Ștefan Sava, Ion Grigorescu: “Gates and Ploys. Casting A Shadow”

Exhibition at Ivan Gallery

I invited Ion Grigorescu at the beginning of 2017 to a dialogue on the subject of corporeal bodies. If in the beginning, the range of my personal reflection was focused rather on the iconographical representation specific to medieval manuscripts, marked by vernacularity and by marginal elements that escape a forward interpretation, our mutual interests have evolved towards a concurrent, somewhat clinical exploration of our own anxieties. A military surgical table from ‘30s Europe becomes a projective surface on which the shadows of the absent, repaired or missing body are cast upon. In equal way, an object of this kind placed me - under Ion Grigorescu’s guidance - in the area of (Michel Carrouges’s) “celibatarian machines”, which are mechanisms with a life of their own, to which the difference between death and immortality, movement and suspension of movement becomes irrelevant (through coexistence).

Modernity and hypermodernity likewise become cultural contexts appropriated and contested from rather visceral perspectives, marked by falls in anonymity and by the constant exploration of the internal limits and mechanisms of the human body. Grigorescu’s ‘Gates’ are physical thresholds of his own body that he passes with both irony and curiosity: in some cases he feels tricked by them, fooled, other times he takes hold of these personal ‘errors’ and governs them again from cultural stands. The outcome is a bold exhibition in which the dialogue between generations is rendered through a puzzle of fragments and sighs.

By Ștefan Sava

 

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ȘTEFAN SAVA (b. 1982) lives and works in Bucharest. He holds a MA from the Photo-Video Department, The National University of Arts Bucharest and also a PHD from the same university, following a research about the Holocaust in Romania. His projects combine photography, video, performance and object and are based on a long process of theoretical reflection and research. He is particularly interested in the subject of recent history and in the way in which it can be visually reactivated through an analytical approach.

Among the exhibitions he took part in: 2016 - “The Falling of the Arches”, Riga Photography Biennial, Alma Gallery, Riga (LV), 2015 - “Appearance & Essence”, Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara (RO), “Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory, and Revolution 1916-2016”, Vienna Biennale, MAK, Vienna (AT), “Inventing the Truth”, Venice Biennale, The New Gallery of Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanities Research in Venice (IT), “Few Were Happy with Their Condition”, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Winterthur (CH), “Ruins of the Day”, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest (RO), 2013 - “Europe/South-East. Recorded Memories”, Braunschweig Museum of Photography, Braunschweig (DE), 2012 - “From the backstage”, Salonul de proiecte, MNAC Anexa, Bucharest (RO). “Gates and Ploys. Casting A Shadow” is Ștefan Sava’s 5th show at Ivan Gallery.

 

ION GRIGORESCU (b. 1945) lives and works in Bucharest. Considered one of the most significant representatives of the neo-avant-garde and conceptual art in Eastern and Central Europe, Ion Grigorescu developed throughout his career a complex artistic practice, difficult to frame from an one-sided perspective. He experimented with various media - painting, photography, film, performance and installation - which he explored by documenting his work which involves his own body, daily life, social and political reality. His works from the ‘60s and ‘70s, provocative and subversive, search for the contradictions inherent to the ‘objective’ facts, criticising the Communist regime and the dictatorship before 1989. His more recent work acquires spiritual and religious connotations, producing at the same time a critique of the institution of art itself.

His works have been shown in exhibitions at the National Museum of Art, Romania, Stedelijk Museum, MoMA New York, Vienna Biennale, New Museum New York, Venice Biennale 2011, Documenta 12, to name just a few.

 

Ștefan Sava, Ion Grigorescu
“Gates and Ploys. Casting A Shadow”
Ivan Gallery
5 June – 28 July

Opening hours: Wednesday to Saturday, 1–7pm, or by appointment outside the visiting hours.

 

Ivan Gallery
Doctor Dimitrie Grecescu 13
050598 Bucharest, Romania
Email

 

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