Monday, 30 September 2013

1:1 curated by Mihaela Varzari, PRESS RELEASE, atelier 35, Bucharest (5 Sep - 5 Oct 2013)

Press Release


Opening: Thursday, 5 September 2013, 6 PM

Ziad Antar (Lebanon/France) 
Liliana Basarab (Romania)
Heath Bunting (U.K.)
Victor Man (Romania/Germany)
Deimantas Narkevičius (Lithuania) 
Tanja Ostojić (Serbia/Germany)

Curated by Mihaela Varzari

for exhibition imagines pls follow:

Still from Tokyo Tonight by Ziad Antar, 2003
Courtesy the artist

In his book Sylvie and Bruno Concluded (1889), Lewis Carroll described an impossible map. In this fantasy, a professor explains how his country´s cartographers were experimenting with ever larger maps until they finally made one with a scale of a mile to a mile. “It has never been spread out, yet”, he says. “The farmers objected: they said it would cover the whole country, and shut out the sunlight! So now we use the country itself, as its own map, and I assure you it does nearly as well.”

   The art project 1:1 brings together six international contemporary artists whose works exploit the concept of ‘mapping’. This concept becomes here a tool for (re)defining subjectivity (in)formed by and through complex bio-political forces. Physical borders start taking the shape of mental borders and representation comes into sharp focus. 

   Through the selected works, the project discuses the European Union´s intransigent attitude during negotiations with future member states and the reverberations of their subsequent integration. Namely the economic dictatorship that followed.Therefore the project points towards the impact that Europe, this increasingly powerful united nations territory, bears globally. 1:1 addresses the complex relationship to memory, citizenship and identity in a confrontational and deliberately evasive way. Its point of departure is the constant pulling between wanting and needing of the newly affiliated territories to European Union.


   In his documentary Disappearance of a Tribe (2005) Deimantas Narkevičius, investigates the remnants of a culture in the context of Lithuania´s integration and unmasks the uncritical acceptance of new standards. The title is charged with meaning, where we are not witnessing the disappearance of a family but rather that of a tribe. From an anthropological perspective, the concept of tribe implies a unique culture and lifestyle, as well as values and rituals common to its members. 

Liliana Basarab proceeds as an anthropologist but in different geographical locations of Europe and US considering people’s fantasies, self-indulgence or otherness in the documentation of her series This series is a result of a series of four residencies during 2007 and 2010. Addressing the foundation of public monument, which in Romania, replaced the history of the revolution, her work opens up dialogue, as opposed to what happens to all monuments, which to hastily conclude debates and perversely take over the task of remembrance.

   Ziad Antar’s enigmatic and multi-layered work, Tokyo Tonight, deals with global power structure. Through the voices of three shepherds, the word “Tokyo” is uttered three times as a mantra – a mantra can be distinguished as that which has a personal meaning but none to the outside world. According to Samuel Huntington, the failure to understand one another has been located in the clash of civilization, which stands as a false problematization. In other words, issues of inequality, exploitation and injustice are instead perceived as issues of intolerance.[1] Within the same vein, Tanja Ostojc’s Untitled / After Courbet (L´origine du monde, 46 x 55 cm), 2004 goes beyond the reverberations of the recent history of Europe, namely the EU integration, and takes a firm stance in the face of Art History, asking implicitly (and explicitly) “for whom and by whom has it been written?“. As the result of the media scandal in Austria (December 2005) the artwork was censored. Due to the increasing demand for the image on behalf of lay audience, the artist produced a small edition of posters. The show presents one of these reproductions of the original image.

   In The Status Project (2011) Bunting analyses the relation between soil and national identity, through a series of computer generated maps, in a militant project, which attracted the EU’s attention. He challenges the privileged status attributed to the work of art and disregards such notions as the separation of the aesthetic from the rest of human life and prioritizes information and action. Victor Man and Heath Bunting address the notion of nationalism in the age of global citizenship but employ totally different aesthetics. With the sculpture Untitled (Coats) (2007), Man has the inserted the Romanian national flag into the lining of 3 coats that hang benignly on a coat hanger. The oblique presentation of the symbol might suggest a surreptitious and perhaps guilty embrace of national identity, this is transfigured as something private though inextricably tied to a collective experience.

