The Near and the Elsewhere at Dinamo Swimming Pool
Currently on view

The Near and the Elsewhere at Dinamo Swimming Pool

Curated by
On view until
September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
September 21, 2023
Suprainfinit gallery

We are delighted to invite you to the opening of Kristin Wenzel’s exhibition and artist book launch The Near and The Elsewhere at the Dinamo Outdoor Swimming Pool in Bucharest, with a DJ set by Borusiade starting at 8 pm.

The site-specific intervention consists of five newly commissioned glass works that are placed around the terrace of the pool. Adorned with sand and cast out of sea glass collected by the artist at the Baltic Sea during her Residency at the Nida Art Colony, they reflect the artist's relationship with water, as well as her earlier engagement with ‘non-places’. In this context, the public swimming pool as a social infrastructure–which played an important role in Kristin Wenzel’s childhood in the GDR–is representative of her interest in public microarchitecture. 

The intervention refigures fallen stucco ornaments from Bucharest’s decaying buildings, collected by Kristin in the past few years. Disparate in shape, architectural style and period, these fragments coagulate an idiosyncratic archival process, one that reflects on the discourses present within European architecture. Historically, architectural ornamentation, as well as other forms of artistic excess, have been associated with the feminine, the queer, and the monstrous. While in pre-Modernist architecture this association between ornament and othered subjectivities coalesced to give birth to a notion of sublime beauty that was oppositionaly constructed in relation to masculinised ‘rationality’, Modernism abolished ornamentation altogether in favour of a standardised minimalism. The design and exterior wall mural of the Dinamo swimming stadium recall Socialist Modernist architectural forms and, together with Kristin’s works, remind of the uncanny eclecticism of Bucharest.  

The artist book The Near and the Elsewhere, launched with this occasion, documents a large-scale installation with the same title that was created in 2020 at SUPRAINFINIT Gallery in Bucharest. The book features an essay by curator Cristina Vasilescu, establishing a biographical reference to the artist’s interdisciplinary work. 

Similar to the critical notes found in Wenzel’s works, Borusiade’s musical contribution to this exhibition further repudiates the exclusions that underscore minimalism in the present. Borusiade’s style runs counter to the ro-minimal genre, the latter still dominating the local underground club scene, which has recently become subject to a process of commodification.  

Wenzel’s in situ installation is the first of a series of three off-site exhibitions, part of the wider project Figuring Desire, Reshaping Monstrosity that revisits the concept of (female) monstrosity, its underlying histories of oppression and marginalisation, as well as the possibility of liberation through (science) fiction, fantasy, and queer and feminist mythologies. Equally, the project aims to encourage transdisciplinarity and research-based practices in the arts.

Text by Maria Persu

Graphic design by Eugen Nelutescu

Artist book design in collaboration with Alin Cinca

Event documentation by Petre Fall

Project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.

Supported by Goethe-Institute, Bucharest

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Works shown