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Commissioner: Monica Morariu Deputy Commissioner: Alexandru Damian Curator: Raluca Voinea Project manager: Corina Bucea Graphic design: Nona Inescu

Romanian Pavilion at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia

One hundred years of history in a day, every day

For the entire duration of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, in the Romanian pavilion a small group of performers will enact, during opening hours, a selection of art works, moments or situations that were presented or occurred at the Venice Biennale. From its founding in 1895 until the present day, from iconic works to contested or scandalous ones, from mainstream Western European artists to anonymous ones, from sculpture to abstract installations and to decorative arts, the history of the most famous world exhibition of contemporary art is brought to life through the poses and movements of a few human bodies. The retrospective is created and recreated daily, in an ongoing action in which the works are following each other and complete each other, in the same way in which the gestures of the performers and their spoken words are conceived both autonomously and as sequences. Thus, one can say that An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale is an exhibition just as much as it is a live performance. The history of the Venice Biennale is presented neither chronologically nor hierarchically, still, the project’s scope is not to create a “corrective” version of art history. Marginal Venice, women artists presented in Venice, non-Western-European artists who exhibited there - many of these positions are included in the project but do not become more prominent than they were in the real history of the Biennale. It is this history, with its mainstream and its forgotten artists that is enacted and transformed at the same time. Bronze and oil on canvas, marble or steel, smoke and screens, hyperbolic paintings, majestic sculptures, delicate objects, immersive installations or conceptual art, performance, live art or happenings, even political situations are all evoked and reduced to their basic shapes, patterns or ideas. They are briefly summarized and described or suggested by dry words, arching bodies, bending knees, rotating arms, smiles, shouts, lying downs. As in a choreographic or theatre play, the performers have to know well

their roles and rely on each other; as in an exhibition, the visitors can get in and out at any time, come back, stay as long as they want. As in performing arts, each day the show is repeated, for all the spectators deserve the full experience, no matter if they visit the Biennale at the heat of the opening or at any other time; as in visual arts, even if deprived of objects, the exhibition is there to be seen, offering the certainty of constant presence. At the same time, the show is everyday a new one, no work is interpreted twice identically, the teams of performers are changing, their mood varies and surprises can happen too. Some works might get replaced, others might become interactive and the works in the neighbouring pavilions, at the 2013 edition might be inspirational enough that they get to be added to the retrospective as well. Therefore, the project is a continuous action but also a work in progress, opening up limitless possibilities and just as many questions, doubts, regrets or frustrations. An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale didn’t require any production; no expensive electronic equipment was necessary, no heavy materials to be transported by boat, no logistics or safety regulations to be respected, no storage necessary, no customs paperwork. Instead, performers were employed, thus human immaterial labour, Romanians working in Italy for a survival salary plus the plane ride and a bed. The same journey and no easier conditions than those in which hundreds of thousands of Romanians and Moldovans and Albanians currently work in Italy more than in other places in the world: for Italy is not far from home, the language is accessible, food is good and life is easier to understand. The low-cost flights that the performers take from Bucharest to Venice are the shuttles of these immigrants and of their visiting families, the flux is endless as are their hopes for a better life.

As always, art is political even when it disguises itself as a playful art historical comment. In the context of the Venice Biennale, where art is more important than institutional criticism and hedonism seems to be the dominant attitude, it becomes a real challenge for artists to problematize the conditions of presentation of their works. Romania has a pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale. It was inaugurated in 1938 and it hosted Romanian art also in 1940 and 1942, when many countries were not participating, their pavilions being occupied by the Italian army. The discourse in Romanian culture revolves circularly around issues such as periphery, provincialism, lack of recognition and other complexes. Yet, Romania has a pavilion in the Giardini, bought by the Romanian state. It also owns a building which is now hosting the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research and a second Romanian project that became part of the official programme of the Venice Biennale. Romania suffers that Constantin Brancusi was never presented in the Romanian pavilion. His works were included in the general biennale very late, as was the case with most of the avant-garde (with the notable exception of futurism, which found its comfortable place in the catalogues opened by the portrait of Mussolini and in the exhibitions visited by Hitler). Obsessions of national, ethnic and religious identity are the new old jewellery at the neck of governments in countries which we believed and hoped to be secular and modern. In Venice, art that consolidates these obsessions and art that downplays them are equally welcome, the latest trends of the season in politics are well reflected and the runway is generous in glitter and glamour for all. Oligarchs’ collections, new commissions by the Vatican, propaganda or harmless art from autocratic states, projects about climate change, all find their way to Venice, which lives now probably its most glorious time of inclusiveness.

