Text by Mihaela Varzari
For the past decade, the artist Liliana Basarab has launched a continuous investigation into such universal concepts like truth or beauty by creating participatory events within certain communities she has been working with. It is certain that every age systematically reconstructs its own value system and the beauty of the past, consisting in perfect symmetry or colour coding for example, it is not applicable today. Through her subtlety, often-light humorous sculptures, performances or videos, Liliana Basarab forces us into looking at how we operate with such notions on a daily basis and creates thus a moment of essential disturbance based on self-inquiry. In her latest new work called Truth/s, produced as a result of a two-month residency at the Dayton Visual Art Centre, the collaborative nature of the project becomes paramount as the artist invited different participants to ‘help’ her realize the project. The final show comprised of a 4 min video piece and showed three dancers, simply dressed in simple blue jeans and either black or white t-shirts performing, in a rehearsal studio, accompanied by some kind of heavy metal soundtrack, in a rehearsal studio.
By constantly recycling symbols, Basarab’s practice has been revolving around deconstructing certain social morals and also questioning the current social structure based on such grand notions like truth.
The artist’s interest seems to lies in her in ability to scrutinize different societies from a single position by way of a sort of using the same detection system, a system whose method she appropriates, no less, from the discourse of democracy (i.e. voting); a discourse meant to offer the illusion of power and of having a choice. By doing so, she manages to successfully inquire into cultural differences… but what differences since our current desires across geography tend to be satisfied in shockingly similar ways. What are then, the incentives left for a personalized value system within the current increasingly uniformed society?