As the second episode subsequent to the open call launched by the Salonul de proiecte in July 2011, the From the Backstage exhibition brings together artists who have created works – here shown for the first time and produced especially for this occasion – based in the majority of cases on a lengthy process of research and labour. The works are strongly reactive approaches to various social, political and cultural particularities of the local context.
According to some current views, contemporary art has its own role, makes its own “cut-outs” in the mechanisms of the production of knowledge and our understanding of reality. Enjoying the advantage of autonomy, of immediate non-regimentation within the usual channels for the validation of material and symbolic products, contemporary art makes connections between domains that otherwise would never encounter each other within the horizon of multidisciplinarity. At the same time, it reveals hidden impulses and apparently neutral conditionalities within the very way knowledge itself is constructed, by activating unsuspected resources of critical thought. Combining theoretical reflection with historical investigation, bringing into the equation performative practices or ways of visualisation specific to mass culture, the different artistic positions of this exhibition reflect a diversity of methods, multiple conceptual sources, exhibit constructs of fractured identity and “cultural antagonisms”, all of which are features of contemporary art as it is understood today at the global level.
One of the defining features of the present exhibition is the participants’ urgent need to emerge from the white cube, from the aseptic space of art, and to make contact with zones of the public space, here understood not (only) in the sense of the urban space, but (also) as a space incorporating a multiplicity of discourses that traverse the public space, discourses that are hat are all too rare in mass-media representations and the collective perception, but which play a determining role in the way in which the social space is currently configured. The search for efficient ways to disseminate messages, as well as the aim to connect with the public via the familiar co-ordinates of mass culture or the educational context, results in the adoption of mass-media formats (such as the newspaper or radio), the construction of a cinema in the exhibition space, or the performance of a theatrical play within a setting transformed into a classroom. What is communicated is a constellation of issues that define the condition of the present, moving forward in multitude of directions: from social marginality and “radical difference” to bio-politics, the politics of birth rates and reproductive technologies; from feminism and political protest to interrogation of the dominant institutions in the society and the mysterious paradoxes of recent history.
The exhibition is accompanied by a guide that presents the projects on display.
Special thanks to Cristina Armeanu and Abis Studio.