According to the well-known saying, for a faithful cartographic depiction of the empire, one would need a map as large as the empire itself; thus, a retrospective of the Venice Biennale worthy of its title could only be made on a scale of 1:1. For a small country (which in fact is the 8th largest country of the European Union by area and the 7th by population), situated at the crossroads of Empires (Russia, the US, the EU or Turkey, they all have their share of economic and military interest in Romania’s strategic position), to present in its national pavilion a retrospective of the entire history of the Venice Biennale has several meanings. It is an irony addressing the megalomania of many political decisions and cultural works in Romania, of yesterday and today; it is a criticism towards the enormous budgets which are spent every two years, by everybody (from state representatives to galleries and collectors) for the art’s presentation in Venice and towards the decontextualized settings in which this takes place, irrespective of the economic and political conditions of the contexts where this art originates; and it is not least an homage to the spectators who think that art is nevertheless interesting and who make their own archives of memories from what they see at the Biennale. An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale represents, in addition to all that, an expression of confidence in a future of art which is less fetishist and object-oriented, which contests hegemonic interpretations of history without replacing them with equally hegemonic others, an art which is not beyond and more important than artists or than the people who contribute to its making. In 1974, the Venice Biennale interrupted its numbering of editions and replaced that year exhibition with a series of events dedicated to Chile, at that time under the recently installed military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Under the title “Freedom to Chile”, workers and artists showed their solidarity with the Chilean people, the Biennale was everywhere in the streets of Venice, as anonymous graffiti, posters and

popular theatre or music interventions replaced the big scale show and put aside the recognized names; no Hollywood actor-collector was the visiting star but the wife of Salvador Allende. Four decades later, with pinochets everywhere in a world which miseries are better known but, nevertheless, ignored, no biennale affords to make such a bold statement, Venice the least of all. Art is a lucrative business, the city lives from it and the artists profit from it, who are we to change that? Instead, the project proposed by Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş takes the Venice Biennale as it is and looks at it lightly and seriously at the same time, offering an experience and an exercise of imagination both to those who perform its art history and to the ones who remember it.

Raluca Voinea May 2013

List of works enacted daily in the Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Eve”

sculpture by Nemesio Mogrobejo y Abásolo the Spanish room 6th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1905

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Towards Life”

sculpture by Victor Rousseau Belgian Pavilion 10th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1912

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Rabbi”

painting by Marc Chagall 16th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1928

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “The Animal”

installation by Ernesto Neto 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “The Office of Information about the Vietnam War at Three Levels: The Visual Image, Text and Audio” installation by David Lamelas 34th International Biennial Art Exhibition,1968

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of a ceramic object from Ukraine

U.S.S.R. Pavilion 37th edition, La Biennale di Venezia, 1976

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Leonardo with his Grandfather, Palazzo Papadopoli”

photograph by Nan Goldin exhibition “Real Venice” 54th International Art Exhibition: ILLUMInations, 2011

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “To Raise the Water Level in a Fishpond”

documentation of a performance by Zhang - Huan 48th International Art Exhibition: dAPERTutto, 1999

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of the retrospective of paintings

by Amedeo Modigliani 17th International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1930

