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Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak – Rooms


Mudam Grand Hall

10€ (entry to the exhibitions included)

Limited admission

Subject to modification or cancellation

Face mask mandatory

Physical distancing must be respected

Ghosts and phantoms are ostensibly able to traverse time and space, cross through impenetrable walls and step into other dimensions. Firmly planted beyond the boundaries of logic and rationality, Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak, have been possessed over and over by various entities who tell intertwined stories of exclusion and injustice. Some of the themes addressed are sweeping in nature, stemming from global history and contemporary political events; or geographically localised around the particular narratives of Filipino myths, or Slavic folk tales. These sources uncover the content boiling in the universal unconsciousness and creating the very foundation of our cultures, based as they are on violence against the other.

Rooms, a thirty-minute scripted performance in which Grafia and Sobczak underline the artificiality and theatricality of their actions, is conceived as the ‘personification of phantoms of past events inhabiting the performers bodies’. In their performance, personal accounts are no longerconfined to history but rather seen as an evolving narrative. Conceived with an intentional focus on minority communities, Rooms shows us the great gaps in history – episodes historians might have missed and those that have been purposefully ignored. It also underlines the subjective nature of memory – which is often steered by dreams, irrationality, emotions and ideologies.

Starring: Nicholas Grafia, Mikołaj Sobczak
Commissioned for the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art (2020), Zielona Góra Biennale (2020), Lubuski Theater, Zielona Góra, PL

Nicholas Grafia (b. 1990, City of Angeles, Philippines) has held performances and exhibitions at The Fairest, Berlin (2021); Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2020); Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen Düsseldorf; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; PS120, Berlin; Tramway, Glasgow (2019); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; BOZAR, Brussels (2018); Kunsthalle Düsseldorf; Im Goldenen, Düsseldorf (2017).

Mikołaj Sobczak (b. 1989 in Poznań, Poland) has held performances and exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; Capitain Petzel, Berlin (2020); Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Dortmunder Kunstverein; Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London; BOZAR, Brussels (2018). Sobczak has participated in the VII Moscow International Biennale for Young Art in 2020.

Nicholas Grafia & Mikołaj Sobczak, 2020
© Costumes: Ewelona | Photo: Bohdan Mucha