Curator: Irina Toma
May 23 – June 30, 2014
Anca Poterașu Gallery, Bucharest
Iulian Bisericaru’s works offer a negligent perspective that the human eye willingly avoids. Ironic and playful at the same time, the artist demands the observer to take a critical position towards the remains of the industrial society, consciously protecting the aesthetic side. The environment, suffocated by toxic waste, is being brought to life by the aesthetic experience, thus ensuring the survival of the meanings.
The story of the abandoned industrial spaces begins before the artist was born. It’s ending is uncertain. Uncertain, because restructuring the spaces implies, at the same time, destruction and modernization. Rather it is a reflection between the compliance of social, economic and administrative requirements, on one hand, and the aspirations of those who create them, on the other hand. Iulian Bisericaru’s works illustrate the ambiguous process of resurrecting the industrial space.
“The exhibition wishes to reify this utopia by reassigning new functions to an abandoned space. ”
Edward Soja, the celebrated American urban geographer, proposed adapting the space to present times, through searching the harmony between its history, the current social context and a specific reinterpretation of the possibilities to continue this history. Built around this ideal, the exhibit “The Backyard” wishes to reify this utopia by reassigning new functions to an abandoned space. Not only the structures destined for the heavy industry are crushed by the history of abandonment, but also the intimacy of private spaces.
Vasile’s house, located in the same yard as Anca Poterașu Gallery, is a broken home, abandoned by his wife and children. Eventually, even the owner gave up living here. Turning this space into an expozitional one emphasises the critique Bisericaru makes regarding our carelessness towards the environment. Furthermore, placing the exhibition in this house highlights the imperative of creating harmony between our social opinions and our behaviour. Here, the imaginary engendered by Iulian Bisericaru will perform through its presence in this space a reinterpretation of the functionality it can have by bringing it again into social reality.
If compositional elements constitute the epilogue of a somewhat known death of these spaces, these also recreate a new utility for them. “The Backyard” confronts the viewer with a leisure area that can be born from a grey post-industrial landscape. The toxicity of this environment is merely suggested through neon brushes, from pink to toxic waste green. Their alternation with shapeless spaces, merely lined by stains of paint, focuses on the contrasting dynamics of the artificial and the natural. By so doing, Iulian Bisericaru’s works are autonomous, almost abstract, structures.
The post-industrial landscapes are the memoire of a utopian history, that invented the productivity and sustainability of massive industrial expansion, without any consideration to the morphology of the urban and natural environments involved. The abandonment of these spaces fosters an actual defeat of this ideal through their degrading state. This is not to say that their functionality cannot be reinterpreted. This is possible, though the social critique favoured by artistic means. Ideally, this history finds its continuity in the configuration of the impact humans have on the objects they create, individually and socially.