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Time, Mistake, Space”

installation by Gino de Dominicis 38th edition, La Biennale di Venezia From Nature to Art From Art to Nature, 1978

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of a drawing

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of an event when ten thousand butterflies were freed from an enormous wooden chest in St. Mark’s square

by José Clemente Orozco Mexican Pavilion 25th Biennale di Venezia, 1950

36th International Art Exhibition: Work and Behaviour, 1972

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “The Flight of Charles the Bold”

painting by Eugène Burnand 2nd International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1897

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Hotel Lobby”

painting by Edward Hopper 26th Biennale di Venezia, 1952

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Ho! Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas: Battle of Easel Point Memorial Project Okinawa”

video by Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba 51st International Art Exhibition: Always a Little Further, 2005

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of a drawing depicting two tigers

the Japanese room 14th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1924

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Description of a banner hung outside the Giardini

52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Reclining Figure”

sculpture by Henry Moore British Pavilion 24th Biennale di Venezia, 1948

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Trotsky as Commander of the Red Army”

painting by Iurii Annenkov USSR Pavilion 14th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1924

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Black Circle”

painting by Kazimir Malevich USSR Pavilion 14th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1924

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Play/ Relaxation Active Space for Didactical Action”

35th International Art Biennial, 1970

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of an embroidery depicting a girl playing an instrument

People’s Republic of China exhibition 39th edition, La Biennale di Venezia: Visual Arts Section: 1980

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of an embroidery depicting a boy playing an instrument

People’s Republic of China exhibition 39th edition, La Biennale di Venezia: Visual Arts Section: 1980

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Salomè"

painting by Federico Armando Beltran-Masses 12th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1920

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of sculptures

by Marina Núñez del Prado 26th Biennale di Venezia, 1952

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Questions, 1981–2003”

slide-installation by Peter Fischli & David Weiss 50th International Art Exhibition: Dreams and Conflicts. The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 2003

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “The Flower Carrier”

painting by Diego Rivera Mexican Pavilion 25th Biennale di Venezia, 1950

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of a painting from the “Made in Heaven” series

by Jeff Koons 44th International Art Exhibition: Future Dimension, 1990

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of a painting depicting window washers

U.S.S.R. Pavilion the 31st edition of La Biennale di Venezia, 1962

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of unidentified work

bas-relief with women 11th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1914

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Shade holding her Foot (Despair)”

sculpture by Auguste Rodin 2nd International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1897

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Thirty are Better than One”

silkscreen by Andy Warhol 41st International Art Exhibition: Art and the Arts, 1984

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of the inauguration of the non-existent South African Pavilion

an event by Vincenzo Eulisse 42nd International Art Exhibition: Art and Science, 1986

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “+ AND -”

installation by Mona Hatoum 51st International Art Exhibition: Always a Little Further, 2005

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Ecce Homo"

sculpture by Mark Wallinger British Pavilion 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Puberty”

painting by Edvard Munch Norwegian Pavilion 27th International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1954

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Number 12”

painting by Jackson Pollock American Pavilion 25th Biennale di Venezia, 1950

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Untitled”

sculpture by Urs Fischer 54th International Art Exhibition: ILLUMInations, 2011

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “The Dream”

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Baluba, Goddess of Fertility"

sculpture by unknown author painting by Henri Matisse 25th Biennale di Venezia, 1950

part of the "Black Sculpture" exhibition 13th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1922

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Germania”

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of sculptures of two birds

by Hans Haacke German Pavilion 45th International Art Exhibition: Cardinal Points of the Arts, 1993

French Pavilion 18th International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1932

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of a sculpture of a panther

French Pavilion 18th International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1932

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of a sculpture of a calf lying down

Italian Pavilion 19th International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1934

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of a sculpture of a seal

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "The Last Riot"

video by AES + F Boemia and Moravia exhibition 22nd International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1940

