In the artistic practice of the last 50 years, the object, however ordinary, has consolidated its own realm on the territory of contemporary art. With the beginnings of the last century and the famous ready made objects by Duchamp, the improper use of the object has generated a centrifugal movement of representations and applied inventions, alongside countless processes of metamorphosis. The spectator has often questioned about the object’s real origin and about its materiality – and even more when it came to the association of objects, which became subjects to a rapid artistic combustion of significants. The identity of the object has been turned thusly into a sort of extension of communication, a reflection or a commercial distortion, as it happened with Pop Art, a hybrid of combinatoric art, like in Rauschenberg’s works, in the New Dada manifestations, or a humor-filled saga the way it appeared in the theatrical installations of Fischli & Weiss, just to quote but a few examples.
The world of lifeless objects, expelled and stripped of their functional and commercial context identifies Laurian Popa’s particular expressive path, in a personal approach, at the same time abstract and figurative. In his works, the mutual influences and interferences produce complex correlations between the artistic technique and language, with allusions to absent marginal characters, but who are recovered visually through a technique of distantiation based on the alternation between presence and absence, which is opposed, one could say, to the technique of presenting the objects.
In his previous exhibition of 2014 organized at the Museum of Art in Arad, Laurian would start there from recovering the back stage props, a whole series of refused stage elements, deteriorated, not functional any longer, which have been re-used by the artist and reinvested with a new role in the artist’s new original play, aimed to serve therefore to a figurative and abstract narration, which at that time put together the compositional method with the thematic approach. The same objects anchored in a delimited and abstract space reappear now in the exhibition After the escape…, at the Új Kriterion Gallery in Miercurea Ciuc.
The loss of identity goes to the loss of memory and vice versa, the object turned to itself captures the slow motions, as if of end of race, of the homeless people, in a ready made picture, involuntary and ephemeral. The multiple projection of an object (the duvet, for instance, now yellow, now red), separated in distinct sequences, constructed in micro-narrations, melts in a parallel zigzag, unfinished, in an explosion of colors which burst among the remains of objects deprived of their principal role. All this while the homeless, who never appear physically in these works, are like shadows of a haunted life in these spaces devoid of their presence.
Certain methods of Neuroaesthetics could be helpful in order to understand, for instance, why Laurian associates “comfort and laziness” with the abandoned duvets in his paintings, the way he asserts in his statement for this exhibition. The same way we may have a further clue to understand why the duvet that belonged to his sister during her childhood has become the magic cloth of a square totem. The same Neuroaestetics could provide us with the Ariadne’s thread able to lead us through the geometrical structures, in the junction of dream-like rings and in the agglomeration of colors, in the alliance between objects, subtle almost metaphysical references – all, elements which clearly speak about the incontestable maturity of the artist and delineate already the precise iconography of a deeply articulated work.
Claudio Scorretti, Art advisor, Gallerist