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Alicja Rogalska

How would you describe your artistic practice and your experience as an artist in Berlin?

My art practice is concerned with social and political issues, such as work, class, gender and migration. I often work in a situated way and with others, through collaboration and participation, or forming temporary collectives around shared interests and political desires. I primarily work in video, performance and installation.

I moved to Berlin fairly recently, I came initially for a year, for the DAAD artists-in-Berlin fellowship and ended up staying. I arrived at the very end of 2020 in the midst of a lockdown, and a few months later I gave birth to my son so it feels like I’m only now starting to engage with the art world here, although I’ve already managed to find a few amazing collaborators. I’ve been visiting Berlin for many years though, and I have many friends and favourite places here. Stories From The Edge, my exhibition at Scherben for the Berlin Art Prize, is my first solo show in Berlin.

In what ways does your studio / place of work influence the way you work? 

I don’t have a studio right now and I haven’t had one for most of my time working as an artist: partly because of my nomadic life, and partly because it was just far too expensive in London, where I lived for almost 12 years. I mostly work conceptually and in local contexts anyway, with what’s already there - ideas, narratives, bodies, images, videos and temporary objects/structures that are mostly made from second hand materials or substances that can be reused or recycled afterwards. My process is very similar to folk art - also in terms of conceptual patterns and repetitions.

What does it mean for you to exhibit at Scherben and how do you relate to it as an exhibition space?

Scherben is a really amazing project space with huge windows oriented towards the street, located in an iconic GDR-architecture complex on Leipziger Straße, a few streets away from Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin Wall. I grew up behind the Iron Curtain and spent most of my adult life living in the West so it’s an interesting location for me personally. It’s been a real privilege and pleasure working with Lorenz and Tarik, the artists who run Scherben and Leonie from the Berlin Art Prize. They have been very supportive and generous in so many ways. I’m really thankful for the opportunity and excited to see the other exhibitions of the Berlin Art Prize.

Photo Credits: Alicja Rogalska, courtesy the artist.

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