1 S. Huntington, Who Are We? The Challenges to America’s National Identity,  (Simon & Schcester, 2001), p. 86


Workshops and events: 

Workshop, Survival Skills with the artist Heath Bunting
7 September 2013, 10 AM – 6PM, Băneasa Forest, Bucharest
Heath Bunting invites you to take part in his workshop Survival Skills in the forest Băneasa, outside Bucharest. The workshop is aimed at anyone who wants to spend the day in the artist’s company and learn about edible plants, building tree houses or hunting.

Performance, The Shoe Maker with the artist Liliana Basarab
5 September, 2013, 7 PM, during the project’s opening, Atelier 35, Șelari 13, Bucharest
Liliana Basarab invites the participants to the opening to wear three pairs of sandals with entangled back straps. This workshop represents the translation of the artist’s older ceramic based sculpture, titled Family Relationships, 2008 into a performative intervention.

Feature Film Screening, Why Mickey Rourke?

23 September, atelier 35, Șelari 13, Bucharest
The choice for showing these two films comes from the influence they had on the generation which was in its teens or early adulthood in 1989 and was marked by the characters played by American actor, Mickey Rourke.

91/2 Weeks, directed by Adriane Lyne, USA, 1986, 1h 34 min, starring Mickey Rourke & Kim Basinger;
The Wilde Orchid, directed by Zalman King, USA, 1989, 1h 47 min, starring Mickey Rourke, Jacqueline Bisset & Carre Otis.

Presentation of the project’s on-line publication.

Supported by Atelier 35, Bucharest

This project was realized without any financial help and we would like to thank the invited artists and Plan B Gallery in Berlin for their generosity.

The point of departure for this project is based on Mihaela Varzari's MA Dissertation in History in Art, Between Wanting and Needing, Contemporary Art in Eastern Europe, supervised by the Prof Dr Lanfranco Aceti, 2008, Birkbeck College, London.


Artists' bios
Ziad Antar

*1978, Paris/Beirut


Here, Elsewhere, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Marseilles, FR(2013);

Expired, Selma Feriani Gallery, London, UK(2011);

Suspended Space, Pompidou Centre, Paris, FR(2011);

Terres de Pomme de Terre, Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, FR(2009);

The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, the New Museum, New York, USA (2009)

Liliana Basarab

*1979, Bucharest


LUCK /Do I feel lucky? Do ya, punk?’, Glosna Gallery, Poznan, PL(2012);

Truth/s, APARTE gallery, Iași, RO(2011);

Truth/s, DVAC, Dayton Visual Art Centre, Dayton, Ohio, USA(2011);

Accidents, mutation and mistakes, MORA gallery , Bucharest, RO(2010);

Fight!, Vector gallery, Iași, RO (with Costel Chirilă)(2006)

Heath Bunting

*1966, Bristol


The Status Project & The Netopticon, furtherfield art space, London, UK(2012);

HEATH BUNTING: STATUS PROJECT, Arnolfini, Bristol, UK (2012);

Disclosing The Invisible: Jill Magid and Heath Bunting, SKOR & Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, NL (2001);

Visitors Guide to London, Documenta 10, Kassel, DE (1997);

The Status Project, Transmediale, Berlin, DE (2011)

Deimantas Narkevičius

*1964, Vilnius


Da Capo, Marino Marini Museo, Florence, IT(2013) Marino Marini Museo, Florence, IT(2013);

Performing Histories(1), MOMA, NY, USA (2012-2013);

A Tang of Lomo Film, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, DE (2012); Architektur und Film, Blue Box, The Head, Sprengel Museum, Hannover, DE(2011);

Restricted Sensation, gb agency, Paris, FR (2011);

BFI, Southbank Gallery, British Film Festival,BFI, London UK (2010)

Victor Man

*1974, Berlin/Cluj


In un altro aprile, Villa Medici, Rome, IT(2013);

The White Shadow of His Talent, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles, USA(2012);

Mudam Luxembourg, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, LU(2012);

Lazarus Protocol, Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, SCT(2011);

If Mind Were All There Was, The Hayward, London, UK(2009)

Tanja Ostojić

*1974, Berlin


Three/Free postcards, Škuc Gallery, Ljubljana, SI(2012);

Call the Witness, Venice Biennale, Venice, IT(2011);

Brooklyn Museum, New York, USA (2007);

I’ll Be Your Angel, Venice Biennale, Venice, IT(2001);

Personal Space, Manifesta 2, Musée d`Histoire de la Ville de Luxembourg, LU(1998)

Mihaela Varzari


Published Articles:

What Does It Mean To Be Sophisticated? Renzo Martens Meets Bernadette Corporation, in collaboration with Cristina Bogdan, ARTA magazine(2012);

