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ION GRIGORESCU:
FROM STATIC OBLIVION


Edited by Giulianna Prucca
Publisher: Avarie
352 pages
16 x 30 cm
Softcover
English/Romanian
ISBN: 978-2-9541974-2-5

Price: 204 lei



From static oblivion, an artbook in line with Avarie’s previous publications, aims to deepen, starting from Ion Grigorescu’s rich artistic production, the reflection about the status of the image as a balance of forces in tension (statics), as form and design of what is in continuous movement (rhythm) and as a paradoxical act of cancellation of the body through its own representation (oblivion). In Grigorescu’s work, as in the book, the body is continually shown in different ways - from photography to film, from
performance to drawing - and yet it remains absent, suspended, obscuring its own identity in an attempt to question the collective one. The persistent use of the mirror not only reflects the need to escape the solitude of his own body and to find the other in the multiplication of points of view, but it comes from the necessity to objectify the only material that is available to him. As it is impossible to carry out his performances and show his art during the dictatorship, the body of Grigorescu ends up hiding, disappearing inside the image. Instead of showing, the image conceals, because it is non-documentary and non-transmittable (this will change only after the revolution); nevertheless, it is constitutive and
executive, it is an act of birth. It is an ethical fact, and not an aesthetic one, it is prove of the artist’s resistance and therefore existence, especially as a human being inside (or against) any geographical or historical background. There is no art, says Deleuze, without release of a life force: in the rituals of his gestures and in the symbolism of his performances, Grigorescu finds a way to stay alive, preserving his own intellectual status while also defending the dignity of everyday life. And, by reversing and mirroring converse perspectives, he shows that art is the only way of overcoming any physical limitations and of freeing oneself from those constrictions of public life which have invaded the private sphere and even found their way into people’s unconscious.

From static oblivion traces, with circular, nearly spiral movements, the progression, both expansive and inclusive, of Grigorescu’s work, which, starting from the intimacy of a room or a kitchen, opens itself up to the structure of a house with its inhabitants or to the architecture of an entire city with its population, while moving through the urban transformations of a strongly rural and traditional Romania, in order to return and inscribe itself into the space of the body and into that of the world, in a complete superimposition (or indeed doubling) of micro and macrocosm. By enlarging his own field of vision,
Grigorescu in effect circumscribes and simultaneously absorbs elements of his surrounding reality, showing us a continuity between art and life which translates itself, inside the frame of an image, into an interplay between work and work space or space of daily experience: Grigorescu’s act of dissidence is not an outcry of provocation, nor is it extreme or ostentatious; it is an anti-aesthetic operation which uses experimentation and rough or limited techniques to uncover the fiction of art and to denounce the artifice of representation, leaving us with the ambiguity between truth and falsehood, not only within the process of creation, but also within society.

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