Salonul de Proiecte has invited several young artists who are active on the international art scene to bring to concretization some ideas they have recently reflected upon. The resulting works address several themes whose common denominator is the exploration of various geographic, social and political spaces. At their intersection lies the identity of art in a globalized world. The stakes of art are being redefined today by its critical engagement with the contemporary condition which is being shaped by a complex interconnection of worlds, temporalities and places. Some of the artistic projects presented in this exhibition are linked to Romania’s geographic positioning and its tense relationships with the neighboring countries, while others address the dilemmas and prospects faced by artists when negotiating their positions, caught in the dynamic interplay between local and international values and concerns.
Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan’s work reflects the current state of their involvement with a subject that condenses a series of obsessions which have been active in the collective consciousness, obsessions which are linked to the history of the Cold War and Romania’s geopolitical position: the artists investigate the historical controversies and the territorial disputes around the Snake Island. The filmed performance presented in the exhibition took place on the shore of the Black Sea and it staged the “symbolic recovery” of the marine area that was reverted to Romania after the 2009 decision adopted by the International Court of Justice in the Hague. This summer the action will be completed through a second phase, when the artists will document their trip on the Snake Island. The performance is part of a complex installation which acts as a conceptual mapping that diversifies the positions and intensifies the contradictions linked to the minuscule territory in the Black Sea. Tudor Bratu conceives an installation which recreates and examines – through a structure representing the spatialized version of a future artist-book – the experience of a six-months artistic residency in China. The installation uses a variety of media: photography, video and text, assembling interviews, essays and text contributions by other artists – building a constellation of themes which are situated at the intersection of art, politics and ethics. Bratu evinces a critical attitude towards the accelerated globalization of contemporary China – a process which triggers enormous economic and social discrepancies, where capitalism walks side by side with the “absence of democracy.” Against this backdrop, a series of autobiographical, cultural and intellectual references are being invoked, forming together – like the pieces of a puzzle – the artist’s fractured identity. Cristina David examines the way in which – in the context of personal experiences – her passion for scientific objectivity is undermined, contradicted or transformed by the intrusion of subjectivity. In this case, Cristina David explores, among other things,
the relationship between mathematical terms and the common language in order to develop an interdisciplinary dialogue with the Norwegian choreographer Brynjar Bandlien, drawing the spectators into a codified interaction with herself.
In his work entitled 2012 Sebastian Moldovan alters the meaning of mass-media messages, amplifying the apocalyptic scenarios and the controversies associated with recent political decisions, and bringing into discussion the “disinformation as a working method.” Through a site-specific installation which uses garbage bags as material, Moldovan comments on the resource administration policies and puts into practice his view of “invasive solutions.” Ghenadie Popescu reflects on the politically charged border relationships between Moldavia, Transnistria and Romania. His performances – which often take place in public spaces – address the precarious condition of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova, drawing the attention to visa application procedures that continue to demand proofs of financial resources for each “ordinary” applicant, proofs which are both humiliating and discriminatory. In many of these works, objects and performances, the artist uses signs of the local cultural identity and material culture that are taken everywhere with him. On this occasion, Ghenadie Popescu has been invited to make two performances, one programed to take place at the opening, and the other presented as a documentation of a public action which took place several days before the opening. Anca Munteanu-Rimnic presents a filmed performance – her medium of choice – in which she uses as pretext an episode from her biography in order to stress (in a pathetic and self-ironic manner) the lack of options and the restrictive situations faced by those who want to settle permanently in another countries, countries which impose various legislative barriers for foreign citizens. Cristian Rusu proposes a critical re-visitation the ideology, history and esthetics of the public space, commenting on the issue of public monuments. His work consists of a model which deconstructs the academic, „pre-modern” and anachronic genre of the equestrian statue – a type of monument that continues to be promoted even today by conservative cultural policies seeking to project triumphalist versions of historical narratives. Rusu is also the author of a site-specific intervention, The Ghost Geometry 2, which aims to optically destabilize the architectural parameters of the space and to (re)stabilize a sensible order through which the geometry and the energy of the immediate space are being discovered.
These works discuss the possibilities and at the same time the limits of the global communication, pointing at common concerns and exchanges of information that defy spatial and geographical boundaries, attempting to formulate, tentatively, questions and problems which resonate with us all.