remake de Daniel Gontz
curator Mihnea Mircan
vernisaj miercuri 15 noiembrie 2006 19:00
la H’art Gallery

Cel mai recent proiect al lui Daniel Gontz renegociaza pozitia artistului roman fata de “saracie si ridicol”, identificate la un moment dat de Calin Dan ca marile secrete de stat ale tarii, dar si fata de o piata artistica internationala care are inca un apetit necontrolat pentru exotism. Ce poate artistul roman sa “vanda”, ce tip de discurs e viabil atat artistic cat si economic, cum sa se pozitioneze intre observarea si participarea la saracie, ridicol, intarziere istorica si dezarticulare sociala? Ce ar trebui imaginile sa le inoculeze privitorilor, conform caror politici de reprezentare si perceptie, in avantajul cui?
Cronologic si teoretic, am depasit anii nouazeci si expozitiile “post-zid” – cand artistii din Est si-au croit in cele din urma drum in muzeele si galeriile occidentale -, in care abordarea “nu-doar-arta”, catalogand obsesiv lucrari drept marturii ale conflictului si traumei, era periculos de aproape de “nu-tocmai-arta”, facand lucrarile aproape de nerecunoscut in spatele anexelor lor politice si istorice. Dupa cum am depasit expunerile de tip bazar, saturate de fantasme ale Balcanilor si de fumul de mici (ca o ceata de rau augur sau ca o aura, luati-o cum vreti), delimitand un teritoriu indepartat al conflictului si melancoliei, istoriei si utopiei. Dar nu intru totul. Gontz porneste de la imaginea emblematica a artei romanesti de dupa 1989, o fotografie din seria ‚Framing Bucharest’ de subREAL, frecvent instrumentalizata in asemenea contexte expozitionale pentru a ilustra, in ciuda sa, aceasta abordare impovaratoare a artei estice. Ca in toate lucrarile din ‘Framing the Cities’, subREAL izoleaza si incadreaza un fragment de arhitectura, in discontinuitate temporala si opozitie ideologica fata de restul cadrului. Tropii reprezentarii mimetice sunt adusi in joc in trompe l’oeil-ul istoric si politic. Performance-ul subREAL a fost refacut, cu Daniel Gontz si Vlad Nanca jucand rolul maestrilor si folosind acelasi cadru. Iosif Kiraly, din grupul subREAL, a apasat pe buton si fotografia a fost reprodusa absolut fidel, lucru inlesnit de faptul ca locatia este neschimbata, in ciuda anilor care au trecut. Nimic nu s-a schimbat acolo din punct de vedere arhitectural si urbanistic, prin urmare lucrarea lui Gontz nu poate fi inteleasa ca o demonstratie a prosperitatii liberale atotcuceritoare.
Gontz a urmat aceeasi strategie pentru a reface una dintre ‘Reconstructiile’ lui Iosif Kiraly, un colaj din instantanee, temporal distincte, ale aceleiasi locatii. Ambele imagini refacute au fost alegeri semnificative prin aceea ca au fost folosite de diversi curatori si in diverse expozitii pentru a demostra ca Estul nu este nici Est nici Vest, ci un vast spatiu al contradictiei, al auto-reflectiei neincetate si al enigmelor sociologice, care repeta si abandoneaza scenarii ale propriului trecut si viitor. Remake-urile semnaleaza aparitia unei noi generatii, mai putin interesata de definirea Estului, mai putin dispusa sa se angajeze in forme de gesticulatie culturala care pot fi descrise drept ‘invidie de geografie’, sau ‘invidie de istorie’, sa reflecteze, à la Zenon, asupra paradoxurilor propriei marginalitati. In masura in care nu este doar o fictiune cu manifest, aceasta noua generatie ar putea imagina alte strategii de a scrie o istorie comuna intre Est si Vest. Remake-ul celor doua fotografii inchide, intr-un fel, o era: face modelul clasic prin faptul ca a motivat o reproducere. Forteaza generatia anterioara sa preia statutul de “maestru”, de neatins dar in acelasi timp la distanta. Manevra lui Gontz simuleaza si produce canonul – mai intai reprodus, apoi impins deoparte prin acte de diferentiere.
(Mihnea Mircan)

Daniel Gontz’s ongoing project re-negotiates the position of the Romanian artist in relation to “poverty and the ridicule”, described on one occasion by Calin Dan as the great state secrets of the country, but also in relation to an international art market that still has an inordinate appetite for exoticism. What to “sell”, then, in order to produce a viable discourse, where to position oneself between observation of and participation to poverty, the ridicule, historical delay, loss and social trauma? What should images inoculate their viewers, according to which politics of representation and perception; how to orchestrate political and social ideologies in the image and to whose profit?
Chronologically and theoretically, we are today past the ‘90s and the “after-the-wall” shows – when Eastern art works finally made their way to Western museums and galleries -, where the “not-just-art” take, compulsively framing art works as testimonies of conflict and struggle, was dangerously close to “not-really-art”, making pieces almost unrecognizable behind political and historical attachments. As we are past the rhetoric of “blood and honey”, bazaar-like displays saturated by phantasms of the Balkans and the smoke of cevapcici (like a ominous fog or like an aura, take it as you will), delineating a remote and irreducibly alien territory of conflict and melancholy, history and utopia, “this” and “other” collapsed. Gontz decided to initiate the dialogue or polemic by using the emblematic image of post-revolutionary Romanian art, one of subREAL’s ‘Framing Bucharest’ photographs, often instrumentalized in such exhibition contexts to illustrate, in spite of itself, this take on art coming from the East. Like all works in ‘Framing the Cities’, this subREAL picture isolates and frames a fragment of architecture, in temporal discontinuity and ideological opposition to the rest of the setting, while the tropes of mimetic representation are brought into play in the historical and political trompe l’oeil. The subREAL performance was reenacted, with Daniel Gontz and Vlad Nanca playing the part of the masters and using the same frame. The camera was operated by Iosif Kiraly of subREAL and the photograph was reproduced as faithfully as possible, something facilitated by the fact that the urban landscape of the location is the same as it was, in spite of passing years. Nothing has changed architecturally and urbanistically, therefore Gontz’s piece is not to be understood as a demonstration of all-conquering liberal prosperity.
The same strategy was followed to remake one of Iosif Kiraly’s ‘Reconstructions’, in which temporally distinct snapshots of the same location are collaged to produce images of time seeping through places. Aside from being visually compelling, both remade images were significant choices inasmuch as they had been used by various international curators to show that East is neither East nor West, but a vast space of contradiction, ceaseless self-reflection and sociological conundrums, where scenarios of past and future are rehearsed and abandoned. The remakes signal the emergence of a new generation, less worried by defining the East, less eager to engage in forms of cultural gesticulation that can be described as ‘map envy’, or ‘history envy’ respectively, to reflect, à la Zenon, on the paradoxes of its marginality. To the extent that it is not just a figment equipped with a manifesto, this new generation could imagine other strategies to write a common history between East and West. The remake of the two photographs closes, in a sense, an era: it renders the model classical by the fact that it has triggered a reproduction. It forces the previous generation into a “master” status, untouchable but also distant. Gontz’s maneuver simulates the canon – first reproduced, then pushed away through acts of differentiation.

Str. Mihai Eminescu nr. 105-107
Luni-Vineri 13.00-18.00
Sambata 14.00-18.00