Aria Mineralia

(…) I knock at the stone’s front door
‘It’s only me, let me come in.
I want to enter your insides,
have a look around,
breathe my fill of you.’ (…)

Larisa Crunțeanu
Curator: Julia Harasimowicz

12.09 – 11.10.2018
Anca Poterașu Gallery

The Aria Mineralia exhibition takes the shape of her own way of thinking. a map of thoughts, composed of personal associations, common symbols and cultural references. It combines absurdity and surrealism with a critical view of society. Crunțeanu invites the viewer to conscious observation. A bit like in a nature film, she shows us an object found in its ‘natural’ environment.

The paradoxical finding provoked many questions, not only about what the object was and what it was for, but also about what it sounded like and what its voice said. Was it one of the voices of a larger group? What was its function in the natural environment?

“Crunțeanu focuses on the object itself. She asks questions about the strange finding which, as she well knows, will remain unanswered.”

Larisa Crunțeanu’s project started with two meetings. The first, with the artist Sonja Hornung, took place during the Femina Subtetrix research project in 2015. The artists’ collaboration revolved around the Romanian post-socialist textile factory APACA, which they studied in terms of power, gender and media presence. The second meeting is closely linked to the first one. At the end of their collaboration, while walking through the centre of Bucharest, Crunțeanu and Hornung encountered a bizarre object: a silent, stone-shaped loudspeaker standing on a lawn. The paradoxical finding provoked many questions, not only about what the object was and what it was for, but also about what it sounded like and what its voice said. Was it one of the voices of a larger group? What was its function in the natural environment? Crunțeanu focuses on the object itself. She asks questions about the strange finding which, as she well knows, will remain unanswered. The Aria Mineralia exhibition takes the shape of her own way of thinking. a map of thoughts, composed of personal associations, common symbols and cultural references.
It combines absurdity and surrealism with a critical view of society. Crunțeanu invites the viewer to conscious observation. A bit like in a nature film, she shows us an object found in its ‘natural’ environment. As viewers, we are invited to assume the perspective of Crunțeanu and Hornung when they found the object and to make the discovery once again. We are forced to distinguish between what is natural and artificial in our surroundings and ask questions about the meaning of this finding. At first, the space can evoke associations with a kitsch plastic garden. The feeling of nonsense of the situation is replaced by a gloomy statement, through the effect of associating the space with a kind of modern panopticon, in which nature changes imperceptibly into a masked technology for control. A reference to the phenomenon of mimicry can be found in all the works presented, yet the artist
does not employ its effect in a purely aesthetic manner. In a witty way, she refers to mimicry in her work presenting a ceramic sculpture modelled on the form of the loudspeaker. She shows an imitation of an imitation and creates another variation on the original form of the rock. This gesture brings to mind the interpretations of mimicry by Jacques Lacan or Roger Caillois, for whom this phenomenon are not means of survival and protection of oneself against threats, as they are usually interpreted to be. It is a kind of seduction of the background, a gradual loss of personality. Thus, a ceramic object is no longer a real stone or even a copy of it — only its form remains.
Further reflections on mimicry appear in the sound-spatial installation of stones talking to each other. The arrangement of the exhibition allows the audience to enter the space of this strange formation. Objects (creatures? devices? — their status is difficult to define) produce sounds that imitate human sounds: grunting, humming, laughing, and even shouts with political content. The viewer listens to this discussion — the aria mineralia, whose structure escapes the logic of human communication (the humorous answer to the stones’ imitation of human language is the work A Story with 255 Possible Parts, in which the artist reinterprets the well-known game of paper/roc/scissors). The audience circulating around the objects can create their own narration with their movement, as well as recognise logical errors in the conversation of the stones.

It combines absurdity and surrealism → It combines absurdity and surrealism →

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