Being engaged in a ceaseless process of negotiation and construction, the body is seen today as something which needs to be permanently invented and reinvented through strategies of self–projection, identification, rejection, adaptation, empathy, in a plural and fluid matter. The exhibition Blood, Stop, Space, Gold questions the topics of embodiment, appearance and touching through the four artistic discourses selected here. A part of these views and inquires turn also to gender and sexual permanent role playing, as well as the dichotomy private and public in relation to this issue. Today, more than ever, the power of human interaction creates a “contact crisis”, as Nona Inescu argues. “As members of human society, perhaps the most difficult task we face daily is that of touching one another – whether the touch is physical, moral, emotional, or imaginary.” (Anne Carson, from Before Sexuality: The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek). In her video, “Where touch begins, we are” Nona Inescu reflects on intimacy and sensuality – the human body can expand infinitely, blurring the borders of the individual and the surroundings through touch.
Ana Adam employs drawing as an empowering tool, “a daily alchemy” capable of immortalizing the almost-unseen, the energy, the wake of actions, summarized by her artistic credo: I am both the character and the creator. The fragmentation of the self is reflected in the plural stories unfolding in Larisa Sitar’s digital collages, where the archive becomes an open source about human relations and interactions unfolding in a fictional historical story. Emilio Rojas invokes the border as a critical tool, or as feminist theorist Gloria Anzaldúa describes it – “an open wound”, exploring questions about exploitation and neocolonization. The red velvet unfolding in the exhibition space triggers one’s attention to surroundings and gestures loaded with the impulse of transgression. The impulse of reacting and interacting is also present in Ana Adam’s installation of soaps – vehicles of discovering inner messages, but also washing off an emotional burden.
Contact and touching are rarely symmetrical and the dual experiences of touching and being touched reveal different sides of exposure and concealment. “As a concept, touch is ambivalent: it is more intimate than sight, which has been the traditional metaphor for knowledge in Western thinking. Yet touching is also about grasping or understanding, as in it we are taking hold of something.” (Saara Hacklin, To Touch and Be Touched: Affective, Immersive and Critical Contemporary Art?)
Ana Adam (b.1964) lives and works in Timisoara, Romania. Her favorite techniques are drawing (pencil, ink, pigments, textile fibers, with or upon paper or soap). Selected exhibitions: Life a User’s Manual – Art Encounters Biennial Timisoara and Arad (2017); X Stylistic Matrix Xylography, Calpe Gallery, Timișoara (2016); Retracing, Monostori Erod, Komarom / Budapest Gallery / Criș County Museum (2014); IV Stylistic Matrix Xylography, Transformadora Gallery, Durango (2010); Fibers, pigments, French Cultural Center, Timișoara (2010, solo); Art on knees, 28 Gallery, Timișoara (2007, solo); Memorial Tapestry, traveling exhibition: USA / Italy / Poland (2003); Drawings again?, Banat Country Museum, Art department, Timișoara (2002, solo); Drawing exhibition, Sindan Cultural Center, Cluj-Napoca (2000, solo).
Nona Inescu (b.1991) lives and works in Bucharest. Her art practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses photographs, objects, installations and sometimes video works. Informed by theoretical and literary research, her works are centered on the relationship between the human body and the environment and the redefinition of the subject in a post-humanist key. Recent solo exhibitions include: An animal that was once thought to be a plant that transformed into stone, SpazioA, Pistoia (2018); Lithosomes, Exile, Berlin (2017), Conversation with a stone, SpazioA, Pistoia (2016), Her latent image, Kube Musette, Bucharest (2016), and Hands don’t make magic, Sabot Gallery, Cluj-Napoca (2015). Her work has been included in group exhibitions such as: Survival Kit 9 in Riga (2017), Life A User’s Manual – Art Encounters Biennial Timisoara and Arad (2017), Grotto Capitale, Exile, Berlin (2017), Gestures of Tomorrow at Kunstverein Nuremberg (2016).
Emilio Rojas (b.1985) aims to push boundaries and create cathartic experiences that encourage the participation of the viewer. He expresses himself through numerous media, as performance, video, photography, public interventions, sculpture and installation. Solo exhibitions: The Lions Teeth And / Or the World Was Once Flat, Gallleria Piú, Bologna (2017); Poetics of Embodied Landscapes, JosédelaFuente, Santander (2015); Following a line, through a landscape, Back Gallery Project (2015); El Grito, Vivarium Gallery- Vancouver (2011); Nationalism & Sports; The only way to love, Vivarium Gallery, Vancouver | CA (2010). Selected recent group shows: Traddutore, traditore. Comisariado, Gallery 400, College of Architecture and the Arts, University of Illinois, Chicago (2017); The Dead Taste Sweeter Than the Living (performance), DePaul Art Museum, Chicago (2017); Besides Colonization, JosédelaFuente, Santander (2017); Manual to be (kill) or forgive my own father, Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago (2016); Sobre(vivir), Former Bank of Japan Hiroshima Branch. Hiroshima (2016); Colonial Color Palette, Lafayette College, Grossman Galleries, Easton Pennsylvania (2015); To Die Once and a Thousand Times, in collaboration with PAL, Lodge Theatre, Vancouver (2015); Twice Stolen Land, AHVA Gallery. University of British Columbia, Vancouver (2015).
The works of Larisa Sitar (b.1984) explore topics such as memory, mythology and nostalgia, using photography, video, installation, drawing and interventions in public space. The characters appearing in her practice are transposed from collective consciousness or the faraway origin of mythologies and fairy-tales. Selected exhibitions: Life A User’s Manual – Art Encounters Biennial Timisoara and Arad (2017); The Fortress of Solitude from the holy wood of eternal noise, The National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC) Bucharest (2016); Inventing the Truth. On Fiction and Reality, la Biennale di Venezia, The New Gallery of the Romanian Institute in Venice (2015); WHAT ABOUT Y[OUR] MEMORY, MNAC, Bucharest (2015); Transformation. Romanian Sculpture 25 Years After the Revolution, Museum Beelden aan Zee, The Hague (2014); PASAJ, MNAC – Annex, Bucharest (2014); Care Crisis, Futura Gallery, Prague (2012); Essl Art Award CEE, Essl Museum, Klosterneuburg / Wien (2011); Zoomania.Ro, MNAC, Bucharest (2010); Start Point Prize, GASK, Kutná Hora (itinerant at NTK gallery, Prague, 2010).