“Two Laments” by Polish artist Monika Weiss. The artist residency at the Sanskriti Kendra (15 March – 2 April 2015), New Delhi.

Exhibition: March 27 – 30, 2015, opening times: 11am- 5pm
Performance “Two Laments “ : Saturday, March 28, 2015, 6pm
Venue: Sanskriti Kendra, Anandagram, Mehrauli Gurgaon Road, New Delhi – 110047

Ephemeral Film, Sound & Performance Installation „Sustenazo (Lament II)”: April 1, 2015 at 7.30pm, Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, 3 Kasturba Gandhi Marg, New Delhi-110001

“Two Laments” is new project comprising experimental film, sound composition and public performance by Monika Weiss, an internationally recognized Polish artist based in New York City. Weiss will initiate this project during her residency at Sanskriti Kendra (15 March – 2 April 2015), New Delhi. The artist will share her work and research in progress in an exhibition at the Sanskriti Galleries, March 27-30. On March 28 at 6.00 pm Monika Weiss will conduct a group performance on the grounds of Sanskriti Foundation, inviting local volunteers and audience members to join her in performing slow and silent gestures of lamentation.
“Two Laments” is a project considering two kinds of trauma: personal and public, touching upon some of the ways in which narratives of war and gender-based violence are enmeshed within social and political consciousness.
As part of the programme for “Lament” (project curated by Amit Mukhopadhyay), Monika Weiss will be presenting “Sustenazo (Lament II)”, an ephemeral film/sound installation during which the artist will conduct a live twenty six-minute performance that will be the same duration as her film and sound composition. The presentation will take place on 1st of April 2015 at 7.30 pm at Goethe Institut/Max Mueller Bhavan, New Delhi. “Sustenazo ” (Greek: “to lament together inaudibly”) developed around the notion of Lament as a form of expression outside language: the timeless expression of Lament is juxtaposed against the archive of a specific historical event—the forced overnight evacuation of Ujazdowski Hospital on the sixth day of the Warsaw Uprising in 1944. The work is a reflection on the complexity of European heritage and its connections with other regions and histories around the world, including India. While enacting ancient gestures of lamentation, “Sustenazo” considers also the current and contemporary contexts of apathy, indifference, invisibility, and historical amnesia within the public sphere.
Polish Institute in New Delhi is supporting the project as the year 2015 is the 70th Anniversary of the end of the II World War (1939-1945) in which Poland suffered invaluable losses.
About the artist:
Monika Weiss is a Polish artist whose transdisciplinary work explores relationships between history and postmemory. Her current work evokes ancient rituals of lamentation and focuses on public memory and amnesia as reflected within the physical and political space of a City. Originally trained as a classical musician the artist frequently employs her body as a vehicle of expression and invites others to inhabit her films and installations. In 2005, Lehman College Art Gallery, City University of New York organized the artist’s first retrospective Five Rivers, which was reviewed in The New York Times. Her most recent solo exhibitions include Sustenazo at CSW Zamek Ujazdowski, Warsaw, Poland (2010), which in 2012-2013 travelled to the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, Santiago, Chile and in 2014 was presented at the Patricia & Philip Frost Art Museum, FIU, Miami. Most recently, her works have been featured in Muzeum Montanelli (Prague), Frauenmuseum (Bonn), Streaming Museum (New York), Kunsthaus Dresden, Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (Miami) and Eyebeam (New York).
An important part of the artist works are public projects which are process-based and site-specific environments. Commissioned by The Drawing Center, New York, her public project Drawing Lethe (2006) took place at the World Financial Center Winter Garden within sight of Ground Zero, where workers were still searching for remains. Passersby lay down and marked their presence onto the enormous canvas covering the floor, which gradually became a drawing-field. In Shrouds-Całuny (2012), Weiss filmed, from an airplane, local women performing silent gestures of lamentation on the abandoned, forgotten site of the former concentration camp Gruenberg in Zielona Góra. The artist has given lectures on her work at institutions around the world and her writings have appeared in numerous publications, including New Realities: Being Syncretic (Springer, Wien/New York) and Technoetic Arts (Intellect, London). In 2007 her work was discussed in the survey publication ‘Drawing Now: Between the Lines of Contemporary Art’ (London: I. B. Tauris). Weiss is currently Associate Professor at Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, Washington University in St. Louis. Born in Warsaw, Poland the artist lives and works in New York City.