Angelo Romano and Daniel Kurjaković – lecture in The National Museum

April 27, 2012 in Angelo Romano, National Museum in Poznan, Residences 2012, Workshops

During Angelo Romano’s workshops at the National Museum in Poznań, Daniel Kurjaković – swiss curator and writer, presented an unconventional lecture “Comunity, Simultanity, Transformation”. The unconventional element was not only Kurjaković’s inspiring contributions on the subject of art with relation to society, but also the medium. The lecture was transmitted via an instant messenger, a medium which has also been used in many of Angelo Romano’s exhibitions.

Alternative community in “Fahrenheit 451”
The starting point for the lecture were observations on the artistic community depicted in François Truffaut’s film “Fahrenheit 451”. This alternative model of society, created by individuals opposed to the authorities in power, was based on a close relationship of the man and the book, where the book was understood metaphysically as a vehicle for expressing an idea.

Transforming memory/transforming art
The fact that the community appreciated and used the book not only in its physical aspect influenced significantly their mutual relations and their way of identity building. Contrary to the social class which stayed loyal to the authority, this group based their existence on something incorporeal. Memory, identity, culture were not preserved in material things – assigned to external, often mechanical objects – but existed in their minds. Like the 20th century sculptures, creators of the counter-monuments, these people transformed the medium. In Truffaut’s film, the thing which undergoes the most radical transformation is the book: from a corporeal set of pages, to fire, ash, wind, and – finally – to word and memory.

Simultaneous transmission and reception
The manner of relation with the book was a vital element contributing to the community’s shape and form. It was a close contact through direct communication, touch or smell. With this in mind, Daniel Kurjaković proposed the concept of “soft medium”, which may be activated and used simultaneously by many people. The action closest to human beings – verbal or haptic ones – can trigger a reaction, evoke delight or fear, and most of all, spark an action. Their opposite are material objects, whose presence is an excuse from acting, thinking or remembering.

Finding a soft medium which, by acting locally, will provoke the community to reflection is Angelo Romano’s task as a curator in Poznań.