||The Seductiveness of the Interval |
Stefan Constantinescu | Andreea Faciu | Ciprian Muresan | studio Basar
In partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York and Bucharest, the Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago presents The Seductiveness of the Interval, the project curated by Alina Şerban and featured at the Romanian Pavilion of the 2009 Venice Biennale, to great critical acclaim.
The work of three Romanian artists – Ştefan Constantinescu, Andrea Faciu and Ciprian Mureşan – is exhibited in a two-story architectural structure designed by the studioBASAR architectural group specifically for that purpose. A sequence of interlinking rooms exhibiting the video works of Ştefan Constantinescu and Ciprian Mureşan lead to a staircase that carries the viewer to the work “EXUBERANTIA suspended” (2009), a roof garden by Andrea Faciu. ln Constantinescu's “Troleibuzul 92” (2009) an anonymous man on a bus makes violent threats to an unseen listener without arousing the interest or attention of anyone around him. In Mureşan's “Dog Luv” (2009), after a screenplay by Saviana Stanescu, puppet dogs engage in a surreal dialogue while they torture a "victim" puppet dog.
Together, the artists explore themes of exile, violence, the human capacity for cruelty, and hope. Although the artists' works are distinct in terms of form and content, they are unified by a structure conceived as a stage set. This physical structure serves as a guide through the exhibition space, providing the experience of five distinct acts, as well as intermediary space, for reflection, while the visual narrative unfolds.
“Of all the work on view at the 2009 Venice Biennial,” says Susanne Ghez, Director of the Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, “The Seductiveness of the Interval with works by Ştefan Constantinescu, Andrea Faciu, and Ciprian Mureşan left an enduring impact on me for its intelligence, sophisticated execution, and prescience of vision. It is not only an invaluable window onto a former Communist country for western audiences, but is an incredibly clear aesthetic inquiry into questions of broad consequence.”
Established in 1915, The Renaissance Society is a non-collecting museum at the University of Chicago founded as an "experimental laboratory" committed to supporting artistic discovery. In its nearly 100-year history, The Society has maintained a deep commitment to showing the work of artists that expand and redefine aesthetic boundaries. Robert Smithson, Louise Bourgeois, Luc Tuymans, Thomas Hirschorn, Pierre Huyghe, and Steve McQueen are just a few of the artists with whom The Society has worked closely. The Renaissance Society is providing an exhibition space similar in size to the Romanian Pavilion for the re-installation of The Seductiveness of the Interval.
Stefan Constantinescu was born in 1968 in Bucharest and now lives in Stockholm, Sweden, and Bucharest, Romania. His works “Trolleybus 92” and “Passagen” in the exhibition are focused on micro-events – moods, situations and everyday occurrences – which confront personal destiny with historical dystopias, expressed either in the form of anthropological documentary or fictional film with neo-realist features. Putting onto the stage what is personal, intimate, subjective, Ştefan Constantinescu confers upon his films the status of investigations into themes such as solitude, alienation, and social violence.
Andrea Faciu was born in 1977 in Bucharest and lives in Munich, Germany. In “EXUBERANTIA suspended,” the artist is the director of a screenplay in which the viewer escapes into a detemporalised space of reverie. Reflecting on the reciprocity between stage and spectator, between the instrumental and the aesthetic, between the object of dreaming and the dreamer, Andrea Faciu proposes the traversal of an experience in which the instantaneity of the relationship between subject and world is dominant.
Ciprian Muresan was born in 1977 in Dej and lives in Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His works “Auto-da-Fé” and “Dog Luv” operate with different modalities of transposing literary texts into images. The artist does not pursue fidelity to the text or narrative re-construction, but rather the staging of sophisticated visual sequences, in order to punctuate versions of the real, obsessively inter-related with the imaginary. The subtle tension released by the subjective re-transcription of texts offers the spectator a projection of fragments of a world in transformation, in which aspects of security, control, and the dialectics of power are brought to the fore.
The exhibition The Seductiveness of the Interval was initially conceived and produced for the Romanian Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, with the financial support of the Ministry of Culture, Religious Affairs and National Heritage of Romania, and in partnership with the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm and Venice. This exhibition constitutes a traveling version of the Venice project.
[Image: View from the "Seductiveness of the Interval" exhibition in the Romanian Pavilion at 2009 Venice Biennale. Photo by Dan Vezentan
Photo gallery: Images from the "Seductiveness of the Interval" exhibition at The Renaissance Society. Photos by Catalin Rulea and Oana Radu, RCINY]