Variations. Again and the same
Andreea-Lorena Bojenoiu (ALB), Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu, Andrei Nacu, Adi Matei, Gili Mocanu, Robert Pal Koteles
The act of repetition generally describes a unique series of things or events and can be understood when viewed against generality. Art is often a source of repetition since no artistic use of an element is equivalent to other uses. For instance, Pop Art pushes this quality toward a certain limit by bringing the process of production close to the rhythm of Capitalism, Net Art completely obliterates the copy in favour of identity and Borges’ story, in which Pierre Menard reproduces the exact text of Don Quijote, has a magic quality given by its translation in different places, at different times.
The exhibition entitled ”Variations. Again and the same” suggests an artistic and philosophical exercise from the perspective of six situations that focus on the theme of repetition and difference. The curatorial project conceives it as a journey that starts in the space of the gallery and finishes outside it.
This journey starts with the work bearing the title ”Artists using painting to fly” (2013) authored by the artists Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu. They try to fly on a ski trail in Iasi using two paintings (two canvases on which the sketches of the performance are traced) as flying devices. The performative act, placed and repeated in a period of time randomly established by the artists themselves (1979-1983), illustrates a paradox through its metaphoric content and the plurality of reading possibilities. The artists repeat and divide the flight scene into two thematic versions (normal and dramatic), represented by various series of images catured at different moments before and after the take-off.
For the achievement of her work ”Black Ground” (2017) ALB devises a working programme to be carried on over an indefinite period of time. Following a minutely pre-established schedule, multiple layers of acrylic colour are applied in large quantities on the surface of an oversized canvas, until it starts peeling off due to overloading. The artist’s intention is to perform a repetitive action prolonged until its own collapse. The act of forcing the limits through constant overloading makes all the difference.
A similar context is suggested by Robert Pal Koteles in his series of works ”Mater” and ”Field” whose backdrop – monochrome paste and the whiteness of the canvas – does not seem to be in contrast with what we can perceive in terms of form. The form reflected in this backdrop ceases to be a form and becomes an abstract line that varies from one work to another according to the size of the canvas, to the tones or the general range of colours. The indeterminant and the determinations practically fuse into a single determination that makes the difference.
Through his work ”Avan”, Retro” (2015), belonging to the series ”Double”, Gili Mocanu brings into discussion the repetition of The Same, but the works, through their representation, do not repeat the same thing – an initial image for which a copy is produced – but the Resembling, namely something that has never physically existed. This form of repetition displaces a possible original and produces a memory effect whose past has never been present.
By using Google Earth, Andrei Nacu discovers in his work ”I reflect: ‘It’s very strange to be going through this change / With no idea of what it’s all been about / Except in the context of time…” (2017) that the river Prut makes a 3 kilometre loop in the vecinity of Sculeni customs, at the border with the Republic of Moldavia, and at the base of the loop the distance between the two banks is about 160 m. Using this shortcut between the banks, formed by the geographical shape of the river, Andrei Nacu carries water in a bucket from upstream to downsteam in order to accelerate the flow rate of the river and to shortcircuit the rhythm of water flowing. The entire scene is shot with a drone that follows the action from between the two banks.
Adi Matei’s work ”White and slightly cold” (2017) brings into discussion the space of the gallery and its limits of representation. The title of the work actually represents the physical description of an art gallery wall. The purpose of this work in the overall plan of the exhibition is to transgress the curatorial theme and to take the exhibition outside the gallery. By using illusory devices, the artist proposes the viewers of this exhibition a preestablished walking itinerary that can be accessed via a mobile app.