Romanian Cultural Resolution

Romanian Cultural Resolution

Club Electroputere

April 24, 2010

Romanian Cultural Resolution
1 May – 1 June 2010

Opening: 1 May, 11am – 9pm and
2 May, 11am – 6pm

Halle 12 Spinnerei Leipzig
Spinnereistraße 7
04179 Leipzig

Tue – Sat, 11:00 – 18:00
Sun and Mon closed

The Romanian Cultural Institute “Titu Maiorescu” in Berlin & Centre for Contemporary Culture “Club Electro Putere” (Craiova) announce the opening of the exhibition “Romania Cultural Resolution” hosted by the Spinnerei Werkschau (Halle 12), Leipzig.

The exhibition presents ideas and images of the changing post-Communist culture gathered from the Romanian visual arts over the last twenty years.

The event is built around the concept of “cultural resolution”, an analysis of contemporary cultural discourse through art. A dominant theme is the deep cultural nature of the post-Communist experience characterized by a constant reference to the past and the corresponding projection of a democratic future. Both these features make a cultural discourse, originating from the distressing legacy of a decayed political regime, legitimate.

The fall of Communism, and the instinctive rejection thereof, has been followed by two decades of self-imposed learning of the fundamentals of democracy. The art works that make up the “Romanian Cultural Resolution” Project aim to raise questions about the time and space typical of this post-Communist experience. It takes an introspective look at contemporary art and culture and dismantles the previous cultural utopia.

The exhibition is made up of four trustee projects with contributions from the most important names in Romanian contemporary art.

1. An Image Instead of a Title
Artists: Mircea Cantor, Anca Munteanu Rimnic, Ciprian Muresan, Ioana Nemes, Miklos Onucsan, Cristian Rusu, Serge Spitzer
Curator: Mihnea Mircan

The ‘Gospel of St. John’ is transcribed on copy-sheets, seemingly in preparation of a most difficult exam (Ciprian Muresan); the Venetian street sign ‘Calle della morte’ is zoomed on and filmed until the hands start shaking and the frame loses focus (Cristi Rusu); in a variation on the Vanitas, the history of rust is methodically told from its ‘origins to the present’ as a think layer of decrepitude, in the absence of the rusting object (Miklos Onucsan); the colors of the Romanian flag, of the country just abandoned and the ideological brutality which had led to the artist’s exile, become visual obstacles, and ‘materialize’ the interdiction to look and speak (Serge Spitzer). Alongside the fragments of cultural or social history they invoke or circulate, these and other works in the exhibition ‘An Image instead of A Title’ have a complicated, obstinate relationship to the notions of the archive habitually employed by art history. The show seeks to articulate a mode of the archival where images, rather than the textual props that would anchor them to cultural or political narratives, constitute their own index. Between a model of homogenous correspondences of identities to objects and worlds, where each unit gestures towards the whole and interlocks with all others, and the converse one – typified by the Library of Alexandria and by much recent art -, where conservation coincides with destruction, the works gathered here operate in, and delimit, a territory of oblique gazes, undone connections and archival numbness, upset indexes and selves.

2. Here and Then
Artists: Alexandra Croitoru & Stefan Tiron in colaboration with Vasile Pop-Negresteanu, Adrian Ghenie, Ion Grigorescu with Matei Lazarescu, Julian Mereuta, Aurelia Mihai, Ciprian Muresan & Adrian Ghenie, Miklos Onucsan
Curator: Magda Radu

Here and Then is a trangenerational exhibition that explores the topic of ‘artist at work’, bringing forward such issues as the relation between past and present, the question of national identity and the entanglement between artistic agency and political context. Most of the works featured in this selection assume an autobiographical stance, and they reveal – through self-representation and performativity – the condition of the artist in a problematic environment.

The never-before seen photographs made by Julian Mereuta in 1970 are emblematic of the marginality of certain artistic practices during communism, and thus, of the impossibility of working within a restrictive system. By contrast, Ciprian Muresan brings into discussion another facet of the artistic production, namely the proliferation of official art that inflated Ceausescu’s personality cult. Croitoru and Tiron’s project – A Fresco for Romania – investigates the possibility of representing the troubled history of Romania’s recent past by modulating the subject matter through the working method of an artist who used to receive public commissions before 1989.

