Mircea Cantor
Am I Really Free?
October 7–December 13, 2020

STUK — House for Dance, Image & Sound
Naamsestraat 96
3000 Leuven


Curator: Karen Verschooren, STUK

STUK is delighted to present the work of internationally renowned contemporary visual artist Mircea Cantor (°1977). His multidisciplinary practice is first and foremost to be understood in terms of (a quest for) visual poetry, meditation and spirituality. Inspired by the large and small events of everyday life, and through an ingenious play with rhythm, repetition, symmetry and tactility, Cantor succeeds in creating strong poetic images which have the capacity to linger in the mind.

In this first solo exhibition in Belgium, Cantor presents a careful selection of films, photography and drawings from his recent oeuvre, in addition to a film made especially for this exhibition titled Am I really Free?. Together, the works allow us to reflect upon the freedom of our movements in space, the practice of tracking and tracing, ideas of borders and limitations, and the courageous and sometimes audacious attempt to sublimate or subvert.

The exhibition Am I Really Free? is part of a series of solo exhibitions in STUK by contemporary visual artists who have a particular affinity for the moving image. Previous exhibitions in this series include Sebastián Díaz Morales – TALK WITH DUST; Mika Taanila – THE END; Nevin Aladağ – ROLLIN’; Omer Fast – Appendix; Joachim Koester – Maybe this act, this work, this thing; Emre Hüner – Neochronophobiq; John Akomfrah – Auto Da Fé; and Bjørn Melhus – The Theory of Freedom.

Mircea Cantor
(°1977, Oradea, Romania)

Mircea Cantor is a Romanian-born contemporary visual artist, working and living on Earth. Throughout his practice which resonates through strong poetic imagery and spirituality, a diversity of topics emerge including a.o. the existence of the individual within grand political and historical narratives, the relation between human, nature and technology, and reflections on continuity, renewal and interruption. A myriad of motives such knots and ropes but also fingerprints, florals, flags, airplanes, and angels, are recurrent, resulting in a closely knit and rhizomatic oeuvre.

Mircea Cantor was awarded the Fondation d’entreprise Ricard Prize in 2004 and the Marcel Duchamp Prize in 2011. In 2019 he received the title Officier des Arts et des Lettres, in France, and the National Order of Merit in rank of Knight in Romania. His works are exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, and featured in prestigious collections including the Musée national d’art moderne / Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; the Rennie Collection, Vancouver; and the Castello di Rivoli, Turin.

Mircea Cantor is represented by DVIR Gallery and Magazzino. A comprehensive monograph on his work was published in 2019 by Editions Dilecta, Paris.

Works in the exhibition:

Aquila non capit muscas (2018)
HD film color, mute, 3’40”

Adjective to your presence (2018)
Color film, 38’, soundtrack: Panarmonicus

Funia (2015)
Film, color, mute, 2’45”

Tracking Happiness (2009)
S-16mm transferred on HDCAM, color, 11’, soundtrack: Panarmonicus

Am I really free? (2020)
HD movie, color, sound, 7” in loop

Wind orchestra (2012)
HD movie, color, sound, 13” in loop

Vertical attempt (2009)
Mini DV transferred on DVD, color, sound, 1” in loop

United States of Mind (2014)
C-print, 33 x 33 cm

Shortcuts (2004)
Black and white photographs (triptych), 49 x 60 cm each

IO (2009)
Diptych, black and white photographs, 30 x 20 cm each

President Donald Trump signing an Executive Action for a Wall Along the Mexico Border (2018)
India ink on paper, 29.7 x 42cm

Chaplet (2014)
Etching ink, artist’s finger print on paper

Rainbow (2014)
Etching ink, artist’s finger print on paper

Courtesy: the artist, DVIR gallery, Brussels/Tel Aviv en Magazzino, Rome