Coming next - GOOD GIRLS | memory, desire, power
National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest
Date: 20 June – 29 September, 2013
Curator: Bojana Pejić (Berlin)
Co-Curator: Olivia Nitis (Bucharest)
Good Girls is an international exhibition offering a broad perspective on contemporary women’s art practices. The prosaic heading “Good Girls” is inspired by two earlier curatorial projects: it echoes the phrasing “bad girls” coined by Marcia Tucker in the 1990s, when it basically related to those American women artists and curators influenced by feminism; the other reference is to the exhibition No More Bad Girls? (curated by Marion Stemberger and Kathrin Becker), held Vienna in 2010, which investigated alternative geographies and multiple cultural identities central to the age of globalization. But today, in 2013, let’s talk about “good girls”! Since the early 1990s, Romanian women artists and curators initiated a number of smaller exhibitions focusing on women and feminist art. This exhibition is a major international museum representation of women’s art in this country and it will focus on aspects regarding women's art production around three nuclei: memory, desire and power. The participant artists are primarily living and working in Europe, half of them coming from Romania.
Artists: Milica Tomić (Sbr), Regina José Galindo (Gtm), Sanja Iveković (Hrv), Martha Wilson (USA), Elke Krystufek (Aut), Katrazyna Kozyra (Pol), Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz (De), Nina Arbore (Ro), Jurga Barilaitė (Ltu), Ana Bănică (Ro), Ethel Băiaș (Ro), Lucia Dem Bălăcescu (Ro), Biroul Melodramatic (Ro), Geta Brătescu (Ro), Irina Broboană (Ro), Filipa Cezar (Prt), Anetta Mona Chișa & Lucia Trackova (Ro), Ioana Ciocan (Ro), CHIRKLI Collective (Can), Alexandra Croitoru (Ro), Suzana Dan (Ro), Anna Daučikova (Svk), Cristina David (Ro), Bianka Dobo (Hun), Simona Dobrescu (Ro), Sandra Dukić & Boris Glamočanin (BiH), Elian (Ro), Suzana Fântânariu (Ro), Aniela Firon (Ro), Mariela Gemisheva (Bul), Iraida Icaza (Pan), Corina Ilea (Ro), Chengyao He (Chi), Hristina Ivanoska (MCD), Orit Ishay (Isr), Anna Jermolaewa (Rus), Gülsün Karamustafa (Tur), Mihaela Kavdanska (Ro), Aurora Kiraly (Ro), Ana Lupaș (Ro), Flavia Lupu (Ro), Lesya Khomenko (Ukr), Romana Mateiaș (Ro), Olivia Mihălțianu (Ro), Larisa Crunțeanu (Ro), Adina Paula – Moscu (Ro), Anca Munteanu – Rimnic (Ro), Ilona Németh (Svk), Ioana Nemeș (Ro), Alexandra Pirici (Ro), Delia Popa (Ro), Liina Siib (Est), Renee Renard (Ro), Necla Ruzgar (Tur), Dominique Sapin (Fra), Marilena Preda – Sânc (Ro), Hito Steyerl (De), Maria Ciurdea Steurer (Ro), Cecilia Cuțescu – Storck (Ro), Patricia Teodorescu (Ro) , Roxana Trestioreanu (Ro), Adela Jusić (BiH) Anna Jermolaewa (Rus), Mina Byck-Wepper (Ro).
Valeriu Schiau - THE DREAM
Contemporary art space AIURART, Bucharest, 24th of April – 13th of May, 2013
Valeriu Schiau is not a confortable artist. Art is not often comfortable. And it shouldn’t even be so. Art should raise issues, challenge thought, disturb not only exalt. Socio-political phenomena, alienation, death, fear and trauma are all part of human experience, and their programmatic evacuation from the context of artistic reception is an act of cultural immaturity. The extremely generous history of contemporary international visual art production proves the natural inclusion and development of critic filter among artists or of pure observers of dramatic events, from the most organic representation to the abstract emotional exploitation.
