Dan Perjovschi. WHAT HAPPENED TO US? 2007. Permanent marker on wall. Installation view. ©2007 Dan Perjovschi. Photo: Robin Holland

Projects 85: Dan Perjovschi

May 2–August 27, 2007 The Museum of Modern Art
  • The Museum of Modern Art, Floor 2, Marron Atrium

For his first solo museum exhibition in the United States, the Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi was invited to create a large-scale drawing installation, executed over a period of two weeks directly onto the wall of The Donald B. and Catherine C. Marron Atrium. Inspired by current events reported on television and in newspaper and tabloid headlines, Perjovschi explores political topics including the Middle East conflict and the recent extension of the European Union. Through concise phrases and wordplay, his sketches and skits portray reality with a sense of criticality and pointed humor. The work’s rhetorical title, WHAT HAPPENED TO US?, offers a textual pun, in which US may refer either to the subjective pronoun “us” or to the proper noun “United States of America.”

Perjovschi’s drawings have been widely disseminated-from the walls of museums to the pages of newspapers. Since 1990, following the demise of Communism in Eastern Europe and the dismantling of the Berlin Wall, the artist has contributed hundreds of witty and incisive observations to literary and political journals, such as Contrapunct and 22. The latter was the first independent oppositional weekly published in Romania in the aftermath of the Democratic Revolution. Taking its name from the date December 22, 1989, the historic day on which Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu was ousted from power, 22 is the brainchild of the Group of Social Dialogue, a think tank of dissident writers, artists, and philosophers who endorse freedom of expression and human rights. As an illustrator for 22, and as its former art director, Perjovschi has transformed drawing into a medium of information and political commentary. Expressing complex ideas in rapidly executed, off-the-cuff drawings, Perjovschi’s installation propose that art can be engaged without being moralistic.

Exhibition organized by Roxana Marcoci, Curator, Department of Photography.

The Projects series is made possible by the Elaine Dannheisser Projects Endowment Fund and by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art and the JA Endowment Committee.

Special thanks to the Romanian Cultural Institute, New York.

Publication

Installation images

How we identified these works

MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos.

If you notice an error, please contact us at digital@moma.org.

Licensing

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA's collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at firenze@scalarchives.com. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or moma.org, please email text_permissions@moma.org. If you would like to publish text from MoMA's archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to archives@moma.org.

Feedback

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to digital@moma.org.