Russian Pavilion 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “A Football Match of June 14th, 2002”

detail, installation by Huang Yong Ping 53rd International Art Exhibition: Making Worlds, 2009

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Composition no. 1 with Grey and Red"

painting by Piet Mondrian Peggy Guggenheim collection 24th Biennale di Venezia, 1948

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "The Pope and the Penis"

graphic works by Gran Fury 44th International Art Exhibition: Future Dimension, 1990

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Confession”

video by Marina Abramovic 54th International Art Exhibition: ILLUMInations, 2011

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “I am Here”

photographic series by Helena Almeida Portuguese Pavilion 51st International Art Exhibition: Always a Little Further, 2005

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “La situazione antispettiva” part of “The Blind Pavilion” installation by Olafur Eliasson Danish Pavilion 50th International Art Exhibition: Dreams and Conflicts. The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 2003

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Interpretation of a traditional Maori song

New Zealand Pavilion 53rd International Art Exhibition: Making Worlds, 2009

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Supreme Meeting�

painting by Giacomo Grosso 1st International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1895

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Untitled (Boy)”

sculpture by Ron Mueck 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Judith II”

painting by Gustav Klimt 9th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1910

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “L.H.O.O.Q, Mona Lisa with moustache”

painting by Marcel Duchamp 41st International Art Exhibition, 1984

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Public Space/ Two Audiences”

interactive installation by Dan Graham Ambiente Arte, 37th edition La Biennale di Venezia 1976

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Take Care of Yourself"

installation by Sophie Calle French Pavilion 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Space Sculpture”

sculpture by Norbert Kricke German Pavilion 32nd International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1964

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of "Who's Who"

painting by Hakan Gursoytrak 50th International Art Exhibition: Dreams and Conflicts. The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 2003

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Bird in Space"

sculpture by Constantin Brancusi Peggy Guggenheim collection 24th Biennale di Venezia, 1948

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Uomo Duomo”

video by Anri Sala 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Shock Troops Advancing under Gas”

painting by Otto Dix 24th Biennale di Venezia, 1948

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of protest slogans

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Against the Wall”

painting by Juan Genovés during the 34th International Art Biennial in 1968

Spanish Pavilion 37th edition, La Biennale di Venezia 1976

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of a painting depicting five Spanish people

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Quotation of “This is so Contemporary”

performance by Tino Sehgal Spanish Pavilion 15th International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice, 1926

German Pavilion 51st International Art Exhibition: Always a Little Further, 2005

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Tension and Compression 345”

installation by Morio Shinoda Japanese Pavilion 33rd International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1966

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “The Hanged Turkey”

painting by Chaim Soutine 26th Biennale di Venezia, 1952

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once”

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Wally Neuzil in Black Stockings"

installation by Yinka Shonibare African Pavilion 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

painting by Egon Schiele, 1912 Austrian Pavilion 24th Biennale di Venezia, 1948

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Quotation of “Incision (detail) – Body Configurations”

performance by Valie Export 40th edition, La Biennale di Venezia: Visual Arts Section: 1982

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Track and Field"

installation and performance by Allora and Calzadilla U.S. Pavilion 54. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte: ILLUMInazioni, 2011

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Re-enactment of “Dissapearing Music for Face"

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “A Life (Black et White)”

performance by Mieko Chieko Shomi FLUXUS exhibition 44th edition, La Biennale di Venezia Future Dimension,1990

intervention by Nedko Solakov 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of "Empty Shout"

painting by Misheck Masamvu Zimbabwe Pavilion 54th International Art Exhibition: ILLUMInations, 2011

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "The Ninth Hour"

installation by Maurizio Cattelan, 1999 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Void Field”

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Round Bars of Wood"

installation by Anish Kapoor British Pavilion 44th International Art Exhibition: Future Dimension, 1990

sculptures by André Cadere 53rd International Art Exhibition: Making Worlds, 2009

