If we are to learn any lesson from the history of the past fifty years of art, it is surely that an art unattached to the social world is free to go anywhere but that it has nowhere to go. Victor Burgin. Scriitura performance-ului. Trust Me.
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If we are to learn any lesson from the history of the past fifty years of art, it is surely that an art unattached to the social world is free to go anywhere but that it has nowhere to go. Victor Burgin. Scriitura performance-ului. Trust Me. II, Paris, Fayard, , p. Gregory Bateson1. Cum la fel de evident este. Ghiu, ; Kafka. Ghiu, ; Mii de platouri. Work in progress! Walter Benjamin, Essais 2, trad.
The constantly changing appearance of his city as well as the lack in the national archives of the country of any recorded visual material documenting these changes from the past 20 years determined the artist to embark on this memory project, which is at the same time an urban diary and a historical and anthropological filmic essay. His project is thus a chronicle of a present rapidly becoming history, with its public as the only — diffuse — keepers of a memory soon to be erased.
Raluca Voinea. He received international acclaim and recognition with his film Shoes for Europe, presented at documenta Se poate. How can one seduce indifference and cultivate an interest for distanced artistic productions and cultural practices, from the point of view of an international economy of cultural management rather than from that of a geographical anthropology?
How can one clarify the evaluation of an artistic context despite the difficulty of clarifying the different terminological uses which are characteristic for a distance?
Thus, based on the argument of similarity, one can talk also about possible resemblances between peripheral contexts, which in fact can be politically isolated and economically underprivileged, whereas from an evaluative perspective they can be symbolically unaligned and non-adequate to the hegemonic culture.
Paradoxically, the two arguments merge into one single distinction, between factual and value separation in specific contexts. This model has its own, analytical, sense in social decisions performed by an institutionalised community, designating the atmosphere of art theory and the knowledge of art history. The artworld can be understood, however, also politically, as a medium for conceiving and living the different discourses in a context delimited by the uneven life conditions.
Neither financial interests nor the hunting for celebrity, neither the economic mechanisms nor the histrionic motivations have seduced or falsified the consciousness of artists and. Dumitru Oboroc The ideological stakes are tough, and what matters in the artistic practice discussed in this text is the critical position and contradiction.
Society could become quantifiable in percentages through the consumption of neo-capitalist values, circulated universally-globally and subtly infiltrated through acts of civic culture.
The few forms of resistance are shaped in intellectual milieus, in artistic communities and in the bare-life of workers exposed to exploitation, reification and alienation. One can see a social and cultural separation even between these forms of resistance. In his essay Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance, Kenneth Frampton suggested that the predilection for universalising the creative interest, on the basis of which life is interpreted, would lead to a subtle destruction of elementary cultural differences, influenced by the constitution of the contextual.
The universal conditionings of artistic production from the technical optimisation of merchantable characteristics to the thematic usefulness of semantic impressions would limit even if this does not imply an injustice the expressions of a local counter-culture which visibility is consequently substantially diminished outside its exposure milieu.
The institutional construction is always threatened by the superficiality of local cultural policies and by the complexity of bureaucratic demonstrations. Nevertheless, a decade ago, the drives for social representation have become strong enough to mobilise artists to create a non-governmental institutional machinery which was able to correctly position itself towards the inertia of the local administrative apparatus.
At this present moment the institution is undergoing a reform process, collaborating in an institutional experiment with the University of Fine Arts and elaborating projects of critical artistic research.
One can speak, indeed, about a structural and rhetoric correspondence with certain verified trends in recent art, from participative artistic practices, socially engaged, to the educational turn, even curatorially engaged.
These tendencies have been adequate responses to the general situation of cultural stagnation in traditionalist thinking and practices. With all these, in fact, one can speak about the modulation, though not about the conflict, of the diversified artworlds.
Things have happened in parallel and there were never reciprocal accusations between those interested in the problematics and values of contemporary art and those who are privileging the historical reproductions of thinking and fine arts expression. A series of artists chose deliberately the philosophy, critique and practice of conceptual art, without utopian aspirations, but with concern to open themselves for a new public, interested in a new knowledge, in new edge experiences.
Every artist, although part of the small community of the new vision upon art, positioned afterwards in differential perspectives, trying to show how much need there is for a clear personality, for stating a point of view. For a long time, the artists from Vector group created an art world through their involvement in the organisational work, realising a map of invisible labour overlapped on the streets of the city with their agitated puzzled people.
There were many cases in which an artistic message was becoming controversial. Why an artist criticises religious emblems and behaviours of the place? Why another one speaks in an engaged way about photo-performativity and reinterprets canonical works from the art history, recontextualising them in the world of media and consumption?
Why an artist makes a map of illegal immigration and investigates the working conditions after the collapse of the local industry? The strongest impact however was felt at the level of consideration from many artists, critics and curators from the space of European critical art.
