Breathe This Air

Petru Bejan
Fri, February 16, 2018 to Sat, March 17, 2018

Breathe this Air, a project by Delia Andrieş at Borderline Art Space, even if elusive in the title, seeks to circumscribe - both plastic and poetic - the repressed marks of the feminine. The assumed thematic area does give satisfaction neither to the protesting discourse (denouncing gender discrimination), nor to the claiming enthusiasm of emancipation. Premeditated, it refuses the arguments of the rather loud and strident feminist "fudge" of the 1970s. In other words, the usual "red thread" of partisan ideological positions, which are irrelevant in context, is missing. What is it proposed instead? A multidimensional approach, conceived on the slopes of reflection and introspection, equally engaging the expressive potential of the image (some pictorial compositions), but also the semantic availability of the word (a recitative performance).

Broadly, Delia Andries's creations probe the feminine from the perspective of her identity landmarks. The archetypal foreground ‘figures’ (mother, lover, widow), bound by conventions or prejudices, and constrained to dissimulation, subterfuge, shirk, surrender, are concerned. Is the feminine fatally enigmatic and ineffable? Can we nose a natural, immediately breathable ‘atmosphere’ of it? Or a distinct, easy to spot perfume?

By mapping the feminine, the artist exploits the ambiguities between phenomenon and essence, reality and simulation, evidence and hiding, nature and artifice, mobilizing data of aesthetics of reception, phenomenology of perception, psychoanalysis and philosophical hermeneutics. The investigated vanishing point is intimacy, especially the mental one. The feminine’s duplicities, camouflages, cosmetic masks, deceptive tricks are not stigmatized; on the contrary, they enter a discreetly stylized adaptive economy, in which the natural is adjusted and resignified.

What do the works of Delia Andrieș show us? Wide, shaded, obscured, ash gray surfaces... Static frames, open windows, not really transparent, maxing out the space-time relationships. An embroidered scarf - visual motif - becomes a distinctive sign, identity vehicle, feminine sinecdoc, part raised to the level of the whole. The plasticity of the paintings is articulated not by the edulcorated aesthetics, but the voluntary "straining" of the painting field, inviting the eye to quiet, contemplative and interrogatory stopover, lacking in the voluptuousness of the critical "deconstructions" or spectacular exegetical assaults.

Delia Andrieș's recitative performance links to "Unknown Thoughts and Immaterial Places". By alternating verses in her mother tongue (native, favorable to intimacy and domestic familiarity) and English (foreign or borrowing, language of planetary conventions), the artist contrasts the personal and the collective unconscious, the latter imposing various censorship and restrictions.

What are the distinctive marks of the feminine? The artist does not propose definitions nor does offer resolutions. Instead, she provides implied signs or clues, conductive to the articulation of an atmosphere project, intended to defeat common places and prejudices. Therefore, to be looked at. And ... to take a breath.