s (b. 1957, Israel) work in video, sculpture, drawing, sound and installation has been exhibited in over 60 solo exhibitions including a mid-career retrospective at the Whitney Museum of Art, the Israeli Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the Jeu de Paume, and the Louvre. In 2006, Rovner began a series of monumental structures titled “Makom” (Place) using stones from dismantled or destroyed Israeli and Palestinian houses from Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Haifa, the Galilee, and the border of Israel and Syria. She worked with Israeli and Palestinian masons to construct new spaces encompassing history, memory and time. In 2013, Rovner created the installation “Traces of Life” at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum devoted to the 1.5 million Jewish children murdered in the Shoah. Rovner’s video installations were exhibited at the Tate Gallery, the Stedelijk Museum, LVMH Headquarters, and Yad Vashem. Rovner lives and works in New York and Israel.


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