Showing continuity with earlier preoccupations, a recent series of photographs by Ion Grigorescu depict the artist being involved in everyday activities, which are invested by him with a ritualistic dimension. Miklos Onucsan’s discrete performances turned into self-portraits are charged with a political undertone, providing a subtle commentary on the artist’s place in society “along the way”.

3. Fetish Factory
Artists: Pavel Braila, Stefan Constantinescu, Daniel Knorr, Alexandru Niculescu, Dan Perjovschi
Curator: Adrian Bojenoiu

The concept proposes the partial simulation of the cultural field for recent Romanian history. The title “Fetish factory” is the expository name of this cultural field. It allusively appoints the bearing mechanisms of the post communist allocution, implicitly involving the contemporary culture. By fashioning the traumatic past experienced during communism into cultural parlance it becomes a cultural product with shaping effect. Moreover it aggregates an ambivalence based upon acknowledgement and repudiation.

The project foregathers the works of five artists drawing a bead on outlining a contrasting and reflexive vision over culture; an external glance centred on the utopia, contradictions and cultural solutions supplied by recent history.

Daniel Knorr’s “The state of mind” exhibits cellulose wraps forged with documents destroyed by the STASI. Stefan Constatinescu and Pavel Brăila look into the recent socio-political context whose abstract personage is “emancipation”. Dan Perjovschi’s designs schematize the boorish everyday state, replying to an immediate environment and supplying a prejudiced exposition. Alexandru Niculescu renders socio-dramatic sceneries into objects at the abstract borderline.

4. Figurative Painting in Romania, 1970–2010
Artists: Ioana Batranu, Corneliu Brudascu, Sorin Campan, Constantin Flondor, Adrian Ghenie, Gheorghe Ilea, Victor Man, Gili Mocanu, Serban Savu
Curator: Mihai Pop

The exhibition presents an overview of figurative painting in Romania in the last 40 years. It features artists with a particular commitment to the medium: works by Ioana Batranu, Corneliu Brudascu, Sorin Campan, Constantin Flondor or Gheorghe Ilea preserve their pictorial intensity and could contribute to a more nuanced understanding of the period before 1989. They make visible a double removal: created at a distance from the official painting of those times, they also do not partake in the mimetism of new new models in international painting after 1989. In most cases, essential works by these artists have never left the studio, and have remained culturally and commercially undervalued. The exhibition proposes them as landmarks for a yet unwritten history of the Romanian art scene.

The end of the ’90s saw the emergence of artists such as Adrian Ghenie, Victor Man, Gili Mocanu and Serban Savu, recharting the ‘neofigurative’ both across art history, but also in relation to the data and values of the space they live and work in; their work is often concerned with social and cultural transition, honing on the ambiguities of recent history – as in the case of Victor Man, and his overriding preoccupation with “The place I’m coming from”, in all its polysemy.


Thursday 29 April, 7 pm at GfZK. GfZK-1, Artist Talk: Dan Perjovschi
Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst (Karl-Tauchnitz-Straße 9-11, D-04107 Leipzig

Saturday 1 May, 11am – 9pm and Sunday 2 May, 11am – 6pm opening at the Werkschau Spinerei ( Spinnereistraße 7, 04179 Leipzig

Sunday 2 May, 6 pm, projection of the movie “Tales from the Golden Age” (2009, 155 min, Directed by : Ioana Uricaru, Hanno Hoefer, Razvan Marculescu, Constantin Popescu, Cristian Mungiu ) at Luru Kino (Spinnereistraße 7, 04179 Leipzig

Saturday 8 May, 6 pm projection of the movie “12:08 East of Bucharest” (2006, 89 min, Directed by Corneliu Porumboiu) at Luru Kino (Spinnereistraße 7, 04179 Leipzig

Sunday 9 May, 6pm projection of the movie “Hartia va fi Albastra” ( 2006, 95 min, Directed by Radu Muntean ) at Luru Kino (Spinnereistraße 7, 04179 Leipzig)

Romanian Cultural Institute Berlin
Koenigsallee 20 a
14 193 Berlin
Tel: +49 (030) 890 61 987
Fax: +49 (030) 890 61 988

Club Electro Putere
Calea Bucuresti 56
200515 Craiova
Tel: +40 (0724) 043 960
Tel: +49 (0176) 276 71 403

Romanian Cultural Institute Berlin and Club Electro Putere

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Club Electroputere
April 24, 2010

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