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Instant House"

interactive sculpture by Vito Acconci 39th edition, La Biennale di Venezia: Visual Arts Section: 1980

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Quotation of “Wall Enclosing a Space”

intervention by Santiago Sierra 50th International Art Exhibition: Dreams and Conflicts. The Dictatorship of the Viewer, 2003

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Stuck Inflatable Zeppelin”

installation in public space by Hector Zamora 53rd International Art Exhibition: Making Worlds, 2009

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of an Inti Illimani group song

during the “Freedom to Chile” special edition of the Venice Biennale, in 1974

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Tramstop. A Monument to the Future"

Enactment of “The Goya Series”

installation by Joseph Beuys

drawings by John Baldessari

German Pavilion 37th edition, La Biennale di Venezia 1976

47th International Art Exhibition: Future, Present, Past, 1997

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Cut, Carve, Engrave”

work in situ by Daniel Buren French Pavilion 42nd International Art Exhibition: Art and Science, 1986

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Guernica"

painting by Pablo Picasso "Paris International Exhibition" Spanish Pavilion, 37th edition La Biennale di Venezia 1976

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of live art/ performance

by Menashe Kadishman Israel Pavilion 38th edition, La Biennale di Venezia From Nature to Art from Art to Nature, 1978

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Welder”

sculpture by Fekete Iosif Romanian Pavilion 27th International Art Biennale, 1954

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of "Il suono rapido delle cose"

works by John Cage Homage to John Cage exhibition 45th International Art Exhibition: Cardinal Points of the Arts, 1993

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Abacus”

installation by Serghei Shutov Russian Pavilion, 49th International Art Exhibition: Plateau of Humankind, 2001

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “untitled”

photographs by Cindy Sherman 54th International Art Exhibition: ILLUMInations, 2011

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Venice’s Rent Collection Courtyard”

installation by Guo Qiang 48th International Art Exhibition: dAPERTutto, 1999

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Tracer”

painting-collage by Robert Rauschenberg 32nd International Biennial Art Exhibition, 1964

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Exit”

neon sign by Adel Abdessemed 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Wave-UFO”

interactive installation by Mariko Mori 51st International Art Exhibition: Always A Little Further, 2005

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Triptych”

painting by Francis Bacon 45th International Art Exhibition: Cardinal Points of the Arts, 1993

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u Ĺ&#x;

Enactment of "Untitled"

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of "Composition Number 234"

installation by Jenny Holzer U.S. Pavilion 44th International Art Exhibition: Future Dimension, 1990

painting by Wassily Kandinsky 25th Biennale di Venezia, 1950

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “Untitled (Public Opinion)”

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “Bolero (Shoe Shine Blues)”

by Felix Gonzales Torres U.S. Pavilion, 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

drawings and animation by Francis Alÿs 52nd International Art Exhibition: Think with the Senses, Feel with the Mind: Art in the Present Tense, 2007

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “rEST”

Enactment of posters by Guerrilla Girls

drawings by Dan Perjovschi Romanian Pavilion 48th International Art Exhibition: dAPERTutto, 1999

51st International Art Exhibition: Always A Little Further, 2005

A le x andra P irici & M an u el P elm u ş

Enactment of “The Story of the Lion/ Venice Yesterday and Venice Today"

installation in public space (detail) by Georges Adéagbo 48th International Art Exhibition: dAPERTutto, 1999

A n I mmaT erial R etro s pective o f t h e V enice B iennale

Enactment of “European Influenza”

by Daniel Knorr Romanian Pavilion 51st International Art Exhibition: Always A Little Further, 2005

