Ioana Nemeș: Rituals, Keepers and Storms

Ioana Nemeș: Rituals, Keepers and Storms

Art Encounters Foundation Timișoara

Ioana Nemeș, Birdman (Positive & Negative Ring). Wood, white paint, wool and chalk on painted wall, approximately 200 x 150 cm.  

November 2, 2023
Ioana Nemeș
Rituals, Keepers and Storms
November 15, 2023–March 9, 2024
Performance by Apparatus 22: December 8
Art Encounters Foundation Timișoara
46C Take Ionescu Blvd.
300 124 Timișoara
Hours: Tuesday–Saturday 12–6pm

T +40 722 674 353

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Curators: Diana Marincu & Kilobase Bucharest

Organized by the Art Encounters Foundation in Timișoara, Romania, and having as strategic partners The Municipal Museum of Contemporary Art in Ghent (S.M.A.K.) and the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, the exhibition Rituals, Keepers and Storms is a significant gesture of reassessment and documentary research of Ioana Nemeș’s (1979–11) artistic practice, with a focus on the body of work Relics for the Afterfuture (Brown), created within 2009–10.

This exhibition aims to (re)introduce a set of topical explorations from her remarkable creative laboratory and define the incipient nucleus of a broader project that this exhibition foreshadows. Art Encounters Foundation thus continues its mission to provide further visibility to artists of value and contribute to their understanding in the wider context of contemporary art.

Ioana Nemeș had left behind a body of work attesting to her incredible strength and ability to convey ever-present themes. Developing an atypical artistic practice, Ioana Nemeș cannot be easily associated with any school, trend, or generation, always seeking the path toward an irreducible core of visual knowledge. Her reflections on time and identity had created scenarios about representation and self-representation, real or fictional; she was convinced of the capacity of the narrative to generate reality.

The artist’s use of symbolic and magical forms that define time and space is part of the broader thematic spectrum of her artistic practice related to memory and destiny. Especially in the works from the Relics for the Afterfuture (Brown) series, Ioana Nemeș was concerned with the explorations of mythological and archaic gestures. An essential framework was thus developed, just as productive in 2023, for the convergence of a critical, demystifying reflection on vernacular aesthetic sensibility, contemporary decoration, and kitsch, on traditions and mutations—of an artistic toolkit for working with the future—of a conception of time that fluidly includes both magical time, rites of passage and time on a mathematical scale. 

To position the works from this series within the broader context of Ioana Nemeș’s artistic practice, the exhibition Rituals, Keepers and Storms also presents a set of murals from the long-term Monthly Evaluations, a series driven by the artist’s desire “to record, dissect, understand and describe intangible things such as life or time” and The Healers, a set of drawings unfolding as a noir storyboard for an instance in which blind faith replaced medicine with tragic repercussions. Additionally, a performance by the Apparatus 22 collective, of which she was a founding member, will reveal this group’s interest in nonlinear approaches to time in an attempt to process consuming emotions and the premature loss of Ioana. Perhaps tinged with animism, perhaps echoing rituals devoted to queer futures.

Ioana Nemeș (1979–2011) was one of her generation’s most acknowledged and exhibited Romanian artists. She participated in the Istanbul Biennial, U-Turn Copenhagen, Prague Biennial, and Bucharest Biennale 2. Her works were presented by Art in General, NY (USA), Secession, Vienna (Austria), Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (Netherlands), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (Germany), Royal College of Art, London (UK), Salonul de Proiecte, Bucharest (Romania), BOZAR, Brussels (Belgium), Trafo, Budapest (Hungary), Jiří Švestka Gallery, Prague (Czech Republic), as well as in publications like 100 New Artists (publisher Laurence King) and Romanian Cultural Resolution (publisher Hatje Cantz). Her artistic practice also expanded in several collective configurations, working in art, design, and fashion contexts: Kilobase Bucharest (2010–11), Apparatus 22 (2011), Rozalb de Mura (2005–10), Liste Noire (2004–11). 

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Art Encounters Foundation Timișoara
November 2, 2023

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