It is now a matter of learning hope

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© Courtesy of the artist and threewalls
It is now a matter of learning hope

119 N. Peoria #2C
Chicago, IL 60607
April 25th, 2014 - May 31st, 2014

West Loop/West Town
Tue-Sat 11-5


rina Botea’s SOLO exhibition It is now a matter of learning hope foregrounds how hope as an emotion is connected to imagination and the possibility of social change. Through four filmic investigations, this exhibition proposes a performative approach to learning, rehearsing, debating and embodying theoretical and historical models relating to a politics of hope that potentially gives energy to the praxis of transformation. These films investigate a diversity of avenues, including political history, enlightenment methodologies, contemporary socio-political action and a range of theoretical utopian models.

These four works include:

Impersonation a re-enactment of Charles A Leale’s book “Lincoln’s Last Hours” featuring Abraham Lincoln presenters. Dressed as Abraham Lincoln they audition, negotiate and interpret several roles: Charles A Leale reading his manuscript, Charles A Leale performing medical interventions to prolong Lincoln’s life, associate doctors and the dying Abraham Lincoln himself. 

 Art historians-a conversation presenting the emotional and sincere engagement with the artworks of three art historians Gabriela Zsigmond, Valentin Muresan and Sanda Marta, working at the Bruckenthal Museum in Sibiu, Romania, a collection established prior to the Enlightenment by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (1721- 1803) while he was governor of Transylvania, Romania (HD 2014);

 Photocopy/Fotocópia  a performance resulting from processing the data remembered from being involved in the 15 Mayprotests in Spain- in a space outside of the public space of social action- the studio. (With Anita Serrano and Merce Ortega.)

 It is now a matter of learning hope presents artist Ileana Faur learning and rehearsing fragments of written utopian theories, including Ernst Bloch, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Thomas More, Karl Marx and Vilem Flusser, set against the backdrop of Morii Island, one of many failed utopian architectural projects that were never finished by Nicolae Ceausescu, ex- dictator of Romania (HD, 2013/14).

Botea’s artistic methodology combines re-enactment strategies, simulated auditions, and elements of direct cinema and cinéma vérité.  She develops her works through a process of collaboration in which the performers are active participants in the process and as a filmmaker her role is in constant flux, shifting from an observational to a reflective, participatory and performative mode. The exhibition takes its title from Ernst Bloch’s The Principle of Hope.


Over the past ten years Irina Botea has been engaged in an art practice that uses multiple media to inspect socio-political dynamics and the possibility of transformation. Currently, her focus is on the de-centralization of cultural discourses and the possibility of sustaining creative differentiation that arguably exists outside of a dominant hegemonic system of values and critique.