Our works breathe, perspire, shiver and look at you

One must go out from the space of representation, not in the sense of moving everything outside of it but in trying to balance a bit the mainstream. Even contemporary dance and the forms of performance which want to be more avant-garde stay somehow in the space of representation. For us, at a certain moment, these spaces, the theatre, the stage, have come to function like a bubble, from which one can eventually exit and discover a very different reality. Most of the times we haven’t met people who knew what we refer to when we speak of contemporary dance, even professional intellectuals, we realized we are functioning in a niche of the niche area, and because of this it seems we don’t exist or we exist for very few people, therefore it is very difficult to put pressure, to affirm our presence. In previous projects, such as “If You Don’t Want Us, We Want You” (Alexandra Pirici, intervention in public space in Bucharest, 2011), we had a performative approach in which we tried to undermine the monumental, against the enormous budgets and the bronze or stone, using instead only bodies. Despite its fragility, the body is a material just as strong and perhaps also durable, in the sense that it tries to remain present in situations which otherwise exclude or minimize it. The Venice Biennale is a grandiose enterprise which purpose was, before everything, the economic revitalization of Venice, which didn’t exclude, however, the presence, throughout time, of critical works or even of major protest actions (for example the edition of the Biennale in 1974). The transformation of the monumental into immaterial in an attempt to “archive” and de-materialize at the same time, almost the entire history of modern art could be seen as an ambitious endeavor, especially when it happens in the pavilion of Romania.

We believe the “immaterial production” (social relations, affective work, the economy of attention, etc.) plays a key role (political, economic, social but also aesthetic) in today’s society. It becomes much more important how an object performs itself/ is performed, what promises it contains, than what its technical qualities are. We juxtaposed two notions that are in friction with each other: the monumental and the immaterial. The monumental presupposes something solid and great, usually, and the immaterial something that cannot be archived and collected. Or at least that needs to be celebrated differently. We think this friction has artistic and political implications. Not in the sense of denying or producing an easy and simple critique of objects and of the market, more in undermining its logic. It doesn’t mean that we are against some forms of art, but that we try to address this reality of the immaterial. Another dimension of the work is the fact that we invest ourselves with the right to propose a Retrospective of the oldest Biennial, in Venice. A pavilion of a country from the “periphery” will write the history of the Biennale and will ignore certain moments or bring to the spotlight others. We developed the project starting from other recent works of ours, mainly from Alexandra’s “If You Don’t Want Us, We Want You” and Manuel’s “Romanian Dance History” (initiated in 2010). However, the main reference point was the Biennial itself, its history and its significance. What it means to affirm, to write the history. The aim is not the mere reproduction of some works but that we look at this entire history and rewrite it in a pavilion.

What we present is an exhibition, with actions instead of objects. Or with actions as objects. It is not a play but the order of the works follows a certain dramaturgy/ choreography. However, the work is imagined for a space which is not theatrical, with the possibility for the visitors to spend more or less time inside, to come back. There is no beginning and no end. The performers have different types of bodies and qualities of movement, not just the “typical” dancer body. We have actors, dancers or performers who don’t have a training/ background in movement. The entire project has a certain fragility – as it happens when something is live and in real time. You cannot control the situation in totality and in this case, where the action takes place over a long time (six months), it becomes even more unpredictable. However, we think this is also the strength of our proposal. The fact that the works are literally alive. They breathe, perspire, shiver and watch you.

Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmuş Based on interviews realized with the authors by Oana Stoica, Iulia Popovici and Raluca Voinea

Biographies

Alexandra Pirici, born in 1982, lives and works in Bucharest,

Romania. Alexandra has a background in choreography and performing arts but attempts to work undisciplined, across different mediums, including film and music. Her work has been presented/ exhibited at Hebbel am Ufer – Berlin, Tanzquartier Vienna, Kanuti Gilde Saal – Talinn, Nottdance Festival – UK, Salonul de Proiecte/ MNAC Anexa – Bucharest, Temps d’Images international festival, the Balkan Dance Platform, etc. She was part of “Cooperativa Performativă” and “Rectifier Crew” collectives, working on bringing an anarchic, open source model in the performative context.

