April 28, 2017 - Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Geta Brătescu: Apparitions
April 28, 2017

Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Geta Brătescu, Linia (The Line), 2014. HD video, 14:50 minutes. Image, sound, editing: Ștefan Sava. Courtesy of the artist.

Geta Brătescu
May 13–November 26, 2017

Preview: May 10–12
Opening: May 11, 5:15–7pm
Romanian Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale

Facebook / Instagram

Romanian Pavilion
Giardini della Biennale
Sestiere Castello
30122 Venice

New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research
Campo Santa Fosca
Palazzo Correr
Cannaregio 2214
30121 Venice

Geta Brătescu’s participation in the 2017 Venice Biennale brings together works representative of all the stages of her artistic trajectory—many of them shown for the first time—demonstrating the ease with which she employs a multitude of artistic media. She draws on a series of procedures from the visual and conceptual arsenal of modernism, but also modulates and transforms this legacy, while at the same time advancing toward contemporary modes of expressing and conceptualizing the artistic act, with an emphasis on performance, process, self-representation, and the serial. 

The exhibition Apparitions is conceived through the lens of thematic clusters, including the most recent phase in her artistic practice, in an attempt to provide a mirror of her studio space, understood both as a physical space and a meta-artistic entity. The physical and mental spaces of the studio blend together in a complex assemblage, and so do the literary texts with their visual conceptualizations, the feminine mythologies with the process of self-investigation, personal memory with cultural memory and imagination. “Memory is apparition; an epiphany, like art," states the artist.

In the current context, Geta Brătescu’s presence at the Venice Biennale is aimed at communicating art’s capacity to invent narratives that transcend the gloomy climate of the contemporary world, by means of an artistic reflection that highlights the transformative strength of femininity as the consummate embodiment of a “nomadic subject”. Geta Brătescu’s art finds itself in full consonance with the return to materiality, to the power of the artistic imagination, to art’s power to give shape. Her artistic practice resonates with the current debates about the role of art as a space that points to reality’s sore spots, but also as a means of instituting a specific language capable of generating new forms of subjectivity.

The exhibition will take place both in the Romanian Pavilion in Giardini della Biennale and the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice.

The exhibition in the Romanian Pavilion is conceived around two major themes: the studio, which is central to Brătescu’s career as an artist, and reflection on female subjectivity through various modes of conceptualizing the feminine. Two coordinates define the identity of the second exhibition space—the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice—which is both a place for study, providing conditions for readers to immerse themselves in the exhibition catalogue and other materials relevant to Brătescu’s artistic and intellectual career, and a concentrated exhibition, whose theme is the artist’s creative process.

The consistency, integrity, and aesthetic and intellectual quality of Geta Brătescu’s art, as well as the artist’s incredible presence—revealed in both the works in which she represents herself and in the female characters she invokes—transforms the Romanian Pavilion and the New Gallery into a “continuous studio” for every visitor.

Geta Brătescu (b. 1926, Ploiești) has been a central figure of Romanian contemporary art since the 1960s. An artist with a rich and long career, Brătescu developed a complex body of work that comprises drawing, collage, engraving, tapestry, object, photography, experimental film, video, and performance. She studied at the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy and concurrently at the Fine Arts Academy in Bucharest and worked as an artistic director for the magazine Secolul 20 (20th Century), renamed Secolul 21 at the turn of the millennium. In 2016, Hamburger Kunsthalle mounted an extensive retrospective exhibition on Brătescu’s work. The artist’s recent exhibitions include a solo show at Tate Liverpool in 2015; MATRIX 254 / Geta Brătescu, a solo show at Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive in 2014; as well as participations in The Encyclopedic Palace, Venice Biennale in 2013; La Triennale, Paris, Palais de Tokyo, in 2012; and the 12th Istanbul Biennial in 2011. Brătescu’s works are in important collections such as MoMA, New York; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest; MUMOK, Vienna; Kontakt Collection, Vienna; Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana; and FRAC Lorraine, Metz. In 2017, Brătescu takes part in Documenta 14, Athens and Kassel, and has a solo exhibition at the Camden Arts Centre, curated by Jenni Lomax.


Commissioner: Attila Kim

Curator: Magda Radu
Project manager: Corina Bucea
Assistant curator: Diana Ursan
Communication: Cătălin Năstăsoiu, Oana Hodade, Cristina Curcan
Designer: Raymond Bobar
Website: Dan Burzo
Photography: Ștefan Sava

Initiated by: Salonul de proiecte
Organizers: The Ministry of Culture and National Identity; The Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The Romanian Cultural Institute
Partners: The National Museum of Art of Romania; Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König; Ivan Gallery, Bucharest; Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin

Sponsors: UniCredit Bank; ISSA – Crama La Salina

On the occasion of the exhibition, the book ‘Geta Brătescu – Apparitions’ is published by Koenig Books, London. The book is made in collaboration with Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin (n.b.k.) and is cofinanced by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The publication is edited by Magda Radu and Diana Ursan together with Marius Babias and it features a broad selection of texts written by Geta Brătescu over the course of time—fragments in which the artist comments on facets of the creative process and the sources of her work. The artist’s notations are interspersed with numerous illustrations of the works she mentions in her writings, thus making the book an indispensable companion to the exhibition.

Special thanks to the institutions and collections which are lending works for the exhibition: The National Museum of Art of Romania, MNAC Bucharest/The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Romania, Vehbi Koç Foundation Contemporary Art Collection, Istanbul.

General enquiries: info [​at​] apparitions.ro
International media enquiries: Sam Talbot, sam [​at​] suttonpr.com

Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Share - Geta Brătescu
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York