SUPRAINFINIT at Art Brussels 2023
We are delighted to participate in this year's Art Brussels Discovery Section, with works by acclaimed Romanian artists Andreea Anghel (Cluj, RO, 1989) and Gili Mocanu (Constanta, RO, 1971).
Born and raised in Romania in the 1990s, ANDREEA ANGHEL currently lives and works in Wrocław, Poland. Her work mixes ready-mades, found pieces of mid-century furniture, assemblage as a writing technique, with newly built elements and curiosity cabinets that involve durational and emotional labour. Inspired by situations and elements that at first glance may seem common, Anghel’s artistic language reverts that easiness and brings forth uncanniness in a sensibility that channels both care and irony.
The artist adopts a gleaner’s gaze that animates through reinterpretation. The insertion of found objects, often in a disused state, fosters an anti-ad aesthetic, as commodity and waste collide in narratives of daily life. Artefacts of early and late modernity circulate non-chronologically inside her works, reversing references and the norms they are attached to. Building and archiving (personal) histories, pasts are reactivated in the present to question temporal linearity. Through the chosen images, pieces of furniture, church candles, modernist design fragments, the artist allows disruptive counter-memories to emerge.
In The Pacifist, Anghel juxtaposes temporary tattoos and an image of her scanned sword play mask over a large-scale print of an old etching image from a vintage Larousse Encyclopaedia showing early modern proto-amputation methods. The artist underlines the still existing understanding of tattoos as signifiers of prison culture, as the spectacle of punishment is reproduced through contemporary pop culture stereotypes. Saint Incel of 4chan brings forth a satyric take on hyper/incel masculinities, from contemporary internet culture to past ideals of manhood such as the Christian, or the Nietzschean ‘blond beast’ = Ubermensch. A priestly figure, found in a 19th century book, which might resemble a contemporary meme, a caricatural human contour, is turned upside-down wearing an attached blond ponytail wrapped inside a thin webbing. The oversized scale of the vinyl prints inside the strong aluminium frames become portals towards unknown memories roasted in a thick layer of sharp dark humour.
Selected solo and group exhibitions include: The Well-Upholstered Nightmare (2022) - Solo Show, Zina Gallery, Cluj-Napoca, Romania; The Current Affair of Some Young Romanian Artists - Group Show, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest, Romania (2021); Silver Shining Tears at 3 a.m (2021) - Duo Show Andreea Anghel / Łukasz Stokłosa, Galeria Śmierć Człowieka, Warsaw; HEARTBEAT 20 (New Entries in the MNAC Collection) (2021), Kunsthalle Bega, Timisoara, Romania; Exception of (not) being - Online-only group show curated by Essenza Club and Rhizome Parking Garage (Ongoing since August 2020); I really miss Adorno - Solo show (2019), Galerie Klubovna, Brno, Czech Republic; Know Every Way Out Of Your House (2019) - Solo show, Cave Gallery, Wroclaw, Poland, curated by Barbara Żłobińska and Mariusz Maślanka; Where Do We Go From Here? (2018) - Group show, Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest, Romania.
Upcoming exhibitions include: duo show with Radek Szlaga, curated by Romuald Damidenko at MOS Gorzów, Poland (2023); Collateral Event of the Art Encounters Biennial curated by Ciprian Muresan, Timisoara, Romania (2023); Figuring Desire, Reshaping Monstrosity (2023) - group show, SUPRAINFINIT Gallery, Bucharest, Romania.
GILI MOCANU, born 1971, Constanta, Romania, lives and works in Bucharest, Romania and is considered one of the most acclaimed conceptual painters in Romania. Between abstractionism and conceptualism, his paintings transform the canvas surface into realms of unearthly desires.
Mocanu’s works construct non/spaces, at the confluence of non/meaning and non/matter. Their subtlety lies in how the finitude of the canvases encapsulate and enable infinity to unfold in mathematically in/finite lines. The indeterminate nature of Gili’s geometrical structures gives the paintings the possibility to multiply three-dimensionally in a myriad number of ways, in an absurd construction of space and time, a possible nonreality that floats outside the canvas. As forms grow out of each other, the paintings surface to an imminent performative level.
In Karen Barad’s words, “Nothingness is not absence, but the infinite plentitude of openness”. Gili’s compositions are at once a-subjective and a-objective, yet it is precisely this void that nurtures a spectrality to the paintings. Narratives of lines, volumes, the corners of unlived living rooms, speculative voids, like gigantic colourful pixels on a TV screen, transform the bi-dimensionality of canvas surfaces into cinematic flows. Escaping the representation of a real sense of placeness, the abyssal and ghostly feelings of the paintings choreograph the gaze. As such, the possibility of meaning and identity still weighs relationally between the materiality of the surfaces and the onlooker.
In repeated flashes of light and darkness, Gili’s works are hauntological cavities, plunging into a liminal terrain between presence and absence, being and non-being.