Artwork of the month November

Lia Perjovschi, Knowledge Museum, 1999–2007

Lia Perjovschi

* 1961 in Sibiu, Romania

Knowledge Museum, 1999–2007

Indian ink on paper, 3 sheets

21 x 29.7 cm each


For more than thirty years Lia Perjovschi has been collecting, archiving, structuring and imparting knowledge from culture, society, politics and art. It is also in this context that she developed the concept of a Museum of Knowledge based on an interdisciplinary research project in progress since the late 1990s. The three DIN-A4-sized ink drawings in the Kunstmuseum collection depict Perjovschi's hand-written notes expressing structural ideas for this museum project in a simplified, demonstrative way. Similar to a mind map or a network—non-linear and non-hierarchical—the artist arranges her notes in the form of the points of a star, divergent but nevertheless referring to each other. She divides her museum into seven departments: Earth, Body, Art, Culture, Knowledge, Science and Universe.

Based on many years of archival work, that grew into an encyclopaedic source of topics and narratives that the artist made available to the public together with her husband (initially in her studio in Bucharest, later in the studio rooms in Sibiu, the city where she was born), the concept of the Knowledge Museum is constituted as a comprehensive, personally chosen aggregate of human knowledge.

Questioning the demands to be met by a museum and the conception for such an institution, however, Perjovschi is not concerned with any claim to universal validity, but instead seeks to establish a platform of "selected" knowledge. The aim is to exchange ideas, to encourage discussion and further analysis.

Following the unavailability of information with which Perjovschi was confronted until 1989 as a result of the communist regime in Romania, today, the artist observes, we are facing "an immense volume of knowledge". For Lia Perjovschi, archiving and selecting knowledge is a significant "process of recycling": an appraisal and reuse of existing material that may lead to as yet unknown possible solutions.

Denise Rigaud

<b>Lia Perjovschi, Knowledge Museum, 1999–2007</b>
Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein highlights a work from the permanent collection each month throughout the year. Works from the collection of the Hilti Art Foundation are also included in this series on a regular basis.