The S.M.A.K. presents a solo exhibition by the Romanian artist Adrian Ghenie (1977, Baia-Mare). This exhibition aims to suggest a movement, to integrate time into Ghenie’s paintings as a fourth dimension. Each canvas portrays a metamorphosis: people, situations or objects undergo a transformation, evolving from one phase to another, but not necessarily in a logical sequence.
Adrian Ghenie grew up in Romania under the communist dictatorship, as a witness who looked on from the sidelines while ideologies burst apart. From this background, the artist attempts in his paintings to reflect our collective memory, which has been suffocated by years of intensive bombardment by propaganda clichés. Our public consciousness is haunted by a strange echo which shapes our perception of history.
There is something tragic and imminent in Ghenie’s pictures. A group of people being forced forward, a man jumping from a building, an iconic mummy rotting away or a piece of burnt furniture... the artist brings all this together to create a ‘lens’ which invites the viewer to become a voyeur, to take a look at the shady side of history, to discover the ultimate origin of the tragedy.