Manuel Pelmuş is a Romanian artist. He works in Bucharest and

Oslo. His performances have been extensively presented throughout Europe and the United States. In 2011 he founded Căminul Cultural in Bucharest, together with Brynjar Abel Bandlien and Farid Fairuz. Manuel Pelmuş was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for Performing Arts in 2012 by the Akademie der Künste Berlin, the jury describing his projects as: “…often surprising and sophisticated ways of reaching the public. They represent rebellious reactions towards the smooth and non-binding productions that serve the international arts market and they target in a disruptive manner a culture dominated by conservatism. They are independent, smart and uncomfortable.”

Raluca Voinea , born in 1978 in Braşov, she lives and works in Bucharest, Romania. She is currently co-director of tranzit.ro, an institution which is part of the tranzit.org network. Since 2008 she is part of the editorial team of IDEA arts + society magazine, published in Cluj, Romania. She is also co-editor of Long April. Texte despre artă, an arts magazine focused on the Romanian context and published online by a group of women authors. Raluca was part of the conversations that led to the creation of the international platform ArtLeaks. Sometimes she writes. She holds an MA in Curating Contemporary Art from the Royal College of Art in London (2004-2006) and a BA in Art History and Theory from the Arts University in Bucharest (1997-2001).

Monica Morariu was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1974. She

Corina Bucea is a cultural manager working in Cluj, Romania. Since 2009 she is the manager of Fabrica de Pensule/ The Paintbrush Factory – an independent contemporary arts collective in Cluj. She has been working in arts production and cultural management, having collaborated with several initiative groups, organizations and artists in Romania, for various arts programmes including exhibitions, performances, talks, educational and training programmes. Corina holds a degree in Philosophy, her background including training in the UK, France and Austria.

Cristian Alexandru Damian was born in Cluj, Romania in 1980.

Nona Inescu is a young designer, born in 1991, in Bucharest,

Romania. She studied Art & Design at Chelsea College of Art & Design in London, UK and Fashion Design at Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp, Belgium. Since 2009 she is involved in several projects in the field of graphic design and fashion. She is currently based in Bucharest and works as a freelance graphic designer.

studied visual arts at National Art University in Bucharest and receives her BA in 1998 and her MA in 2006. Since 1995 she organizes and takes part to group and solo exhibitions. She is a PhD candidate in visual arts at The National Art University in Bucharest. Since 2009 she is the commissioner of the Romanian participation at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions – la Biennale di Venezia. Since 2006 she is working with the Ministry of Culture of Romania.

He studied iconography at Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj, from which he graduated in 2003. In 2004 he received his master degree in Italian culture and in 2006 in art history at History and Philosophy Faculty. In 2006 he received the “Nicolae Iorga“ scholarship from the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice. He is a PhD student at Babeş-Bolyai University in Cluj. In 2010 and 2011 he was deputy commissioner of the Romanian participations at the International Art and Architecture Exhibitions – la Biennale di Venezia. He currently lives in Venice and works at the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research from Venice.

An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale Short guide edited by Raluca Voinea Printed in Bucharest by Fabrik

Special thanks to: Brynjar Abel Bandlien, Claire Bishop, Christine Boehler, Eduard Constantin, Elena Crippa, Andrei Dinu, Andrei Gavril, Daria Ghiu, Keiko Koshihara, Mihail Macovei ,Otilia Mihalcea, Vlad Morariu, Ciprian Mureşan,Vlad Nancă, Timotei Nădăşan, Laura Oprea, Livia Pancu, Dan Perjovschi, Irina Radu, Nicoleta Radu, Cosmin Ţapu, Heide Wihrheim

Romanian Pavilion, Giardini della Biennale, Venice, Italy 1 June – 24 November 2013 Opening hours: 10 am to 6 pm Closed on Mondays (except June 3rd and November 18th, 2013) Public transport : from Piazzale Roma / Railway Station to Giardini: lines ACTV 1, 2, 4.1, 5.1, (6 from Piazzale Roma only)


short guide of An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale