Salonul de proiecte is pleased to invite you to an exhibition that brings together artists Banu Cennetoğlu and Napoleon Tiron. What is at stake in the exhibition is artistic research whose subject is a type of human practice that is quasi-ubiquitous, relatively frequent, but very little researched and analysed in the sphere of contemporary art. Accepting Salonul de proiecte’s invitation to create a new work for the occasion, Banu Cennetoğlu chose to travel throughout Romania collecting a “spirits library” – various types of home-distilled spirit made from different kinds of fruit – a library that will grow as the mapmaking and collection of samples extends to other geographical areas and regions. Home-distilled liquor, which in other economic contexts is limited by strict regulations, being regarded as primarily a clandestine activity, is produced on a large scale in Romania and is distributed mainly outside the official economic circuit. A phenomenon hard to control and almost impossible to prevent, revealing an incredible variety of names and methods of manufacture even within small geographical areas, home-distilled liquor is globally widespread. Banu Cennetoğlu’s cumulative project finds its first materialisation in the archive she set out to create during her journey around Romania. She intends to continue this endeavor, which is more than mere mapmaking or collection: it opens up an endlessly thought-provoking field for reflection on economic and social divisions, the contradictions inherent in the process of modernisation in urban and rural spaces, inter-human relations within communities, etc. The process of “sampling” and classifying items/products/situations not usually included within rigorous indexing systems is a peculiarity of Banu Cennetoğlu’s practice. She signals and indicates new possibilities for identification, collection and distribution of these items, which are as real as they are ineffable, precisely because
they elude current attention, and thereby she points to new modes of constructing knowledge and perceiving reality.
The discussion scheduled prior to the opening, between Banu Cennetoğlu, Marian Dumitru (who accompanied Cennetoğlu on her journey) and Napoleon Tiron, will provide additional explanations about how the project will unfold, focussing on the contextual elements that individualise the production of țuică (plum brandy) and its multiple derivatives throughout Romania. The archive that has been accumulated according to subjective criteria by Banu Cennetoğlu – who during her travels was guided by various cultural landmarks, which conditioned her route, but who at the same time left room for a degree of chance when it came to completing her task – is completed by an on-the-spot demonstration of the double distillation process which will be performed by Napoleon Tiron
. Thus, within the exhibition space, the public will have the opportunity to taste a product specially created for the occasion and, above all, to take a closer look at this “magical” transformation – from fruit to “spirit” and then to the liquid that enters the human body – a transformation that is achieved via the “art of distillation”, to use the words of John French in a celebrated seventeenth-century treatise on the subject. Not only the distillation itself is meant to capture the attention in this context but also the way in which it will be performed – the artisanal installation employed in the process, built and put to use by Tiron himself – and how this type of practice resonates with his personality and mode of conceiving the artistic act.
Special thanks: Marian Dumitru, Katja Eliad, Maria Farcaș, Ioan Radu, Ștefan Tiron