"...not figments of a madman's imagination...": the Uncanny in Contemporary Romanian Video

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The Red Rider, 2007 Color Film With Sound, Duration 2:19 Minutes
"...not figments of a madman's imagination...": the Uncanny in Contemporary Romanian Video
Curated by: Lara Taubman

147 West
29th Street
New York, NY 10001
October 11th, 2007 - November 10th, 2007
Opening: October 11th, 2007 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Tue-Sat 11-6

<< rewind << and Florence Lynch Gallery, in cooperation with The Romanian Culture Institute, are pleased to present "...not figments of a madman's imagination...": the Uncanny in Contemporary Romanian Video, curated by Lara Taubman with artists Dan Acostioaei, Anca Benera, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, Ciprian Muresan, and Gabriela Vanga. The exhibition is on view from October 11 through November 10, 2007. An opening reception will be held at the gallery on Thursday, October 11, from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

On the exhibition curator Lara Taubman writes as follows:

Sigmund Freud's essay, The Uncanny defines the uncanny as a combination of disparate elements, unintended repetition, doubling (i.e.the Doppelganger) and/or a fear of loss. Freud claims that the anxieties caused by these aberrations are "...not (as he insists) figments of a madman's imagination..." but experiences that possess a rhyme and reason.

Contemporary Romanian video art in "...not figments of a madman's imagination..." engages the uncanny as an everyday phenomenon. Strange permutations of tradition and innovation, past and future or nature and industrialization reveal the disjunctive nature of Romanian culture. Its economy, politics and communist past assures an uncertain future that is a veritable pastiche of histories reflected throughout the country. The artists in this show, however, underpin Romanian culture by grounding these unruly and strange experiential visions with their poignantly magnified perspectives.

Among the presented works, Anca Benera 's"The Red Rider", 2007, Gabriela Vanga's, "Country, Country we want soldiers!" 2002, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor's "Praful", 2007, Dan Acostioaei's "Essential Current Affairs", 2002, and "Bahlui by Night", 2004, , and Ciprian Muresan's "Rubliov" 2004, Dan Acostioaei's Bahlui by Night is a disarming vision of the Bahlui river in the city of Iasi. Acostioaei flashes a series of romantic night photos of the ubiquitous concrete housing leftover
from communism that hovers over a nearly extinct riverbed. The video emanates a kitsch sentimentalism yearning for a place and a past that is not pretty but insists upon its existence.
Praful is a journey Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor take to a monastic church that was relocated 200 meters from its original site in 1982 by the Communist regime to make way for the gargantuan home of Ceacescu ironically dubbed by him as the People's Palace. The church was relocated but the Schedule Maicilor monastery that accompanied it was demolished. Praful documents Vatamanu and Tudor taking dirt from the church and bringing it back to its original site on the grounds of the still standing People's Palace.
Andreiubliov, by artist Ciprian Muresan, is an animated re-make of the Andrei Tarknovsky movie, Andrei Ubliov, using one of the few art films permitted for popular viewing during the Ceausescu regime. Muresan's re-interpretation attunes to a cultural dialogue that is embedded in the Romanian mind as a signifier of the past but maintains influence as a powerful relic in the popular culture from that time until today.

The exhibition is jointly presented by Florence Lynch Gallery and << Rewind <<  In cooperation with the romanian Cultural Institute, New York.

"The Romanian Cultural Institute in New York aims to promote Romanian culture to the public in both the US and internationally and to build sustainable connections and collaborations between American and Romanian cultural organizations. The Institute serves as a catalyst for all artistic and creative fields, and strives toward the strengthening of academic associations and the enhancement of perspectives regarding Romania and its present cultural dynamics." 

<<Rewind<<  at the Florence Lynch Gallery is created exclusively for video and film.  With its debut in September 2005, the objective of <<Rewind<< is to provide a platform for new and challenging film and video works which push the boundaries of cinema and art.  Both established and young video/filmmakers are included in the program selected by Florence Lynch as well as invited independent and museum curators from around the world.