destiny: either the strangling of the Seneschal Cantacuzino or the assassination of the Brâncoveanu family – the latter depicted through the printing on fabric of a frieze-like painting made by Ion Grigorescu in the 1970s, a print “enclosed” in the same oriental decorative pattern which can be found at the edge of other images from this installation. The image which gives the title of the installation – The Diplomatic Tent
– shows a group of politicians meeting inside a tent, one of them being the prime minister of Iraq, Nouri al-Maliki. The artist inserts himself in the middle of this group by choosing to re-contextualize a still from his film Ame
(1979), a still which shows him performing his own circumcision. Beyond signifying the idea of a “ritual solidarity”, this composite image stands as a representation of the “relation between the artists and the politicians” – underlying the fact that the artist is tolerated even when he carries out radical actions, but – ultimately – he is divested of any kind of power. The message gains an unprecedented resonance in the globalized context of the art world, when a number of artists from Asia (and other parts of the world) are being instrumentalized in order to illustrate the adoption of more relaxed cultural policies, but who, in reality, are confronted with numerous interdictions and with censorship.
The confrontation with attitudes, regulations and modes of action which impose normative directions – both at the level of the society and the subsystem of the art world – represents the area of interest of Chișa & Tkáčová. Their practice involves a critical attitude towards gender based discriminations, questioning the dynamics of power relations and the way in which feminine roles are being shaped in different moments in history, reverting existent expectations and preset scenarios. Chișa & Tkáčová are also concerned with the socialist heritage, the disintegration of the state’s authority in post-communist countries and the transformations produced by the neo-liberal dominance following the political changes in these territories – a dominance that was also responsible for precipitating the current economic crisis. The video I Didn’t Say Look I Said Listen
(2011) captures an action of protest from Occupy Wall Street. The background sound is composed by the message spelled out in the title and voiced by the artists in Esperanto. This simple intervention reveals the failure of the protest movements and of any attempts made in the present to revivify the utopia of the collective action for the common good. The artists also analyze the way in which a message is being displaced/altered through its transfer from one communication (language) system into another, examining what is getting lost and what is being conserved – if at all – in this process. In a similar way, the Morse code is transposed into the sexual “interaction” between a man and a woman in the film A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
The work After the Order
– a project especially conceived for this exhibition – represents the last episode from a cycle of works/interventions/performances bearing the same name, which are variations on the theme of the human pyramid. The image of the capitalist system, inspired from an illustration found in a communist magazine from 1911, is replicated here as a gigantic cake decorated with figurines, which was consumed by the public during the opening.
Sponsor: Grup Transilvae
Thanks to: Angi Apostol, Sandra Demetrescu, Viorica Dinu, Monica Drăguț, Ioana Mandeal, Otilia Mihalcea, Veronica Negrilă, Alin Popescu, Vlad Telibașa, Bogdan Vasilescu