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A Matter of Contemplation and Discontent

AMOCAD Outdoor

Matter of Contemplation and Discontent

Art in Romania, 1980s-1990s | 1F Galleries | 22 September – 19 November 2016 | Supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute

Artists: Alexandru Antik, Sándor Bartha, Geta Brătescu, Teodor Graur, Ion Grigorescu, Peter Jacobi, Dan Mihaltianu, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Mircea Stănescu, Sorin Vreme  Curator: Anca Verona Mihuleţ

The exhibition Matter of Contemplation and Discontent presents a selection of influential artists from Romania, consisting of unique pieces of art created between the 1980s and the 1990s in various media – from drawing to photography and video. Other works have been produced for the current exhibition, based on archival documents and photographs. Its aim in the Vargas Museum is to place certain artistic discourses in a different context, using deconstruction, repetition, memory and parallel compositions as curatorial methods. However, the selection of works also draws a portrait of Romania during the period of transition from communism to democracy, trying to determine the representations of the political, but rather playfully, and avoiding a compact presentation.

Alexandru Antik presents a selection of short films and animations created over a ten-year period, allowing the viewer to observe the protagonists of his performances. He is preoccupied with identity, the relation with the body and the nature surrounding him. Antik’s display is accompanied by a lecture-performance, where he comments on the archival material he has processed from the 1980s onwards.

Sándor Bartha’s video shows the artist on a big monitor, breathing in silence. An inflated plastic bag, tied to the window, imitates the movements of his breathing. Created at the beginning of the 1990s, this work describes the artist’s passivity towards the political changes that Romania was undergoing.

The series of drawings produced by Mircea Stănescu and Sorin Vreme at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s suggests the two artists’ responses to the political demons and to the uncertainty that was so overwhelming in the days preceding the fall of communism, as well as later on, in the period of transition.

Ion Grigorescu contributes an intriguing complex of photographs he took in1991 and 1994, during the period in which Bucharest was experiencing a paradoxical combination between reconstruction and demolition.

Revisiting history with the instruments of contemporary thinking allows us to research other layers of the subject matter. In this context, the exhibition integrates two paintings realized by Brenda Fajardo, focused on disruptive episodes from the history of the Philippines.

This exhibition is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute. Special acknowledgment is extended to Ortansa Ghindea.

For more information, please contact Vargas Museum at (+632) 928-1927 (direct line), (+632) 981-8500 loc. 4024 (UP trunk line), (+632) 928-1925 (fax) or send an e-mail to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

 

You may also check our website at http://vargasmuseum.upd.edu.ph/ or like us at http://www.facebook.com/vargasmuseum.upd and follow us at Twitter and Instagram @UPVargasMuseum for updates.

 

 

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About Jorge B. Vargas Museum

It aims to preserve its collection donated by Jorge B. Vargas and conducts research, exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. The Vargas Museum and Filipiniana Research Center houses a museum, archives, and library devoted to the Philippine history, art, and culture from the late 19th century until the post-war era. Its main beneficiaries are students, faculty, researchers and scholars of the Philippines and Asia.

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"Transpersonal, instructions" is an invitation to participants to experiment with the boundaries between accepted notions of authorship and audience expectation—to play with the performativity of their roles and rethink the various modes of attention they are setting up. Merlinda Bobis is featured in "Transpersonal, instructions" through her works "River, River" and "An Altar for the Desaparecidos." In the video, she performs a retrieval in her one-woman play which she adapted from her novel "Fish-Hair Woman" (2012) and performed in Australia, Philippines, Spain, US, Canada and Singapore (2009-2014). This short film is a document of the 2008 creative development of "River, River" towards a possible community play in collaboration with Filipino migrants in Campbelltown and the Illawarra (New South Wales, Australia) including the Bitabara family, and with filmmaker Virginia Hilyard, sound artist Jane Ulman, composer Sarah de Jong and the Campbelltown Arts Center. "River, River" is a story of mourning and remembering to restore the disappeared to their loved ones during a war that happened more than three decades ago. But this weeping-singing continues to this day and across geographies to retrieve all our beloved lost to war and armed conflict, to summary executions and extra-judicial killings, and to the mindless violation of the lives, well-being and dignity of humans and non-humans alike. We retrieve the bodies, we restore the river.
A few copies of TK Sabapathy's "Writing the Modern" are still available. To purchase, please contact Veronica at 928-1927 during office hours.
ADVISORY: The museum will be closed tomorrow, 16 January 2019, Wednesday, from 12 noon onwards for maintenance. Regular hours resume on Thursday.
"Transpersonal, instructions" is on view at the 1F and 3F Galleries until 1 February 2019. For group tour bookings, please contact vargasmuseum@gmail.com. "Transpersonal, instructions" is an evolving transnational research project that engages with public lectures, exhibition making, education, sonic scores and publishing in contemporary art. The exhibition arises from a series of public lectures at the ICA in London on the production of psychotechnologies, cyber addictions, material feminisms, citizenship and bioinsecurity. "Transpersonal, instructions" encourages a binding thread that resists and resets a world view on uneasiness. It is partly proposing a challenge to the current world order by providing a window into anthropological entanglements, for example those affecting indigenous lives. Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are London-based artists working across objects, installation, and film. Their practice explores processes of production as cultural, social and political practices; following geological, geopolitical and biological strains within the manufactured landscape to create work that questions the context of its own becoming.
Elizabeth Povinelli of the Karrabing Film Collective gave the keynote address at the "Transpersonal>Postnormal Times", a symposium held on 15 December 2018. This program is the collateral activity of the exhibition "Transpersonal, instructions" which is on view at the Vargas Museum until 1 February 2019.
The Vargas Museum Permanent Art Collection at the 2F Main Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 9am-5pm. For group tour bookings, please send your inquiries to vargasmuseum@gmail.com.

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