Katarzyna Perlak: I Once Had a Lover screening and artist talk

Join us for this screening and talk exploring queer utopias and Eastern European folk history with Polish artist Katarzyna Perlak.

Katarzyna’s work explores queer love, migration and national tradition. She will present her short film Niolam Ja Se Kochaneczke (I Once Had a Lover) and more of her most recent video, performance and collage works that progress the queer Polish tradition. She will also be on hand to answer your questions.

The event accompanies The Calvert Journal‘s special series Being LGBTQ, exploring and celebrating LGBTQ culture, politics and life in the New East that will be released throughout Spring 2018. You can read more about Katarzyna’s work in the project here.

About the film

Niolam Ja Se Kochaneczke (2016, 10 min.) explores potentialities of queer utopias, while examining the relationship between history, “national values” and power structures.

Through the work I revisited Eastern European folk traditions and whilst employing feminist and queer reading I questioned why queer love has never been preserved and celebrated in the folk history. I reclaimed these stories by subverting the narrative of “straight” love songs to represent queer love stories instead.

My aim was to problematize how history is written and tradition is represented, often only to sustain the power structures that claim it “objective”. I intended to encourage the viewer to consider and experience history as a discourse made out of multiple, overlapping and contesting narratives rather than a single, fixed entity.

Niolam Ja Se Kochaneczke relocates queerness both historically and geographically. Queerness In Eastern Europe is often perceived as a contemporary phenomenon that arrived from Western Europe, rather than something that always had its presence.

About the artist

Katarzyna Perlak is a mixed media artist, working with video, performance, sound, and sculptural forms.

Her background is in philosophy, which she studied in Poland, and fine art media, which she has studied in UK (Camberwell College of Arts and Slade School of Fine Art).  She has been living and working in London for the past thirteen years.

Katarzyna’s practice is socially focused. In particular she engages with intersectional narratives concerning women, migrant and queer histories. Currently she explores the potentiality of affect as a tool for registering and archiving current and past historical moments.

About Being LGBTQ

The need to listen to the stories of LGBTQ people in the New East has perhaps never been greater, as recent repressions from Chechnya to Poland make clear. But from art to photography, literature to nightlife, the community is fighting back. The Calvert Journal‘s major new series explores and celebrates LGBTQ life in culture, politics and beyond.

Check out the Being LGBTQ project in The Calvert Journal here.

About The Calvert Journal

The Calvert Journal is Calvert 22 Foundation’s award-winning online magazine dedicated to exploring the culture and creativity of the New East: eastern Europe, the Balkans, Russia and Central Asia.

The Calvert Journal delivers a daily briefing on travel, art, design, film, architecture and fashion through a mix of reportage, interviews, photography and video developed with the help of locally-stationed contributors and a London-based team of journalists. Take a look here.

Booking terms: pay what you wish

For a limited number of our events, attendees can pay what they wish for admission via Eventbrite. The suggested admission fee is £5. Please follow the booking URL to finalise your order.