The exhibition “Re-altering Reality”, curated by Cătălin Gheorghe and installed in the ElectroPutere Gallery, presents a selection of works made in 2020, during the artists’ residencies, by Lucian Bran, Johannes Hugo Stoll, Andrei Timofte and Tzusoo. Produced from the perspective of “artistic research”, the works presented in this exhibition reinterpret historically, ironically, poetically and existentially perceptions of the impossibility of reality and try to contrast the possibility of the power of simulacra to transform the reality in which we live. Altering and reimagining territories, the flow of consumption-productivity, the experience of cultural public space, the meanings of self-extension in the identity space of an avatar can produce new realities that artists have the power to re-alter to rehabilitate the critical relationship between art and the flight from reality.
Engaged in further research into expanding the series From Centuries Ago to Eons to Come, Lucian Bran expressed interest in the history and specificity of Simian Island in connection with the failed administrative attempt to relocate Ada Kaleh Island. In the context of his artistic research, Lucian Bran analyzed the condition of inter-mediality and stratological prediction, adding levels of significance through the intervention of engraving over the photographic image. In his investigation into the identification of a fictitious rediscovery of a territory sacrificed for geo-economic interests, Lucian Bran thus conceived a new visual narrative on a form of “archeology in the future” that could lead to the discovery of a territory in permanent transition, similar to the “geological migration” of alluvium along the Danube.
In his turn, Johannes Hugo Stoll directed his research towards the statistical quantification of the energy immateriality resulting from the daily consumption of food, drink, cigarettes during his stay in the residence in Craiova. The packaging resulting from the consumption that was the basis for the production of energy for the artist’s work was artistically processed in a ridiculous sense (as products of a mockumentary action) in a series of graphic and poveristic sculptural assemblages. Johannes Hugo Stoll’s research could also be interpreted from the perspective of the relationship between the Sisyphean concern to feed our own body / existence and the repetitive work of humans to survive organically by consuming food and other substances that provide the energy to live.
The artistic research proposed by Andrei Timofte aimed at conducting an essayistic, video-poetic analysis of the spatiality and functionality of the National Theater “Marin Sorescu” in Craiova, focusing on investigating the relationship between preserving spatial structures made from the perspective of autonomous cultural functioning of public communication and the ways of altering the relevance of the public space in the actuality of the neoliberal policies of forced measurement of the financial efficiency of any institutional construction. Also, Andrei Timofte exhibits a biblio-sculpture made of books with themes in technical fields, published during the socialist period in Romania, which the artist acquired over time from antique shops.
The work proposed in the exhibition by Tzusoo presents the portrait of an avatar, taking as reference the historical practice of pictorial portraiture, but extending the visual meditation at the level of altering the details of the portrait from the perspective of our habit with the uncertain appearance of video game characters. This avatar works like an identity variation in the process of a transfer of personality from the transitory reality of the present existence to a hypothetical immortalization preserved beyond the actuality of corporeality and immediate pain.
Lucian Bran (b. 1981) lives and works in Bucharest. Solo shows: Borderline Art Space, Iași (2019) Galeria Posibilă, Bucharest (2015), Museum of Municipal Engineering – Krakow Photomonth – Show OFF (2014). Group shows: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2018), Salonul de Proiecte Bucharest (2016). He was selected at Plat(t)form – Fotomuseum Winterthur (2019) and nominated for The Unseen ING Talent Award (2016). Publications: Borrowed Territories, ed. Galeria Posibila (2016), Săgeată, floare, foc, CDFD Grants (2018).
Johannes Hugo Stoll (b. 1986) lives and works in Stuttgart, Germany. He takes objects in his hands, grasps them literally and examines them for their use and handling. The performative side of our everyday life is emphasized, thereby bringing into focus the production of the self. His works have been shown at the Academiae Youth Art Biennial (2018) in Bolzano, Italy, UG Museum Folkwang (2017) Essen, Kunstverein Ludwigshafen (2017), Germany, Museum Wola (2016), Warsaw, Poland, Videonale 15 (2015), Bonn, Germany and Moscow Museum of, Modern Art (2013) Moscow, Russia.
Andrei Timofte (b. 1988) lives and works as an artist and teaching assistant in Iasi, Romania. He has a doctorate degree in visual arts, at the ”George Enescu” National University of the Arts in Iasi, where he developed a theoretical thesis and an artistic research project on the topic of “The Social Factory of Desire: Work and Cultural Memory of the Creative Industries after the 90s”. Since 2010 he has been an active member of the SATellite group (Social Artistic Tendency) together with he recently opened a cultural production NGO. In 2019 he exhibited “Artist, I buy an apartment in this block!”, part of “Culture Class” project, and “The cement plaster finish wall of a petit bourgeois”, part of “Concurrent Narratives” project, which were both curated by Florin Bobu and Livia Pancu, and organized by 1+1 association and tranzit Iași.
Tzusoo (b. 1993) graduated from Art College of Hong-ik University, Seoul, South Korea and the State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart, Germany. Personal exhibitions: “Schrödinger’s Baby”, Schaufenster Junge Kunst, City Gallery of Sindelfingen, Sindelfingen, Germany (2020), “Uncool Mentality”, NIDRAJ, Brüssels, Belgium (2020), “Ultra-Hygienic Exhibition” Oberwelt eV, Stuttgart, Germany (2020) and “Prude Boys of Stuttgart”, The Broken Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany (2018). Among others, she won the scholarship offered by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (2020-2022) and the DAAD Prize 2019.
Cătălin Gheorghe (b. 1975) is a theorist, curator, editor and Associate Professor at the “George Enescu” National University of the Arts in Iasi, Romania. Since 2007 he is curator of the educational platform for critical research and art production Vector – studio of artistic practices and debates, a platform based on understanding art as experimental journalism, and since 2005 he is editor of the series of publications Vector – critical research in context.