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PAVILION [contemporary art & culture magazine] on Fri, 23 Jun 2006 07:14:35 +0200 (CEST)

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un text care va aparea in Praesense:

Turbulence closer to home: chaos art theory and BB2 in Bucharest 2006

by Stefan Tiron

With BB2 this year in Bucharest, the city boasts two art Biennials. As the
Periferic Biannual in Iasi entered its 7th edition, Bucharest always felt
it was lagging behind in a race where every capital city is expected to
participate and slowly secure its role in the international Contemporary
Art circuit. Trying to assess Biennials in general we are confronted with
huge organisms somehow caught in their own bid to replicate their editions
and renew each second year their initial burst of enthusiasm, in a
perpetual search for curatorial resourcefulness and managerial acumen.
It is perhaps both salutary and opportune that the first BB2 (the
Bucharest Biennale for Contemporary Art) edition didn't allow itself to
spiral down into the touristic excess that sometimes translates into
bombastic daytime national pavilions and the usual crowd of connoisseurs
and officials shaking hands during expensive cocktail parties.
The glamour effects of such an international contemporary art mingle were
cleverly contained by the appointment by the organizers of the Hungarian
curator Zsolt Petrányi from Budapest and his choice of Bucharest
locations. Zsolt Petrányi chose the halls of the National Museum of
Geology, the hothouse of the Botanical Garden and its adjacent Faculty of
Biology building, the National Center for Dance and the National Museum of
Literature as the proper string of exhibiting spaces for his own take on
the reception and pervasiveness of contemporary chaos and confusion.
All these locations haven't yet been bound by any particular curatorial
practice or common denominator but now and during this Biennale they will
stand united as a possible network fostering contemporary art projects
across the capital.
Since the Greeks divided the world between cosmos and chaos, chaos was
placed outside the boundaries of culture and science was appointed to
order and make sense of a highly unpredictable universe. Chaos came closer
to home as turbulent meteorological or geological phenomena where
theoretically encapsulated as recurring catastrophic occurrences.
Catastrophist logic is presently part of our mental make-up as much as
urban sprawl and traffic jams. Bucharest is probably the best place in
Europe to start looking into the opaque mass of chaos culture and its
daily occurrences. Beside a series of presentations at the Info Point the
different selected works encompass different ways of signaling these
Dan Perjovschi did the design for a skateboard - the proper surface to
start analyzing the domestication of provocative gestures by the
corporative helping hands. Branding the FUCK YOU© is a two-step diagram
where the "up yours!"-hand sign gets to wear the Rolex after the proper
In the hallway of the Faculty of Biology Ioana Nemes refurbishes the usual
impersonal array of Botany or Zoology books with her own personal choice
of covers and colors. Both the space inside the shelves and the pages of
biology books have initially been used to preserve and classify the
particularities of each living species, but for now the cover marks a new
form of living taxonomy.
Sebastian Moldovan’s crossed-out road sign for THE PARIS planted inside
the Botanical Garden is another way to record the doppelgänger status of
the French capital inside the city of Bucharest.
The artist Ilona Németh exposes the role of fear and insecurity in the age
of confusion. Photos and a video depicting herself being closely guarded
by two masked special forces men during her daily routine, unmask an
omnipresent danger more closer to home, fully armed and prepared to
Aya Tatsukioka chooses another answer to the fear and incessant aggression
creeping upon the passerby and the commuter. The art of pseudo-commercial
camouflage gives you much higher survival rates if you take cover behind a
kimono patterned after the innocuous vending machines covering the streets
of Japan. As far removed from the bronze statue of Buddha and staying
close to it, the mimetic cover with the vending machine prints is the only
peaceful respite from the external world.
The Geology Museum hosts a video work where Polish artist Janek Simon
launches away some of the current issues in his city, Krakow. The animated
spires of the all-powerful Catholic Church are sent into space as rockets
under a heavenly mission.
In a room full of giant glass models reproducing the atomic grid of
minerals is screened the work of El Perro. The blank solidity of atomic
structure is comparable to the rigidity of our belief in the general
wellness of western democracy even when confronted with its most absurd
and coercive structures. Using the boards and attire of The Democracy
shop, skaters cruise an old Madrid penitentiary.
Engaging the flow of traffic, Rainer Ganahl’s video piece is a hectic
reminder of a nearly suicidal and perilous bicycle ride trough a city seen
from a steering wheel angle.
The newly established National Center for Dance is already one of the most
flexible locations in mid city Bucharest. Appropriately the BB2 Info Point
was hosted inside, as well as some of the most telling series of
photographic works foregrounding different responses to the nonlinear and
chaotic behavior of our current situation. The increasing toll of the
Chinese economic miracle is described by Wang Qingsong in military terms
comparable to the cherished narratives of old patriotic movies. Another
Battle and Commercial War end up uncovering how the new pathos of
boundless competition is engaged in promoting a war of ever-increasing
proportions where everybody fights and dies heroically without making use
of gunfire or rifles.
Pulling out of a journalistic end station Katia Lombardi photos retain the
dignity of the moment beyond the compulsive need of some 90s Brazilian
newspaper to fill the obituary pages.
As a separate piece screened at the BB2, I am Luke Skywalker by Ciprian
Homorodean (alias Mocio) is one of my favorite pieces. The video
juxtaposing of Mocio as Luke Skywalker extolls the playful virtues of an
era of bootleg heroic versions and shameless identity rip-offs. This is
perhaps the only way left to fight off the head-splitting migraine of
being submerged by information overdrive in your own home.

Organized by Cultural Association Artphoto in Bucharest, BB2 opens up the
geographic limits of the Romanian capital city with a host of local and
international names measuring different stages of disorientating disorder
and chaotic flow. For a more complete version of the above mentioned
programs and selected artists, please download the official publication of
the BB2 - the Pavilion Magazine at:

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