Romanian Contemporary Artists
25th November 2021 - 31st January 2022
Romanian Cultural Institute, Lisbon
Wanda Mihuleac + Nuno Judice
+ Material from the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest, Romania
Curator: Marta Jecu
Thé show blends archive material from thé beginning of thé 20th century through thé 1990s, with récent artistic work. It launches a meditation on political connotations that landscape received in time, on the fronteers and politics of urban and natural landscapes, on landart and ecological art of thé last century as forms of resisting cultural and political censorship and of thé traces dictatorship left on Romanian landscapes.
In collaboration with: The Museum of the Romanian Peasant Bucharest (MNȚR), Galeria Posibilă Bucharest, Anca Poterașu Gallery and Ivan Gallery Bucharest.
• With thé extraordinary lecture of Portuguese Poet NUNO JUDICE
The exhibition follows CERTAIN KEY MOMENTS OF THE REPRESENTATION OF THE LANDSCAPE in the last century in the cultural history of Romania and the way in which it was transformed into a WAY OF EXPRESSION OF A POLITICAL, CULTURAL OR AESTHETIC CREDO. The exhibition DOES NOT present chronological or exhaustive material. Archive visual documents from the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest will be joined with contemporary works of art. The way the landscape was and is lived, viewed, reproduced and disseminated reveals different cultural agendas with a political, SOCIAL OR CULTURAL substratum from different epochs in the recent history of Romania.
"ON Landscape" has as its starting point the photographs of Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcaș, founder of the Museum of Ethnography and National Art in Bucharest (1906) and a great landscape photographer. Its images with a bucolic and timeless nature are invested as a symbol of a perennial rural identity, which was seen as a foundation of the Romanian nation, during the period when Romania began to represent itself at universal exhibitions and was seeking for a coherent expression of its cultural identity. The collection of archival photographic documents will also include some images from the communist period, when the landscape disappeared almost completely from the official propaganda. An artificial 'representation' of landscape turned to be an accessory of the socialist peasant, who was completely detached from nature and was assimilated to the image of the communist urban 'worker'.
Dissident artists working in the communist era, inspired by land art, transformed landscape and nature into a voice that expresses in an abstract way what is censored and repressed during the dictatorship. This approach is specific to the communist works of the 1970s and 1980s by Decebal Scriba and Wanda Mihuleac, SOME OF THE ROMANIAN ARTISTS OF THIS DECADE WHO WORKED WITH THE MEANS OF CONCEPTUAL ART. The exhibition also includes a work by Horia Bernea - the founder of a renewed National Museum of the Romanian Peasant in 1989, that he conceived as an antidote to the communist instrumentalization of rurality.