NAG Retrospect / Introspect
The White Night of the Art Galleries – NAG celebrated its 10th anniversary on September 30th, 2016. Part of NAG#10, a retrospective group show was organized by Ephemair Assciation and ARCUB covering the event’s first nine years and featuring both artworks presented in previous NAG editions and new works by 32 contemporary artists.
“The purpose is the identification and the circumscription of certain symptomatic themes and motifs related to the flux of image and memory activated by the exhibitions and contemporary artworks seen throughout time. An active-interactive memory, discontinuously and spontaneously registered in a juxtaposed manner, a Warburgian mnemosyne of recent history. In this spatial-temporal assemblage, there are highlighted different roles of the addiction to intensive consumption of contemporary art through exhibitions as game and interaction for individuation, self/knowledge and self/acknowledgement. (…) The present space and time are neutralized, abstracted, deterritorialized, and the domains that are left to be spotted are memory and fiction, past and future. Currently, the NAG mnemosyne manifests itself as a series of uncorrelated, spontaneous visual experiences which gain meaning and coherence through the subjective interaction of the visitor.” (Text by Alex Radu & Silviu Pădurariu. English translation: Ioana Șerban)
The show reveals the diversity of NAG’s history of exhibitions, as well as the variety and complexity of the means of artistic expression of Romanian artists. There is, for instance, Patricia Teodorescu’s video showing the Palace of the Parliament as a shipwreck apparently unnoticed by people who seem to enjoy their vacation at the seaside. Although lacking a clear temporal frame, the symbol of the giant construction unmoved by the force of water holds the memory of an oppressive past under dictatorship, a permanent scar in the evolution of a yet to be built future.
Roman Tolici imagines Jesus as a bunny, challenging the image of the son of God and our perception in relation to religious iconography. The fragile Jesus is caught inside a sphere wearing the crown of thorns, unable to save himself or others.
Darkness and light coexist in Lea Rasovszky’s new object piece marked by a sense of uncertainty in the process of self-discovery, which is achievable through a kind of mystic meditation linking to an ancestral state of being, to unknown origins and perhaps to the promise of eternal peace – if there is such a thing as forever, wonders the artist and explains the journey proposed in the work: “Once taken through accommodation and intropathy, finding one’s self culminates in a wild and superb display of florescence.”
Mihail Coșulețu envisions the social system as a machine failing to serve the interests of the citizens. Corrections may be applied to it, but the hidden agenda, the ignorance and deliberately inefficient way of work prevent any improvements from happening. “The care for other’s welfare is, still, a crucial, omnipresent element which is utterly consistent for the subsets of the machine, either when it generates nationalist fanaticism, or economical fanaticism with its own patriots and useful idiots. The machine doesn’t have an axiological drive, a soul or a free-will, the selection criteria of the victims are mere features of the system. At a distance, the gearshift seems functional, the wheels are rolling, the pinions interlock, the lines course, the chaining makes sense, but the straw foundation signals the delusion of stability. Welcome to the machine!”
Michele Bressan’s Madonna rising from melted candles raises questions regarding the nature and outcome of enthusiastically but mindlessly applied faith while also capturing the absurdity of human behavior.
Either shown together as instances of then and now in the work of the same artist or individually in the gallery space to explore and generate new possible dialogues, the artworks on display at ARCUB offer the opportunity of an immersive and thought-provoking experience of Romanian art in the ten years of NAG.
In addition to the retrospective show at ARCUB, the Introspect exhibition at Aiurart is a continuation of the Aiurart study/exhibition in the alter-space from Timișoara (Inner object in outer spaces/ Inner spaces in outer objects, October 2015). Works by several artists presented in the NAG Retrospect exhibition are on view here, part of the Memory Leaks concept proposed by Aiurart in partnership with Unrest/Bucharest and with Ephemair Association (for NAG Retrospect: Memory Leaks exhibition at ARCUB) and MARe – The Museum of Recent Art (for Memory Leaks: Aiurart NAG Introspect exhibition), with a benchmark in the exploration of some subjective histories in exhibitions #NAG and inspired by dialogues with artists, curators and architects that collaborate with Aiurart, #… Justin Baroncea, Suzana Dan, Mihaela Kavdanska, Erwin Kessler, Olivia Nițiș, Adriana Oprea, Silviu Pădurariu and Patricia Teodorescu.
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NAG Retrospect: Memory Leaks | Highlights
ARCUB – Gabroveni Inn, 84-90 Lipscani Street
September 30th – October 30th, 2016
Monday to Sunday, 2 pm-10 pm
Guided tours of the exhibition and open talk between the curators (Alex Radu, Aiurart Contemporary Art Space & Silviu Pădurariu, Unrest/Bucharest) and visitors about the contemporary art discourse and production in Bucharest on October 18th and 27th, 2016, 6 pm.
Lea Rasovszky – ‘Dark Head/ Luminous Head’, 2016
Roman Tolici – ‘Jesus’ (detail), from the exhibition Milk. Honey. Blood, 2014
‘Spaces Alive’, 2016, a performative video installation by Mihaela Kavdanska & Dilmana Yordanova. Sound space: Mirian Kolev. Interaction design: Cristian Iordache. Performers: Mariana Gavriciuc, Maria Beatrice, Lia Marin, Daniela Sima.
Patricia Teodorescu – ‘Next time – Tangaj III’, 2016
Mihail Coșulețu – ‘Social Mechanism’, 2016
Nicolae Comănescu – ‘Inner Peace’, 2014
Michele Bressan – ‘Madonna’, 2014
Magda Pelmuș – ‘Small step. Falling down’, 2016
Claudiu Cobilanschi – ‘Please excuse us for the discomfort’, 2016
Olivia Mihălțianu – ‘7-OLIVIA’, 2007-2016
The Bureau of Melodramatic Research – ‘Above the Weather’, 2015 / ‘Honey’, 2011
Ștefan Ungureanu – ‘Witnessing open pit mining’, 2010 (detail)
George Anghelescu – ‘The Sweet and Exhausting Continuation of Permanence’, 2011
Adrian Preda – ‘Rie (Redeeming)’, 2014
NAG Introspect: Memory Leaks | Highlights
Aiurart Contemporary Art Space, 21 Lirei Street, Bucharest
Open from September 30th, 2016
Monday to Friday, 2 pm – 6 pm
Roman Tolici – ‘The Gospel According To Santa Claus’, Hypostasis 2, 2006
Lea Rasovszky – ‘Dark Head/ Luminous Head’, 2016
Patricia Teodorescu – ‘Freedom she said’, 2011
Videos and photos by The re:art.