Cosmin Haiaș – Tools for a better future @ Aiurart

During the Gallery Weekend, we visited the solo show ‘Tools for a better future’ by Timișoara based artist Cosmin Haiaș, on view through May 28th, 2016, at Aiurart Contemporary Art Space (21 Lirei, Bucharest). The exhibition reflects the social and political issues derived from recent and current events, with references to both national and global conflicts and happenings, presented through the critical lens of an attentive and incisive observer of the human behavior and the power and quite similar influence of different, sometimes opposite, regimes on altering the collective perception of reality through their unveracious filters of communication and false opportunities of change for the better.

In a world lacking stability and failing to prosper in favour of the people, faith, emotion, hope are futile, while insecurity and anxiety become permanent. What is there to believe in today? No official discourse intends to offer a solution, but to further mask and perpetuate the flaws of a deceiving mirage of – never to be fulfilled – possibilities, fueling a convenient obedience of the masses and a continuous state of waiting for something greater in an intangible projection of the future.

This “news feed alert”, as curator Olivia Nițiș describes the show, replicates the macro-tensions forming inside the system to reveal them to the audience without the camouflage in visual metaphors that highlight the contradictions between the nicely fabricated stories and the real struggles of living then and now.

Discussing the works on display at Aiurart, Olivia Nițiș explains: “The post-socialist discourse breaks through where the artist feels the need to engage ironically by permanent cuts from the uninterrupted fluency of socio-political life keeping a post-modern direction, a neo-pop faithful to the contemporary aesthetics of social networks, gifs, gadgets and meme sites. His works often incorporate plinths designed as a nomadic sculptural body. The technological object relies on visual dynamics and the fast rhythm of the infinite posts on virtual walls. Propagandistic speech always promises a better future… at the expense of the present time.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘I see nothing…’, waterjet cut polycarbonate sheets, neon, video, 40x30x20 cm, 2016

“About a world that is extraneous to the mother’s womb, a world which, most of the times, cripples in time the normality, distorting the natural and guilefully glissading the humanness towards the inhuman. What does not show at first sight grows to overwhelm us, to the point of aggression.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘Contemporary Houses’, waterjet cut catalog, laser cut plexiglass, bills and coins, stainless steel frame, 162x52x42 cm, 2013

“The Nation’s Redemption Cathedral and the imminence of its erection mirrors a conflict between the Romanian society’s modernization process against the backdrop of economic scarcity and the ideology of motivation. Traditional values are included among the mechanisms of instrumentalizing the political discourse, camouflaging institutional corruption and conjuring the democratic pluralism.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘From Russia, with Love II’, object, stainless steel, 140x40x35 cm, 2016

“Appropriating the title of the famous James Bond film based on Ian Fleming’s novel from 1957 points at the Cold War tensions between East and West, currently complicated even farther by the tensions in the Middle East.”

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

‘IN OUT – 27 and counting’, 27 solar panels cockroaches, speakers, motion sensor, glass, stainless steel frame, sound, 59,5x33x141/120x26x44 cm, 2013

“Europe in a fish tank: 27 beetles representing 27 countries (in 2013) in a utopian union, in a none too generous fish tank where peace, happiness, multiculturalism and neighborliness are seen rather as mere social experiments often doomed to fail. The ideal values listed are enforced through a behavior and an attitude that are discordant with the objectives envisaged, positions of power, egotism and rancour. Happiness and equality are being mimiced in concert, although each country’s own position and, subsequently, its behavior towards the others are dictated by populism and financial interests, and as such the equalizing plan imagined in relation to the relationships between the member countries remains a distant objective. Each of the insects in the fish tank is for the time being at a different level as compared to the others, but in the background they all dance mechanically and ecologically (the beetles’ tremors are generated by the light of a halogen bulb) to Johann Strauss’ Perpetuum Mobile.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘Useless Couple’, cut ready made object, 158x24x25/152x24x25 cm, 2015

“The two spades point to the physical labour vs. intellectual labour perception, to the demarcation between the classes produced by the anti-intellectualism fostered by the authoritarian regimes, rekindled in Romania by the 1990’s mineriads and reactivated by the capital market which favours cheap labour and the obedient consumerist societies.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘The Journey’, waterjet cut polycarbonate sheets, neon, grass, compass, 93,5x100x120 cm, 2016

“About the European journey, about losing one’s bearings and the attrition of an interminable journey symbolized by the non-operating, obsolete, compass, about Europe’s major events, the most significant being its cultural journey and scientific development rendered by the transparent EUR-pallet fitted with neon lights in the colours of the EU flag and, again, about the need for a common path.”

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

‘Kippenberger’s Dream’, waterjet cut polycarbonate sheets, neon, video loop, 230x100x51 cm, 2016

“The rendition and interpretation of a work by German artist Martin Kippenberger (1953-1997), well known for his ironic discourse directed at self-mystification.”

Cosmin Haiaș

‘Peace Agreement – Vanishing Point’, neon, chalk on wall, variable dimension, 2016

“A utopian perspective on the peace treaty, an illustration of the divergence in 2D and 3D plans where the point of convergence is but a mere promise suspended in impossibility. The modernist metaphysics of the endless column capsizes in the criticism of the infinite herringbone pattern.”

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

‘The Convenient Way of Handling the Mess’, waterjet cut, metal disc, 2016

“About the crisis of the refugees who project an idyllic image of an integrating Europe, which proves to be preoccupied by the internal conflict self-generated by the crisis of its own rebirth. Europe offers the migrants only railings which the artist renders by overlapping a series of symbols of prosperity: the spoon, the fork, the knife…”

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

Cosmin Haiaș

‘From Russia, with Love I’, object, stainless steel, 80x80x2 cm, 2015

“Appropriating the title of the famous James Bond film based on Ian Fleming’s novel from 1957 points at the Cold War tensions between East and West, currently complicated even farther by the tensions in the Middle East.”

‘Romantic Ax’, object, metal, 83,5x21x5 cm, 2015

“About tools for a better world.”

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Photos & videos: The re:art

Find out more about Aiurart on their website, Facebook and Twitter.

More info about the artist on his website and on Facebook.

The exhibition was part of the Gallery Weekend in Bucharest, event held on April 23rd and 24th, 2016, financed and produced by Ephemair Association.