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Photo © Artūrs Pavlovs

Rohtko by Łukasz Twarkowski: the glossary

In 2004, a painting by Mark Rothko sold for more than eight million dollars. Seven years later, the work was identified as a forgery, a Rohtko painted by a maths teacher in his garage. A true story on which Łukasz Twarkowski has based a monumental play on the value of art.


Read the glossary dedicated to the show Rohtko, directed by Łukasz Twarkowski on stage at Teatro Strehler from 16 to 18 May 2024 during the Festival Presente indicativo | Milano Porta Europa

NFT – non-fungible token 
An NFT – non-fungible token is designed to prove ownership of the immaterial things that exist in virtual reality. When two things have the same function, they are fungible, like for example, money. Two different Euro coins are fungible. Nonfungibility means that you cannot exchange one thing with another, making that one thing unique. 
Through the unique NFTs the digital artists (previously only celegìbrated with likes) can sign and sell their works (memes, gifs, tweets, and any kind of digital works that can still be copied by anyone). They retain the copyright and reproduction rights. To put it in physical art collecting terms: anyone can buy a Rothko print, but only one person can own the original. 

A blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system. A blockchain is essentially a digital ledger of transactions that is duplicated and distributed across the entire network of computer systems. It is cryptographically secure and decentralized. A blockchain is transparent on the data-flow level, but at the same time allows users to remain anonymous. Blockchain technology has enabled a proven method of operating a digital currency (cryptocurrency) that is independent of central banks and financial institutions.

Provenance is a record of ownership of a work of art that traces the history of its ownership, helping to verify its authenticity and value. In the NFTs field provenance appears as a blockchain – it provides for the tracking and tracing of digital items, their authenticity and source. 

Radical care
Radical care is an intentional process of creating relationships between humans and non-humans or artificial intelligence that increases compassion, encourages the sharing of social capital (and any other capital) and raises the level of intersectional awareness. It seeks to empathically demonstrate experiences, needs, and desires in order to build a community based on mutual caring. It aims to raise awareness of the interdependence of each and every one, it aims to care about entities other than ourselves.

Daugavpils is a state city in south-eastern Latvia, located on the banks of the Daugava River, from which the city takes its name. It is the second-largest city in the country after the capital Riga. Daugavpils is the birth city of the artist Mark Rothko and houses the Mark Rothko Art Centre. Born in Daugavpils in 1903 Mark Rothko immigrated to the United States at the age of ten.

Shanzhai literally means “fake”. It’s a Chinese neologism initially used to describe forgeries of branded products. However, shanzhai adapt very fast to new conditions and exploit their potential to improve. These products are inspired by the original, to then depart from it, and to mutate into a new original of its own. Shanzhai undermine the power of the original, its authority and expertise. They deconstruct creation as an act of making things ex nihilo and embrace a playful, anarchic energy.