New Media Art. Selected works from the Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iași art universities

Cătălin Gheorghe, Cristian Nae
Wed, September 07, 2016 to Sat, September 17, 2016

This exhibition presented the works of three graduates and postgraduates, selected by their teachers from the art universities in Bucharest, Cluj-Napoca and Iaşi. After it was installed at Borderline Art Space in Iaşi, the exhibition travelled to the Casa Matei Gallery of the Art and Design University in Cluj-Napoca and to the UNAgaleria Gallery of the National University of Arts in Bucharest.

Talking about his work, Valentin Cernat states: "the installation 'Înveliş vertical' ['Vertical cover'] aims to perform a radiography of the sum of processes, states and manners of perception generated by the interaction with a personal collection of family photographs. Thus I analyse critically the manner in which a number of aesthetic, transient pleasures, combined with security and with family privacy, generated for a period of time a pseudo-identity rooted in trust or in an imaginary stigma. By applying the definition of the individual self in the context of interpreting family albums, I analyse punctually the manner in which I related initially to these photographs. Moreover, through the study generated by this work, I intend to expose the dominating, intimate and sensitive discourse of the interpretations generated by family identity. With this project I present concepts and theories related to physical corporality, memory, archive images, past, identity, and I describe my own body through medical records. The project is not merely an effort to map the past, but instead an interrogation of the presence, of actuality. The works in this exhibition were made with the desire to present a radiography of the moment, of the manner in which I perceive now my own person. It is the current answer to the question 'who am I?', beyond appearances, beyond that 'Vertical cover'. It is a shift towards being through the constant interrogation of the self".

In Andra Roman's own words, "the video installation 'World Wide Women' has women as its main topic. As the title suggests, the installation is addressed to all women, irrespective of origin, religion, race or culture, being an homage to female individuals around the world. Feminism is a social movement that pursues the equality of rights between men and women. The aim of the installation is to show the evolution of woman as an individual in a society that discriminates against them and labels them, focussing on three stages: Genesis, woman as a sex object, the independent woman. 'Geneză' / 'Genesis' refers to the Creation of the World, particularly to the relationship between Adam and Eve. The second part, titled 'Femeia ca obiect sexual' / 'Pretty hurts' concerns the stage in which women were nothing more than entertainment or baby-making machines. Here we are introduced to a woman that is exploited sexually on a daily basis, dominated by the male gender, used, a woman who gradually loses her power and her self-respect. The last part, 'Femeia independentă' / 'Independent woman', presents the moment in which the woman is reborn like a Phoenix in order to regain her independence, to prove to the world and especially to the male gender that she is in no way inferior to the latter". The Iaşi exhibition will include just the video piece, not the entire installation created by Andra Roman.

As Ciprian Pricop puts it, "the work 'Imagine, arhivă, memorie' / 'Image, archive, memory' is based on an artistic research project positioned in the area of digital art, proposing a new media installation that explores the concept of memory through associations and analogies on several conceptual levels – the memory of archives, the human memory and the technological one, appropriation and recontextualisation as postmodern practices, the analysis of today's information society and of its effects on human memory. [...] The project proposes an experiment in recovering the memory of the past and in exhibiting it in a physical form that reminds of the material structure of technological memory at a particular stage in its development. The memory of the past is represented here by an archive of postcard-format photographs from the 1920s and 1930s presenting famous figures from the theatre and film scene of the era; the photographs belonged to a Jewish family that emigrated in the 1980s. [...] I took over the dysfunctional photographic archive – it had lost its original referential information – and I created a new, digital archive that includes the reconstructed story of the Jewish family that used to own it. [...] The digital archive thus obtained is displayed as a movie on a matrix structure, of a lighting panel that reconstructs the principle of a particular type of magnetic storage used in early computers. [...] Together, the low resolution and the matrix form of the screen that displays the film of the archive, the gaps between the lighting spots that form the pixels of the moving images, the blurry and organic shape of these pixels, the re-created story behind the archive, together with the images themselves, build a visual poetic of fractures, gaps, fragments of images that contain fragments of a past and invite the viewer to meditate and to re-evaluate memory".