ERIAC exhibition: Woman to Woman. Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and Eugen Raportoru.

5 December – 28 February 2023

On view in the ERIAC gallery:

Location: Reinhardtstraße 41-43, 10117 Berlin

Opening hours: Monday to Friday 10-17h


OPENING EVENT: 9 DEcember 2022 12:00

Location: Reinhardtstraße 41-43, 10117 Berlin


This is the recognition we bring to each other, of pleasure, of satisfaction, of beauty, of possibility, through a taking back of the seraglio, resisting abduction, making feminist, femme, Romani/Romni home through satisfaction, pleasure, knowledge; through camp and encampment; through storytelling and rituals; through magic; through intergenerational transmission of knowledge, intimate and embodied(Ethel Brooks, ‘Overlapping Seraglios,’ 2022)

The exhibition, which showcases the works of Małgorzata Mirga-Tas and Eugen Raportoru, brings contemporary Romani womanhood and all its nuances to the fore. As it references historical and current narratives to define Romani femininity, it focuses on the resilient acts that mark Romani women’s everyday existence rather than on the exoticizing and racializing practice of representing Roma women in mainstream art and culture as courtesans, witches, or fortune-tellers. Instead, the exhibition concept, inspired by a text of Ethel Brooks, a leading feminist Romani scholar, points to subversive alternatives of reclaiming these stereotypical depictions of Romnia. Brooks postulates a practice of radical recognition ‘as a way to understand our place in the world as Romani women, as a mode of seeing, really seeing, each other, Romnia, in the midst and through the mist of fraught legacies of racism, colonialism, and patriarchy ….’

With Brooks’ narrative as a touchstone, the exhibition explores an ontology of Romani women, centering on radical agency and self-determination while daring to present a femininity defined by strength, solidity, and power. The artworks on view redefine femininity in a way that revolves around the actual experiences of Romani women, with the exhibition testifying to the value and power of a collective female force.

The show channels the anonymous reproductive labor of Romani women through a poetic body of paintings, lithographs, and tapestries that concern themselves with race, beauty, community, and care. It highlights the cultivation of family, friendship, and community as the survival tactics and self-determinant actions of Romani women. Both artists stage narratives of community and tenderness that connect Roma women: the everyday scenes of Mirga-Tas’s tapestries depict life in her native Czarna Góra. At the same time, Raportoru’s affectionate representations of motherhood are juxtaposed with a series of lithographs that allude to the Roma tradition of fortune-telling and card-reading. The exhibition shows us that Roma femininity manifests itself in manifold ways, being at once transitory and infinite.

Curator: Katarzyna Pabijanek

Producer: Andrea Petrus