A short piece about multi-media artist Miroslaw Rogala
Freedom to Assemble
“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble…”
“Free from or free to?” This is what Miroslaw Rogala asked me while ruminating about the precise definition of “freedom.” A different shade of meaning arises depending on which preposition the word is paired with. Flee or advance. The concept is particularly poignant to Rogala, as an émigré from Eastern Europe who came to the United States in the nineteen-eighties before the fall of Communism.
“Freedom to assemble,” paraphrases words from the U.S. Bill of Rights, and can have multiple meanings in addition to those intended by the Founding Fathers. It can point to the freedom to create, to build, organize and structure things both real and virtual. It can also mean assembling a diverse cast of collaborators, bearing a variety of skills and talents for a free exchange of ideas.
There is also in Dr. Rogala’s work a freedom of assembly, openness to free association and the mixing of heterogeneous elements. It also suggests the freedom to re-assemble, to chop up, twist, re-configure, invert, turn inside-out, re-contextualize and otherwise alter and even augment our perception of the complicated structure of images and words that comprises our culture.
June 16, 2015