Valeriu Schiau does not have a beautiful dream. Trauma and self-referential exorcism are part of his constant artistic discourse. The failure of parenthood, the family break, the tenssion within most private human relations, but also the observation on family trauma as social phenomenon are revived like a ritualic pattern in the work of this artist born in the Republic of Moldova, active for more than one decade in Bucharest, Romania. The Dream installation comes in addition to his previous exhibitions (Born in USSR, The Invisible Child, Lobotmy, Personal Issues) in which the image of the born or unborn child is recurrent connecting the personal story with the traumatic aspects that children are subjected to on one hand in the context of an oppressive political regime that allowed the creation of concentration camps, and on the other in a very current society that is living more and more accurately the negative consequences of globalization and slightly reacts in favor of fighting against violence. Violence has become some sort of a normative act not only among adults. The on-line game environment, the virtual world in which children and adolescents get refuge, but mostly the conflictual relationships within the family, emotional and physical abuse, parents divorce, school factors, excesive authority, linked with other emotional issues, are factors that can lead to various tragedies among which suicide has an important place.
In a WHO (World Health care Organization) statistics on suicide rate in world countries, in Romania in 2009, 24 suicides took place in the group age 5-14 years old. In the United States of America suicide represents the 10th death cause at the same group age. The gun use in this country represents a major threat to children and after several cases of gun use among children in public schools the current government policy is prioritizing gun control programs. Russia ranks first in the number of suicides among children and adolescents in Europe, up to 37% of cases in recent years.
Suicides are among the top ten causes of death among people worldwide. It is estimated that by 2020 it will be the second leading cause of death worldwide after cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Valeriu Schiau’s exhibition message is fully committed. The artist shares a personal story, “dreams” whose radical emotion cannot let anyone indifferent and also approaches a valid topic anywhere in the world at this time related to human irresponsibility for their children exposed to harsh social and political realities in which gun is anything but a toy.
Curator: Olivia Nitis
Mihai Zgondoiu - THE ARTIST'S GOLDEN HAND
Contemporary art space AIURART, Bucharest, April 5th - 22th, 2013
In the movie The Baby of Macon, Peter Greenaway captures a sick, sterile society ready to deify the beautiful child, dead and sanctified, from his wild undressing of clothes and ornaments up to his dismemberment in the irrational passion for a holy piece. Beyond the corrupted individuals’ reaction to the many manipulating facets of the body fragment, beyond social hysteria, Mihai Zgondoiu seeks, above all, a reference to himself through amusement and ironic detachment. The Artist's Golden Hand is not only a scan of a facet of contemporary reality, but also a healthy approach of self irony in a world where the value balance strongly influenced by political, economic, psychological... factors it's hard to keep.
Curator: Olivia Nitis
Contemporary art space AIURART, Bucharest, March 14th - 30th, 2013
The full depoliticization and increased reductive celebration of women as delicate, decorative and maternal is a comfortable mystification of historical and socio-political significance that the 8th of March has or should have in the collective consciousness. Momentum is a project of historical recovery and equally about changing the meaning that tradition and socio-political and cultural dynamics caused at the level of collective mentality. Momentum invites to reflection, to deconstruction and redefinition. Momentum means the recovery of a time frame and the symptomatic implications of this process. Momentum refers to a closed system, but also to the impulse that can reshape it.
Organizers: Experimental Project Association, Center for Curricular Development and Gender Studies: FILIA, in partnership with the contemporary art space AIURART.
Curator: Olivia Nitis
Artists: Carmen Acsinte, Matei Bejenaru, Simona Dobrescu, Mario Ionescu, Dan Piersinaru, Renée Renard, Marilena Preda Sânc, Valeriu Schiau, Patricia Teodorescu.
POSTindustrialRED by Flavia Lupu
15.11.2012 – 10.12.2012, Atelier 030202, Bucharest
The specific meanings of “post“ theories focused on deconstructing the past come often in contradiction with a process that is enabled in contextual situations. One cannot identify a post situation without actually identifying the previous act that is now the subject of deconstruction. Furthermore, the crisis of “post” (where “post” is not equal with “anti”) meets the maternal attitude of
the present towards the past following a process of double authority: that of adopting the past as well as rejecting it. The most difficult task imposed by “post“ theories is the ability of delimitation, which seems to be entangled in the state of “in-betweenness” as not always time frames and political and cultural phenomena have clearly defined their borders or have consumed entirely. Looking at the past means taking a sufficient distance. This process is not always possible and therefore we are left with ambiguity and coexistence. The period of transition from communism to post-communism in Romania, in the larger frame of former Eastern Block, the period of the 90s is a significant decade with various meaning and connotations for all the generations involved. The particular situation of the youngest generation is probably most interesting as this is the first generation detached from its immediate past, probably the most capable of embracing the “post” era and yet the most incapable of fully understanding its consequences. This generation had no experience of the communist past, no traumatic memories they are simply caught up in a transition process they cannot identify as such. The young generation developing in the 90s is now facing the past through family histories and book theories. Somehow they are experiencing, without necessarily being aware of it, an identity crisis. They are not from the industrialized past, nor from the consumerist present, they are children of transition. Flavia Lupu assumes the role of analyzing this status through a self-referential discourse as well as through a dialogue with her generation. They have rapidly adapted to the current consumerist times, but at the same time their mentalities were shaped in the shadows of the past through their families. They live in communist flats and buildings, they play their classical gender roles as males and females, they have dreams, prejudice and frustrations.
