press release

Opening Saturday 25, 11am - 5 pm

The exhibition brings together works of three artists with very different visual vocabularies but a shared humor and un-refrained sense of imaginative explorations. The art works refer to disciplines such as alchemy, astronomy, archaeology, however, treating their esoteric methods or pretenses of objective universality with irony and twisting them, so that instead we are delivered a different imaginary, in which we recognize the separate fragments but feel alienated when facing the ensemble.

Mihut Boscu Kafchin echoes medieval bestiaries with Baroque enthusiasm, each element is easily placeable in a familiar genealogy and at the same time displaceable in a haunting future that conspiracy theorists keep warning us about. The blood-sucking, kitten-eater lizard-man (the alien and politically evil version of the vampire) is watching us with one pair of eyes whereas with the other it is exchanging glances with the double-headed dragon that is striving to detach itself from the magma of a bas-relief; here a sort of Rube Goldberg machine with partly organic partly mechanic elements is hastily ticking towards the ultimate taking over of the universe by the reptilians order, whereas the crazy, Leonardo-look-alike scientist in a Memento Mori drawing is still looking for the formula of eternal happiness.

Claudiu Cobilanschi has set himself the task of reuniting man with nature, to finally achieve inter-regnum peace and in order to do that he had to start from attempting a position of humility, renouncing the centuries-long dream of dominating nature while also not completely submitting oneself to its implacable force. Leaves and rocks, leftovers of human presence and blossoming trees, the artist inserts his body among all these, he observes them, crawls underneath them, leans against or touches them, capturing then the moment in black-and-white photography. The tools he appears using (brush, ruler) or the gaze are those of the archaeologist, however the images are not documentary records of ancient traces; nor are they inventories made by a botanist searching for rare species. The industrial ruins and the proximity of a ghostly city in the background give the natural landscape more an escapist character, with the artist performing as a simulated last, lone survivor of an unnoticed apocalypse.

Pavel Braila, although the most ambitious in the scope of his project – that to create an entirely new set of constellations – is also the most terrestrial, connected to domestic life, to rituals and beliefs which are ancestral but still in use in a small corner of the world. With Alpha Centauri – I am Earth (a series of constellations made of neon tubes), the artist is offering us a view towards another sky, one which, he says, can only be seen from Moldova (the artist’s country of origin). He is challenging Andromeda, Orion, Pegasus or Aries with the Bride, the Ploughman, the Magic Bird or the Devil’s Eye, taking the power to imagine and to name outside of the empires (be they ancient or recent) and beyond the scientists’ sanction.

The exhibition is thus inviting us to a complex parcours, where what we thought were the given elements of nature and science are to be seen and read anew, with wonder. Raluca Voinea


Pavel Braila, *1971, lives and works in Berlin (DE) and Chisinau (MD) Pavel Braila received international recognition with his 2002 film Shoes for Europe, presented at Documenta 11. Projects he has realized since include “AlteArte”, a TV program on contemporary art aired on the national channel Moldova1; Barons’ Hill, a six-channel video work (2005) showcasing new Sinti and Roma architecture in Moldova; and more recently, Definitely Unfinished (2010), an award-winning film shown at the Oberhausen International Film Festival and Chisinau, a City Difficult to Pronounce, a film realized in 2011 and presented in many international contexts. Solo exhibitions of his work have been shown at Roda Stern Gothenborg, Sweden (2012); KulturKontakt Austria, Vienna (2011); Yvon Lambert, Paris (2008); Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2007); MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, USA (2005). Recently he was part of group exhibitions such as Manifesta 10 (Sankt Petersburg, Russia, 2014) and At Your Service (Technical Museum Zagreb, 2014 and Technical Museum Vienna, 2012-2013).

Claudiu Cobilanschi, *1972, lives and works in Bucharest (RO) Claudiu Cobilanschi lives at the blurry boundary between art and media, using, as former journalist, multiple mediums for different kinds of expression and, as an artist, the benefit of these media's mutual influence. In his practice, he is approaching issues of stereotypical thinking, forecasting and physicality, etc. projecting messages in different contexts: photography, portraits-oracles, post-apocalyptic sculptures, studies of expressiveness in conventional images, video-documents of immigrants, DIY saunas, interactive movies, etc. He has worked within the framework, and tested the limits of institutions such as ParadisGaraj & Die Kunsthalle Bukarest, Platforma Anexa MNAC, Depo Instanbul, Nida ArtColony Lithuania, HBK Saar Deutschland, Romanian Cultural Institute, Bucharest Biennale. In 2015 he will be part of a group show in Kunsthalle Winterthur.

Mihut Boscu Kafchin, *1986, lives and works in Cluj-Napoca (RO) Mihut Boscu Kafchin is building his own world which he has baptised the Kingdom of Mihutia and whose foundations are made up of the mystification of the world of objects in the spirit of scientific and fantastic research. He’s working with media such as: ceramics, painting, drawing, video, installation and sculpture. He received international recognition with the Walter Koschatzky Art Award 2011 at MuMoK, Vienna. Since then he participated in several group shows such as Le Triennale/Intense Proximity, Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2012); Prague Biennial 6 (2013); Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, Paris (2013); New Museum, New York (2014); Museum Beelden aan Zee (2014). He also had some solo shows at Sabot, Cluj-Napoca (2011); Gaudel de Stampa gallery, Paris (2014), Crystal gallery, Stockholm (2014).

Raluca Voinea (born in Romania in 1978) is art critic and curator, based in Bucharest. Since 2012 she is co-director of Association and she runs the space of in Bucharest. In 2013 she was the curator of the Romanian Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale with the project “An Immaterial Retrospective of the Venice Biennale” by artists Alexandra Pirici and Manuel Pelmus, a project also produced by Bucuresti. Since 2008 she is co-editor of IDEA arts + society magazine, published in Cluj.

The exhibition would not have been possible without the help and cooperation of: Anetta Mona Chisa & Lucia Tkácová, Matei Bejenaru, Eugenia Kikodze, Eduard Constantin, Livia Pancu, Florin Bobu, Victor Ciobanu, Daria Dumitrescu, Andreea Nicolau, Serghei Mihalachi, Robin Graber