… and the winner is… Truth/s - project by Liliana Basarab, 2011, U.S., ARTA magazine(2012);

Points of view on Jens Haaning’s performance, Bicycle Holiday in Poland, 1979, Public Preparation’s catalogue Crisis Special, organized by curator Rael Artel (2010);

Review on Vanessa Billy at Who Shapes What – an exhibition by Vanessa Billy, Limoncello Gallery,;

Congo meets the West in fantasy, The Double Club in London, a Carsten Höller project by Fondazione Prada, Compromise of a European Integration: Points of View (Periferic Biennial, art as gift, 2009) IDEA/arts+society, 2010;

The Compromise of a European Integration: Points of View (Periferic Biennial, art as gift, 2009) published with IDEA/arts+society, 2010;

Curated Projects:

No Spitting -community based project”, funded by Tower Hamlets Homes,London, UK,invited artists: Marcin Dudek(PL/BE), Kazimierz Jankowski(UK), Othello de Souza(UK), 2010     

Documenting Cadere: 1972-1978, MODERN ART OXFORD, 2013, Expo Review

  text written by Kazimierz Jankowski and Mihaela Varzari

In some of the photographs that populate Lynda Morris’s exhibition Documenting Cadere, 1972 – 1978 we see the  artist André Cadere in a familiar guise; decked-out in flared jeans, wooden clogs   and a Breton-striped shirt, an iconicity that was complete only with one of his Barres de Bois Rond in tow, carried by the artist as a walking stick of sorts, as though some Shepherd to the artworld, or perched against the wall of the gallery, often as an unsolicited addition. These pointedly irreverent artistic strategies, such as his adding of the Barres de Bois Rond without permission to an existing exhibition, or his conspicuous wielding of it at any number of art-openings, as he was famous for doing, suggests that attempting to convey this work is almost immediately curtailed    if a curator decides that they want to convey this performative aspect of his work to a contemporary audience (as Lynda Morris chooses to do). Because without the living spark of André Cadere the man, the Barres de Bois Rond remains an object of mystery, no less intriguing than the romantic image, often portrayed, of the of the artist himself.

Lynda Morris’s exhibition does not suffer such curtailment, principally because it does not appear to be a ‘Retrospective’ in any conventional art-historical sense. Archives appear not to have been thoroughly and exhaustively plundered, as one may find with a big museum show, nor is there a sense in which the material presented intends to create a balanced, objective view of Cadere’s practice. Whatever the reason, Documenting Cadere, 1972-1978 chooses to re-animate only a portion of his career through carefully selected material that refer mostly to his time in London and Oxford (although not exclusively) during those six years. This material includes plenty of postcards and invitations that Cadere used to publicize his presence with the Barres de Bois Rond in the UK, but also Italy and France as well as photographs of him holding the Barres de Bois Rond or giving   lectures to groups of bearded students in vast, white studios in, New York, Milan and Paris, often   with a single thin ‘Bar’ intriguingly positioned at the deep end of one of these large white rooms.   In spite of the standard museum-like display strategy and the linear  “time-line” that structures the show and accumulates photographs, posters, letters, invitation cards in an anti-clockwise motion around the room, culminating, somewhat stoically, in a single Barres de Bois Rond pinned to the wall,  Morris manages to create a rare encounter with the artist and his work. An ‘OK Magazine’ article from 1974 furnishes one vitrine with a tabloid-style ‘but is it art?’ type story on Cadere, next to which we can see a hand written letter to Morris from Cadere expressing thanks and delight in receiving the article. Elsewhere, a photo-montage of Cadere visiting an Oxford pub with his ‘Bar’, resembles a collection of old holiday-snaps in their blurred, discoloured, amateurish feel, as does an awkwardly cropped image of a cigarette smoking Morris with a jet-lagged Cadere in a pub, with the famous ‘Bar’ in the foreground.    
   It seems that the absence of Cadere is overcome by Morris through her choice of photographic and journalistic ‘snapshotsthat capture not only  Cadere’s work, but also the periphery of his activities, which include a record of the artistic climate but also of the social unrest at the time – exemplified perhaps by the inclusion of an article on the Venice Biennial in ’68, which was marked by social rioting in Italy. These snapshots create an intimacy with Cadere’s work, by favouring fragmentation, blurriness and over exhaustive, lucid comprehensively. It is this sense of intimacy through this fragmented view of the past has the effect of drawing the viewer closer to the artist and his work, perhaps because this approach has the effect of beginning to dissolve the image we have of Cadere the Icon.