Another artistic position, created by the association of archaeological research of existentials filtered through the practice of work, with the socio-poetic analysis of the modern experience of migration from that of concepts in recent history to that of work-force circulation is proposed in the photographs, videos, diagrams and performances of Matei Bejenaru.
Working closely with people and their contexts, with narratives and existence conditions creates affective. Realising metaphorical objects or creating conditions for seducing bodies to perform, in order to have them staged for photography, the artist questions typologies of artistic behaviours in the contemporary visual culture post-production. Through her visual, induced meditations and musical choices, Andrea Hajtajer seems to create a neo-romantic poetics of private life and radical loneliness, exploring the symbolic border between life and death, happiness and sufferance, self and nobody.
In his way of being what he does, Florin Bobu proposes customised relational experiences, situation turn-overs, surprises of consciousness, invoking destabilisation. In his video works he interprets different sensitivities to the context, absurd acts of spontaneous bravery, elliptic personality crisis and jumps into credibility. In his objects he evokes and invokes, he restores events or situations from his past. At the border between sociology and art, SATellite presents itself as a group of social-artistic tendencies, interested in quantitativelyqualitatively questioning and creatively using the public sphere, testing group values and representing stereo typical behaviours in exceptional circumstances.
The artistic discourse enounced in the sculptures, installations and photographs of Dumitru Oboroc uses irony, absurd and criticism in an involuntary relaxed way, inevitably ludic and irrevocably theatrical. One last example, the socio-photographic reportages of Andrei Nacu are both narrative documentaries and aesthetic investigations, social portraits and affective experiences, clues and icons, illustrations and invocations.
His series makes one feel intimate with the event and exposed to the blowing of meanings. Translated by Raluca Voinea. He is a curator and art critic based in Cluj and Turin.
He is the co-founder of Sabot Gallery and the special correspondent of Archive Journal, a magazine based in Berlin. Lucie Fontaine was born in in Colmar, where she currently lives. What is your relationship with her?
How did you start making art? Were you inspired by her? Especially when she said that curators, collectors and artists are somehow in increasingly similar positions. In this way I stay away from those categories and at the same time I embrace them all.
Also being an art employer means that the only way for me to exist is through labor, whether writing, creating or any other activity. So yes, Claire Fontaine inspired me a lot. This said, if we consider the positions you can have in the field of art, it seems that the mediums you have used to express yourself so far have been that of creating art and presenting art in your space in Milan.
Why have these tree branches grown more than the others and how do you see your work in comparison with Reena Spaulings, who is both an artist and a dealer? They are all part of the same non-hierarchical structure, which is what differentiates the tree-trope from the rhizome-trope. Speaking of Reena Spaulings, of course, I see many connections and I respect her so much. But I also see a lot of differences. The most visible is the relationship between the works of art that Reena Spaulings makes and the works of art by the artists that Reena Spaulings shows in her space in New York.
These artists — Reena Spaulings included — share a rather cynical and conceptual approach to art making, which makes it quite similar to an ideology. I do the opposite in my space, inviting artists whose works of art are very different from mine. Since opening the space, I wanted to invite artists whose work is almost artisanal, expressing domesticity and craftsmanship.
That was quite artisanal. The idea was to create stories in which they were interacting with local figures like dealers Lucio Amelio and Lia Rumma, collector Ernesto Esposito and art critic Achille Bonito Oliva with no prefixed narrative or timeframe.
And this is something none of the artists in my entourage would ever think about. Then, of course, it was artisanal because unlike Claire Fontaine, I refuse my work to be made through production.
My employees made those puppets and you can see they are kind of clumsy. But I would not use that angle of the work as a way to define it as artisanal although I like the misunderstanding of it. Italy is an interesting country. Like few others — Israel is probably a good example — Italy is a very young country, but represents a very strong and long history.
The scope of visual art makes it very easy to explain: Italy is only years old, but is associated with art from Roman coins to Renaissance masterpieces from Lucio Fontana to Arte Povera. At the same time, or maybe because of that, I noticed that lately Italy is no longer a place for contemporary art. Artists have to leave. In other words, Italy is not established in the same sense as the United States or the United Kingdom, nor is she self-protective the way Germany or France are, where public money supports the system.
You can see it from the political situation. This said, Italians are very patriotic. Why should a French open a space in Italy working only with Italian artists? Those spaces all made themselves known abroad because they are working almost exclusively with artists from. In Italy, the first thing you do when you open a gallery is bring some foreigners to give credibility, which I see as being very similar to the fact that in Italy there are a lot of showgirls coming from abroad.
What else did you find difficult there? On one hand, I wanted to present young emerging artists of the same generation as my employees, mid-late twenties, and on the other hand, I wanted to realize new and unusual projects with artists who had already been working for a while.
So with painter Valerio Carrubba, we made film program about Guy Debord in which he designed the posters. Video maker Marcella Vanzo made her first performance, which we then showed in New York as part of Performa Painter Alessandro made his first installation and started to work with three dimensional things he confessed that he never thought possible. How did the project evolve and is there a cross pollination between the space and your works of art?
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