Collective writing by Victoria Vargas-Downing, Ewa Borysiewicz, Sasha Puchkova, Mateja Smic, Bermet Borubaeva
Editor Shasta Stevic
When creating a collective letter, writers always face a formatting problem: how to preserve the individual traits of the authors in their impressions and thoughts whilst connecting their texts to each other to create a single work.. This lead to the idea to produce a “glossary”. A glossary, also known as a vocabulary or clavis, is an alphabetical list of terms in a particular domain of knowledge with the definitions for those terms; a brief dictionary.
We decided to make a laconic version of the dictionary of our experience at the 2019 Art Encounters Biennial in order to share those moments that, in particular, interested us when we visited the Biennial on 19 September 2019 and as as a way to express our gratitude for the experience. Our visit to the Biennial in Timisoara was a research field trip organised as part of the Belgrade-based curatorial program What Could Should Curating Do?
B (blowing, Bodies, Blowing mind, Brilliant, Back, Bella Rune)
Blowing to the wind the silk mohair strings,
Dyed with mushrooms and kool-aid
Air Bodies are made
As gravity plays the weightless stay
carving the air beside the rails
Blowing mind colours made
the macramé a digital high tech
while embodied knowledge is claimed.
Heritage is there,
that in the form of the yarn
An abstract totem rise
As spaceship to the sky
it is a brilliant colour from the past in front of your eyes
look at that… the future is in your back.
C is for Céline Condorelli, Context and Curating
In her Collection Show (2019), Céline Condorelli presents us with a proposition for an order in a situation that seems to lack it. The artist, invited by Maria Lind and An c a Rujoiu to take part in the 3rd edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, arranged an exhibition within an exhibition, a museum in a museum. Her contribution, stemming from the artist’s ongoing investigation of deli c ate relationships between objectscts of art and objects of the everyday, consists of several structures meant both as support systems and staging mechanisms. These brightly coloured constructions, presented in Timișoara’s Banat Museum, highlight items coming from various collections of the region’s capital, allowing the viewer to access the city’s “object-oriented” history.
One of them, an intensely blue hexagon, showcasing a selection of toys sour c ed from the Museum of the Communist Consumer in Timișoara is a clumsy universe in its own, bringing together car miniatures, plastic animals and grotesque human figurines. Thanks to a new context and an attentive arrangement of the objects within the structure designed by the artist, the viewers witness a transformation of the mundane into the auratic . Presented in a stagelike setting, the awkward objects lose their initial, gleeful purpose and gain gravitas in exchange.
Although a coherent and disciplined one, Condorelli’s pie c e is still a sensible proposal. In its very essence, the Collection Show resembles a group exhibition and as such, is one of many possibilities to think about objects in space and time. Furthermore, Condorelli invites us to reflect on dilemmas that are usually associated with a profession of a curator: how to compose a clear narrative without reducing its elements to mere illustrations of a thesis? How to communicate a complex idea without succumbing to banality and didacticism? How to make the familiar unfamiliar again and present the universal in specificity? The Collection Show assures us that there is a way to convincingly answer these questions and, moreover, that there are many correct answers.
R is for Removal, Reversal /negative space/
The alley by the “Corneliu Miklosi” nearby the Public Transport Museum of Timiśoara(Romania) is covered by a reversed graffiti image of simplified plant shapes which can be found in multiple outdoor locations in Timisoara. ‘ Spirit of the Woods (Silvia), reverse graffiti, aluminium patterns, variable dimensions’ is a work of Swedish artist Gunilla Klingberg, who is known for her spatial installations and work with ornament. Gunilla often appropriates omnipresent, yet largely disregarded, signs and logos from the visual language of consumer culture, her practice intertwining concepts of art history with social issues. The shapes she produces are generated by making the otherwise dirty part of an area clean with high-pressure washing. Simply put, the work develops through removal rather than addition.
Gunilla’s work inspires thoughts about traditional graphic printing techniques, such as etching and screen printing. In etching the acid “bites” into the metal to a depth depending on time and acid strength, leaving behind the drawing skillfully carved into the wax on the plate. In silk-screen printing the washing out for cleaning screens becomes the main point – a stencil is formed by blocking off parts of the screen in the negative image of the design to be printed with the open spaces where the ink will appear on the substrate.
With reference to printing techniques, let us remember one more work of Gunilla Klingberg, ‘ A Sign in Space ,’ where the relief is made with a cylindrical press, similarly to etching in which a rolling press is used.
Removal, reversal, negative space , it’s both a way to see and a way to create, where the negative space becomes apparent as it forms shapes around the subject.
S is for Sensuality, Sensibility, Seduction
Arts Encounters was a memorable phenomenological experience sustained by a strong and complex concept of temporal, spatial, geopolitical and cultural aspects woven into a light translucent veil gently covering Timisoara. Delightful ssemantical play of the concepts and literal, physical manifestations and phenomena. Inspired by the writing of Herta Müller and alluringly imbued with physical sensuality, the concept of winds, poetical and omnipresent, follows one throughout venues and other spaces hosting works. There is no discontinuity of breaking points. The flow of the currents leads and navigates the passage through history, struggles and narratives. Delicate attentiveness of the research and curatorial approach results in the conglomerate of connections arising from the very core, heritage, and specificity of Timisoara connected with other contexts from all around the world, made familiar and belonging, tied to the locality by various nodes. The region is projected outwards and the reflection returns as a seductive choreography of winds, threads, and breezes.
T is for Trains
Make Trains Great Again. Curators Maria Lind and Anca Rujoiu of the third edition of The Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara constructed an almost half-year long program that will continue even beyond the closing exhibition, with catalog-making that will be also not only catalog. Lind and Rujoiu were like a wind, with you, as an audience, carried along by their thoughts, ideas, and venues. The starting point, Timișoara’s Corneliu Miklosi Public Transport Museum, was the main venue and the source of the metaphor of the train for the Biennial. The Biennial, similarly to a train, offers diverse content within and provides guests with a destination point. Trains intersect different ways of thinking, different people, lifestyles, cities, and borders, as do biennials. Where a train travels horizontally, Bella Rune, a work by Agnieszka Polska situated on the tracks at the Public Transport Museum, creates a vertical dimension of a moving structure, with silk rockets transporting into space. So, you have a starting point and endless possibilities to move and can decide how to use it.