Apparatus 22, Olivia Mihălţianu, Anca Mihuleţ

The Small Gallery of The Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research, Venice
Cannaregio 2214, Venice, Italy

September 16 – November 14, 2011

Opening, Thursday September 15, 19.00

The exhibition Situated Knowledge: I Follow Rivers of Thoughts reunites a mobile working team formed by the collective Apparatus 22, the visual artist Olivia Mihălţianu and the curator Anca Mihuleţ. The idea of the project came as a reaction to the present system of artistic value, more and more determined by speculation, excess or the misinterpretation of exterior signs.

Situated Knowledge: I Follow Rivers of Thoughts represents an analytic project, based on the study and attentive observation of the artistic research methods, aiming to bring into focus a new terminology and a different approach towards art thinking. Therefore, in the frames of this project, the accent falls not on the final artistic product, but on the processual character of art, and on the accords between imagination and missing spaces of the reference system.

Apparatus 22 proposes the intervention “ART IS WORK“. “ART IS WORK“ is the first in a new series of projects that the collective is developing with the aim to analyze and comment on how art, politics and economy have been making use of fashion and clothing in building utopian programs. In this case, the starting point is the Tuta, an ambitious universal garment designed by Italian artist and designer Thayaht renown for his involvement with the Futurist movement.

Apparatus 22 attempts to give a new use and mission to the Tuta, The naïveté in dreaming of a garment for a new world, without caste prejudices, aesthetically resembling a worker's uniform and bearing an antibourgeois message of independence. In the same time, the reinterpreted Tuta was imagined as the perfect canvas for adding another utopian layer: a two-version text questioning the valuation and remuneration of artistic labour.

W*EASTERN is the title of Olivia Mihălţianu’s work, filmed on super 8 and based on "Western Spaghetti" genre aesthetics, ironically dealing with recent developments established on the international art scene: the constant reconfiguration of the power-interrelationship between artists, curators and institutions, seen as reformers and catalysts for a new cultural environment.

Olivia Mihălţianu proposes a power discourse, in which case the formal means of expression have no relevance. The corporality of the presented images (doubled the film’s poster) doesn’t allow the viewer to distance from the subject – the cowboy attitude, seduction masked by the hat, the cigarette smoke or the seeds’ peels are the excellence elements of a modern "Western Spaghetti".

For Situated Knowledge: I Follow Rivers of Thoughts, Anca Mihuleţ has abandoned her position as curator, and has assumed the role of a concept evaluator. In a first register, Anca Mihuleţ deconstructs the aura of the curator within the economy of an exhibition, gravitating between immaterial and element of balance. In the next register, the absent curator introduces a quasi-reactionary and synthetic guide for the young researcher. Under the attribute of a creative writing sample, paradoxical ideas are being introduced – continuous time, traditional researcher vs. action researcher, invisible knowlegd-ing, or false problem/ missing truth/ uncontrollable truth.

“Situated Knowledge: I Follow Rivers of Thoughts" is part of the “Fostering Artistic Practices” program for visual arts initiated and financed in 2011 by RICHR Venice.

The exhibition is accompanied by a special newspaper edited by journalist and writer Anna Battista.
Press office: Quartier Général(Paris)

Apparatus 22 is a multidisciplinary art collective initiated by Erika Olea (b. 1982, Bucharest), Maria Farcaş (b. 1977, Târgu Mureş), Dragoş Olea (b. 1979, Bucharest) and Ioana Nemeş (1979, Bucharest – 2011, NY) during the winter of 2011. Apparatus 22 examines the social and political role of fashion, working with ideas and actions that will ignite the critical potential of this creative discipline. From the latest project of the collective, we mention: “Image to be projected until it vanishes” at MUSEION (Bolzano, IT); “Desire is War” at The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum (Sibiu, RO); "MAK Nite", MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art (Vienna, AU); "Morpheus Buyback", at the contemporary art festival Steirischer Herbst (Graz, AU).

Olivia Mihălţianu (* 1981, Bucharest) is interested in cross-media and process oriented projects involving: video, film, photography, object-making, installation and performance. Her approach follows various visual aspects related to personal identity and social life in different cultures by questioning topics like gender, parallel lives, multiplicity, alienation, re-contextualisation. Olivia Mihălţianu’s works were presented in various exhibitions: "east by south west", Charim Galerie (Vienna, AU, 2011); 4th Young Artists' Biennial (Bucharest, RO, 2010); "Where Do We Go From Here?", Secession Haus (Vienna, AU, 2010); "Wakefield Meadows", Pavilion Unicredit (Bucharest, RO, 2009); "Anyone But Me, Anywhere But Here", The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum (Sibiu, RO, 2008).

Anca Mihuleţ (* 1981, Sibiu) works as an art critic and curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery of the National Brukenthal Museum in Sibiu. She is preoccupied in creating a theoretical platform for emerging artists and young curators; also deals with public space and institutional research, museum strategies, visual inquiry and analytic artistic approach. From her curatorial projected we have selected: Chișinău – Sibiu – Brăila, artist: Pavel Brăila (2010); Everything is going to be alright, artist: Belu Făinaru (2010); I wish I were like you, artist: Ulrike Ettinger (2009); only cowards die without having fun, artiști: Dragoş Bădiţă, Katja Lee Eliad, Delia Popa (2009). In 2011, she has been conducting a research on the contemporary Korean art scene, supported by the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea.

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