In the performance Milk Tooth, Nicholas Grafia and Mikołaj Sobczak re-contextualize events and personal narratives that have been erased from official historiographies. Alluding to gothic fiction and referring to cross-culturally established mythologies, among other elements, they make use of narrative vehicles that navigate through past and present history of countercultural events as well as tales of marginalized subjects. The characters mediated through the performers refer to (psychological) colonizing mechanisms and global folklore as well as othering processes that lead to the creation of “strangers” and “deviants”. It is in this juxtaposition, that they, moreover, visualize forms of resistance and contemplate methods that are essential in the fight against various oppressive political systems and structures.
2020, Photo documentation of performance
The work was presented at Ecology of Attention #2: Ignition Cycle.
Nicholas Grafia holds an MFA from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. He has previously studied at the Kunstakademie Münster and the School of Arts and Cultures in Newcastle (UK) as well as British, American and Postcolonial Studies at the University of Münster (DE). His paintings, videos, and performances, frequently made in collaboration with Polish artist Mikołaj Sobczak, negotiate processes of memory formation, as well as the in- and exclusion of subjects from history writing.
Mikołaj Sobczak graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts Warsaw in the Studio of Spatial Activities, followed by a scholarship at Universität der Künste Berlin, and studied as well at Kunstakademie Münster. He works with video, paintings, and ceramics, often also incorporating aspects of performance as well. He frequently collaborates with German artist Nicholas Grafia. His most recent exhibitions include shows at MoMA (Warsaw), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), and Capitain Petzel Gallery (Berlin). In his work, Sobczak is focused on political issues and policies of historiography/history writing. Emphasizing the perspective and life of marginalized subjects, he builds narratives around it, and tracks down the reasons for current global and social issues.