NO MAN’S LAND – Highlights | NAG#10
Part of the anniversary edition of the White Night of the Art Galleries – NAG, held on September 30th, 2016, Ephemair Association produced the project ‘NO MAN’S LAND/ Ten curatorial discourses on Romanian contemporary art’ bringing together ten exhibitions, proposed by twelve curators, each built around a different concept and representing the artistic profile of each NAG#10 participating city – Arad, Baia Mare, Brașov, Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, Iași, Sibiu, Târgu Mureș and Timișoara. This presence of different contemporary art perspectives in the same territory – Scena9 Residence in Bucharest (32 Ion Luca Caragiale Street) – generates both conflict and harmony. One room is left empty as a transition area between the exhibition spaces, a no man’s land itself. The exhibitions are on view through October 30th, 2016, Wed-Fri, 4-9 pm, Sat-Sun, 12-9 pm.
TÂRGU MUREŞ – Couleur Locale 3
Curated by Bartha József and Laura Borotea, the group show features artists from Cluj, Sfântu Gheorghe and Târgu Mureş and highlights the Transylvanian local flavor. Although initially social and political issues seem at stake – “the cultural divide”, “the forced cohabitation of Romanian and Hungarian ethnics”, or the “inventory of historic power shifts”, a closer look may reveal an ironical approach to these tensions.
Nothing is what it appears to be. Politics is simply a ridiculous gathering of individuals fighting each other in loop, a spectacle people are zapping through between votes. The revolution will not be televised but is rather a play pretend, fashionable, with its coolness capitalized in the stock photo market. The rainbow is colorless, dark, perhaps marking a dead end or a loss, emptiness and hopelessness. And finally, all is based on chance, as the work of Adorjáni Márta may suggest.
Kispál Attila, Wanek Ferenc – Untitled, loop, 2013
Monotremu – ‘Stock Revolutions’, 60x80x10 cm (lightbox), 2015
Adorjáni Márta – ‘Gyrograph’, installation, wood, graphite, paper, 2015 (detail)
Cristi Pogăcean – ‘Rainbow’, 200×110 cm, material fabric, 2016
IAŞI – NON-FICTIONS
The work of Dan Acostioaei stands out in the space of Scena9 Residence. Transformed into a chapel with golden floor, the exhibition room is dedicated to the prayers addressed to the contemporary art world in a simulation of the liturgical moment, audio and written. The installation “proposes a reflection on the potentiality of art to transform reality starting from its actual condition of commodity, symbolic good and fetishized value. Exploiting the idea of the re-enchantment of art in response to the de-sacralisation of everyday life, supported by the long cultural history in which art has played a magic (and thus, ideological) part in the world’s symbolic economy, Dan Acostioaei uses fragments of artistic and religious language in order to construct dysfunctional and highly aestheticized communicational processes, which ironically simulate a liturgical function while generating institutional critique.”
In the Iaşi show curated by Cătălin Gheorghe and Cristian Nae, the discursive painting of artists Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu, surrounded by “4 flags of the future” is a critical approach to the current social and economic reality. “In response to the capitalist monopoly over space (through globalization) and time (through programming), and in response to the economic tendencies to inhibit the politics of subjectivity emancipation, artistic protest may serve to intensify forms of resistance.”
Dan Acostioaei – ‘First as a farce, then as a tragedy’, installation – artist book, wall text, golden sticker, sound, object, 2016
Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu – ‘Operating the Future’, oil on canvas, 200×220 cm, 2016
BUCHAREST – Our history about the others. A city seen through four lenses
Some of the most challenging works in the exhibition curated by Simona Vilău are the installations of Aurora Király. The disasters of today, the horror of war and dictatorship, the mixture of reality and propaganda, the victims of political decisions and social injustices, the distorted media messages invading our homes, the refugee crisis, all these issues concern the artist, who reminds the viewer of the importance of empathy, kindness and freedom, of being together, supporting and listening to each other.
Aurora Király – ‘News Convertor’, installation, 2016
Aurora Király – ‘Drifting’, installation, 2016
ARAD – The Arad Renaissance
Curator Călin Dan presents what he defines as the revival of the Arad art scene, “proving once again that there is no old or new in the processes of visual art. There is only commitment, intelligence, talent and sacrifice for the greater value of cultural production.” Not to miss is the almost chair of Sorin Neamţu, who has created and performed in an incomplete and dysfunctional chair, the chair you can never sit in, hanged on the wall as a painting and reminder of its improbability.
Sorin Neamţu – ‘Almost Chair’, dyptic, steel, 80x40x40 cm, 2012 / ‘Retopit’ (Action with Almost Chair), dyptic, lambda print, 65×50 cm, 3+2APedition, 2012
FOCUS BAIA MARE – 120 Years of Art
The show, curated by Cosmin Năsui, consists in an overview of the art works that are illustrative for the Baia Mare School of Arts and follows the chronological stages of artistic evolution in the various social and political contexts: 1896-1947, 1948-1989, post-1990. The exhibition also features several drawings and sculptures by Bogdan Raţa (interviewed).
120 Years of Art in Baia Mare / Front work: Bogdan Raţa – ‘The Pressure’, fibre, river stone, 66x42x27 cm, 2015
Drawing by Bogdan Raţa
CRAIOVA – Mihail Trifan
Curator Adrian Bojenoiu brings to our attention the work of an artist less known to the international art scene. Mihail Trifan combines different media to build an image that is emotional, unexpected and unique: “With an intentionally vague research and thematic target, Mihail Trifan’s works seem laden with visual information, overflowing at times and giving one a feeling of chaos or even of self-destruction; they generate a visual discourse combining forms and signs from the field of fine arts with the output of signs and images that the everyday visual generates.”
Mihail Trifan – ‘Haina artistului’, mixed media, collage, plastic, paper, rubber, 2012
Work by Mihail Trifan
TIMIŞOARA – Hidden Agenda
Hidden Agenda is a chance to intersect with the vision of Cosmin Haiaş as curator (also view his recent exhibition in Bucharest) and his 2016 sound installation ‘Organic Stardust’. A project of the Avantpost group “whose title has asserted itself as abruptly and unexpectedly as the unhappy event that has lead us to choose it, that is the unpredictable and tragic disappearance of our friend Sorin Oncu” and one of the most interactive and thought-provoking shows in the NO MAN’S LAND project, the exhibition “proposes a series of works built as a memory container but also as a conflicting zone, a place forcing the deconstruction of the emotional processes, a space of the interrogatory discourse and, at the same time, a lay-out of the natural cycle of normality.”
Liliana Mercioiu Popa – ‘Combinatorică extremală’, text, drawing, black foil, 2016
Maria Orosan – Telea – ‘Vechea agendă ascunsă’, object, 2002 personal agenda, text, 2016
BRAŞOV – Pawnage (To Ditch)
Alina Andrei and George Roşu present the two sides of the war, “with their borders and their barricades, no matter how flexible or thin, always noticeable, with the two types of pawns: the ones that are directly involved – who have guns, and trenches and orders to give and to fulfill, but who are not invincible, and the ones indirectly involved – the majority, but who are never the victors but sure casualties, who run, and hide, and lose.” There is a playful and ironic representation of tragedy, with soldier toys of both parties defeated as mosquitoes and tiny red flags marking an ambiguous territory of simulated battle, reproach and regret.
There is also an exhibition dedicated to Cluj – Cristian Rusu’s Dark Cabinet curated by Horea Avram – and one focused on Sibiu – NO STRU LAND featuring works by Casandra Vidrighin and Dan-Raul Pintea.
Videos and photos by The re:art. View previous editions of NAG.