They were the lucky ones able to know the taste of bananas from early years. Still the environment they are living in is a powerful sign of the past they cannot completely understand and maybe some of them are not even interested to do so. In relation to power this generation somehow defines another type of guinea pigs from the one represented by their parents as we are all living and breathing beings that cannot escape the system except through our minds. Object, the symbolic “read chair”, print and video (unedited original homemade videos) should offer at least some of the faces of transition; an important exercise of understanding your identity and how the past affects your present. That is if you give a damn!
THE POETICS OF POLITICS
June 14 - July 28, 2012, Galeria Propaganda, Warszawa, Poland. Curator: Olivia Nitis
Artists: Olimpiu Bandalac, Ciprian Chirileanu, Euroartist Bucureşti, Suzana Fântânariu, Constantin Flondor, Teodor Graur, House pARTy, Iosif Király, Sorin Oncu, Christian Paraschiv, Marilena Preda Sânc, Valeriu Schiau, Decebal Scriba, Gabi Stamate, subReal, Patricia Teodorescu.
The exhibition entitled Poetics of Politics includes Romanian art from the period beginning two decades before the Revolution (1970-80), through the ‘90s, up to the present day when the techniques of using bodies and other aesthetic tools are still used to absorb and transmit political issues. The exhibition shows the specificity of Romanian art, which is intended to enhance a better understanding of links between a political concept and its artistic realization in different social and political contexts of Romania, as well as in a broader perspective – that of art created before and after abolishing the Iron Curtain in Eastern Europe. Poetics of Politics does not offer a conventional, rotund outlook on political art; instead its aim seems to be finding out a visual code for political art – less or more aesthetic depending on a given sociopolitical, economic and cultural entanglement of individual artists. Zoon Politikon is at the same time Zoon Poetikon, a state of a feigned dream and imagination understood in an Aristotelian way. It is not only a range of interaction; when it does not involve a political discourse directly, it creates a package around it, yet without limiting the discourse, and at the same time highlighting its essence. The reasons for political engagement (not always openly manifested) are varied and connected with the constraints imposed on freedom of expression by political regimes; with finding low-risk subversive solutions; with the economy of the means of expression; with an individual choice of every artist without any regard for sacrifices, or political or economic limitations; or (most seldom in an oppressive context) with the courage to take risk on principle. As a result the aim of the exhibition is an attempt to understand how a given aesthetic formula may be referred to the political discourse in Romanian art before and after the year 1990, and to what degree the speaking of the specificity of Romanian art is justified when juxtaposed with communist and post-communist Europe. Besides, the project is intended to identify the mechanisms and elements comprising the visual political discourse chosen by artists in different periods (from the cultural and political perspective), to show the way in which the mechanisms of work depend on or are influenced by the mechanisms of power. As it turns out, a political dimension of art contains a certain poetics of representation based on metonymy that reveals today its apolitical dimension, abstracting from the present reality. In a sense what we are offered is politics of political neutrality, especially when diagnosing political awareness internalized and reflected by art created as an alternative to official art before 1989. This is a situation of “in-betweeness” animated by controversial aspects of creating art and being an artist between the intention and result, clearness and rationality of an idea and the so called subconsciousness, inspiration, intuition. Artists taking part in the exhibition belong to the most renowned names of Romanian fine arts created before and after 1990, although there are also those extremely important authors of works created before the Revolution who did not find their place in the mainstream because of various reasons (emigration, introvert personality, curator’s decisions). Backed by extensive research, the question about the political dimension of works created before and after 1990 is still interesting and in need of re-evaluation. view the catalog