Tuesday, May 26, 2009

missed exhibited art in/from Romanistan

the first thing I would like to mention is the publication of a book - catalog for an exhibition I couldn't get to and regret it enormously. It is called "Cel ce se pedepseste singur" (the one that punishes himself) and accompanies the travelling exhibition with the same name that recollects the works of 3 Romanian artists of the 1980s/19990s: Ion Grigorescu, Florin Mitroi and Stefan Bertalan. The first one is in my opinion the most interesting case as he developed an aesthetic of marginality and criticized without saying so the communist power. But most importantly he also engaged in a relationship with the communist power. Analysing his or other important Romanian artist work of those decades (especially the 80s) without taking this into account seems to me a failed attempt at understanding. Placing this artist as well as others in a logic of for or against/ pro or resistance is a false dichotomy for the Romanian case. Comprising the way their relationship with power articulated together with or despite their "private art" is a must. At the launching of the album the terms lacked this coordinate...

the second thing I would like to signal is the exhibition I would love to see and hopefully will! It is held in Stuttgart at the W├╝rttembergischer Kunstverein and it is called "Subversive practices" . It encompasses besides works from Romania (including art by Grigorescu), works from other dictatorships: Chile, Argentina and Brazil but also Russia, Spain, Hungary and GDR. It poses the question of artistic subversion by an appeal to artistic means in the sense that "it is only aesthetically that art is political" that is oh so true under dictatorial regimes. Hopefully I shall be going there and will write more after seeing the works.

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