Archeology and PostArchive

Raluca Nestor Oancea
Wed, April 25, 2018 to Thu, May 31, 2018

Artists: Robert Antoniac, Federica Clincenaru, Gabriela Cozma, Stoyan Dechev, Nikita Dembinski, Andrei Mateescu, Olivia Mihaltianu, Maria Mraz, Andrei Șendrea

The archive, as impersonal memory of the world, and at the same time collage of our dreams, holds its own time, encapsulates a spaciousness of its own, an "other space" according to Foucault's words. It opens, as a mirror, a way to the virtual domain. Personal or institutional-bureaucratic, magic or scientific, ancient or contemporary, it represents a way of reading the world, a way to access the truth, whether it is existential or just manufactured, a simple narrative imposed by the strongest will to power.

In the hand of an artist, it can become a way of taking out of hiddnness, a place of openness even if assisted by technology, a multifaceted crystal image that, by simply mirroring, wipes out any barrier between past, present and future. In this sense, the Ashurbanipal’s Babylonian Library (Stoyan Dechev) can coexist with a cyanotype dress (Olivia Mihălţianu), with a personal archive of diapositives in communist Romania (Andrei Mateescu appropriates the pictures of his father, a character impaired by the regime, from whom along name and surname he also took the pleasure of making art), as well as with a series of virtual-technological recontextualizations of the famous photographic archive Costică Acsinte.

The model of heterochronicity will be put to work in an exemplary manner by this post-archive, in which the collection of clay tablets resumes in a technological register the game of death, decadence and power of the Assyrian tyrant, while cyanotype - as an old way of archiving documents, plants and architectural plans - becomes a garment and brand of fashion design. Cronos (or rather kairos) will be invoked too by the diapositives that show traces of a political regime, simultaneously with a cathartic re-establishment of the family relationship with a lone father. The transition from Panopticon to the new control types and technologies, link between post-archive and post-truth, proliferation of religious or consumerist pseudo-myths will be exposed by the projects of a group of very young artists, along with the revival of historical photographs collection.