Lia Perjovschi

The Knowledge Museum (kit)

The clear starting point of Lia Perjovschi’s work is herself: in her body, her living circumstances and her views of the world. While still at art school in Bucharest, she staged what she called experiments or events—performances—in the Art Academy and her apartment, before the fall of the Ceaușescu regime, and would soon after use her studio as the site for the Contemporary Art Archive and the Center for Art Analysis—CAA/CAA. Since then, the material has expanded and is available in her studio in Sibiu. A gesture of self-institutionalization, the two institutes have become centers for the documentation of, and consultation on, art by the self-proclaimed “art detective,” who often draws on museum gift shops for her material. Using assemblage, she copies and pastes, creating not only a physical archive including, but not limited to, books, catalogues, videos and images to be consulted by others, but also timelines and mind maps to organize the data. With a stark black and white quality, those graphic representations reflect an individual finding herself in the maelstrom of historical and contemporary events.

For the Art Encounters Biennial 2019, Perjovschi is presenting the Knowledge Museum, which she founded in 1999, as a platform to systematize and share her research and findings, as well as to integrate materials from the CAA/CAA. The highly personal historiography of this museum is based on seven sections: Earth, Body, Art, Culture, Knowledge, Science, and Universe. They express her continuous yearning for learning and strong belief in education across various fields of knowledge. The Museum’s subjective and subversive spirit can be experienced in the attic in the offices of the Art Encounters Foundation, where everyday objects, found or bought, globes or umbrellas, collected souvenirs from other museums, online quotes and images, personal diagrams come together as a do-it-yourself kit to understand the present day and navigate information overload.

Lia Perjovschi lives in Bucharest and Sibiu. She is the founder and coordinator of CAA/CAA (Contemporary Art Archive/Center for Art Analysis), an informal institution functioning under different names since 1985, and of KM (Knowledge Museum), an interdisciplinary and educational project based on the research started by the artist in 1999 and continuing until today. The journey of her artistic practice from her body (the performances of the 1980s–90s) to the body of knowledge (CAA/CAA, KM) opens up a personal storyboard—a space of post production and dialogue, of rethinking, recycling information and structuring ideas presented in over 700 exhibitions, conferences and lectures held in museums, galleries, universities and non-profit spaces all around the world.