Inventing the Truth. On Fiction and Reality.

Romania - Biennale Arte 2015

Artists: Michele Bressan, Carmen Dobre-Hametner, Alex Mirutziu, Lea Rasovszky, Ștefan Sava, Larisa Sitar. 9 May – 22 November 2015 / The New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Research in Humanities in Venice

Exhibition view
The exhibition Inventing the Truth. On Fiction and Reality reflects on the possibilities of fiction as an instrument for understanding the world and for shaping the present. Blurring the line between fiction and reality allows us to articulate creative hypotheses about both past and present, thus activating a new relation between what is and what could be.The artists' works highlight both the process of interpretation and the intricacies of producing a story. The visual construction of each project uses the conventions of fiction, even while developing around a documentary core, with an eye to revealing the subtle “sutures” which bind the actual to the imagined. The impossibility to identify where reality ends and where the story starts compels the viewer to vacillate between how convincing and how jarring the staging is.
Ștefan Sava, The Falling of the Arches, 2015, video HDV, 30 min.
The video The Falling of the Arches reviews various theoretical approaches to looking, as well as the interpretation of images according to the methodology indicated by Georges Didi-Huberman: the privileging of singularity over a unifying, collective vision. Having selected 145 frames from the 850 he acquired from a flea market in Berlin, Ștefan Sava questions the visual representation of a traumatic past. Each image is submitted to an archaeology of the image based on the dialectic between what is rendered visible and what is left out of the visual field.
Stefan Sava, Untitled, 2011, object-net, string, 9 hooks, aluminum wire, approx. 200 x 40 x 40 cm.
The work Untitled was initially used in the video Fundata, the documentation of a performance made by the artist in a village of deportees, where his grandmother once lived. The net-object functioned as an instrument carried by the performer and scratched the surface of the ground with hooks at the end of a rope. The symbolic meaning of this action, although related to what the layers of memory hide and reveal through an aggressive gesture, here stands as a trace of a past action, invisible to the viewers, but still loaded with a capacity to reveal hidden meanings, histories and identities.
Larisa Sitar, And then, one thing led to another..., 2015, digital collage.
The series of collages by Larisa Sitar And then, one thing led to another… juxtaposes images from different sources, contexts and periods, creating complex scenes which are difficult to grasp on one viewing. Sitar integrates disparate elements into the works thereby dissolving the limits of the original source materials. Here, the temporal sequence is manipulated so that fragments of narration overlap and create a «disarray» in the classic, temporal understanding of the relation between present and past. The images come from a digital archive that the British Library has recently released into the public domain through Flickr Commons. They have no known copyright restrictions and have been made freely available for use and re-purposing.
Carmen Dobre-Hametner, Consuming History, 2015, digital photography, series of 12, 30.2 x 55.9 cm each, ultrachrome print, lightbox.
Consuming History, a photographic project by Carmen Dobre-Hametner, sets out from the premise that all social practices create realities, and history is one element subject to this process. Looking at history as radical alterity, the project focuses on the extreme experience of discovering history as real life, through the perfect re-enactment. The Soviet Bunker in Vilnius, a theme park opened in 2008 on the site of a Soviet secret service station, adopts the format of the former political regime and is available to all tourists interested in experiencing the ordeal of interrogation, arrest and aggression, performed by actors who play the rôles of executioners or secret service officers.
Lea Rasovszky, Fluent in Isolation, 2015, sound and visual installation (custom-made steel strips with blue LEDs, 70 x 70 cm).
Setting out from a text made up of fleeting recollections and poetic utterances, Lea Rasovszky creates an isolated, intimate medium that aims to absorb its viewers one by one, using sometimes complementary, sometimes contradictory sounds and three-dimensional drawings, which reconcile themselves with each other in a perfect balance between emotion and irony. In this context, fiction becomes an integral part of the narrator’s life and nurtures the idea that multiple psychological realities do exist, defined by affectivity and cognition in equal measure. Sometimes, the memories are contaminated by a desire to re-write them, to influence them retroactively, and to re-define their rôle through the lens of the present. The work Fluent in Isolation brings a note of melancholy to the exhibition and alters the relationship between real and mental images, between chronological time and personal time.
Alex Mirutziu, The Finnish Method, 2015, performance (30 min.) and installation using IKEA office furniture.
The performance entitled The Finnish Method appropriates the idea of “ontological design” and studies by means of an ensemble of pieces of furniture (the typical office setup) the way in which people create objects and in return the objects influence people’s body and state of mind.
Alex Mirutziu, Prepared Poem #2, 2015, brochure stands, printed transparencies, magnifiers, variable dimensions.
Alex Mirutziu continues his series of Prepared Poems, which relies on attributing to each word that makes up a poem responsibility for determining the spacing of the lyrics, the relationship with the typeface, the ratio between written and blank spaces, as well as the spontaneous connections of meaning that coalesce on the sheet of paper.
Michele Bressan, Present, 2014, object, 20 x 12 x 2 cm.
Present appropriates an object, namely a book by Mircea Eliade entitled Mystical Births, which has the potential to leave behind spatial and temporal reality altogether. The book was a present from the artist’s mother, with a handwritten inscription dated 31 April 2014. As April has only 30 days, the date does not exist. Through misplacing this event in time, the gesture becomes abstract, suspended outside chronological conventions. Personal history replaces objective history and single-handedly sustains the intensity of a gesture for which there is no tangible truth. What remains is only the story of an “improved” reality, extended by one day. This is a retrospective influence on a life that has gained one more day.
Michele Bressan, Single Use, 2011, three single use cameras, 24 exposures each, used by the artist in 2010, and undeveloped.
The work Single Use puts forward apparently ordinary objects in a state of exceptionality, by investing them with a new rôle, that of keeping the product’s promise and intention intact and hidden. The encapsulating unprocessed films permanently postpone the revelation and project an inaccessible content.
Credits: Story

Michele Bressan
Carmen Dobre-Hametner
Alex Mirutziu
Lea Rasovszky
Ștefan Sava
Larisa Sitar

Curator: Diana Marincu

Project management, production and communication:
Ephemair Association

Commissioner: Monica Morariu
Deputy Commissioner: Alexandru Damian

Exhibition design: Marius Bucea
Graphic design: Eugen Coșorean, Larisa Sitar
Site design: Radu Leșevschi
English translations: Carmen Dobre, Alexandru Polgár
Italian translations: Michele Bressan, Larisa Oancea

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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