Palpable Disequilibrium: Contemporary Art in Romania

A group show of interactive site-specific installations by Matei Bejenaru, Ioan Godeanu, Teodor Graur, Dan Perjovschi and Lia Perjovschi examines the effect on daily life of political, social, and economic instability typical of a country transitioning to democracy.

The four installation pieces which comprise this exhibition emphasize the difficulties Romanians face during a period of political, economic, and social transition. After a bloody revolution in 1989, the oppressive communist dictatorship led by Nicolae Ceausescu was overthrown by a coalition of center-right parties. Since the revolution, Romania has been in a phase of transition as it approaches possible admission to the European Union in 2007.

Even after the so-called revolution, much in Romania has remained unchanged. Since 1989, Romanians have faced increased economic disparity; the middle class has nearly vanished as inflation has soared to more than 40% per year. Popular artistic practice has remained stuck in the prerevolutionary tradition, where artists are encouraged to create works that imitate early twentieth century masters such as Cézanne and Picasso or deal with religious themes and iconography.

Each of the installation pieces contain an interactive component. For instance, Dan Perjovschi’s installation “ReAct” includes social and political drawings that visitors can transfer directly onto the wall by using carbon paper. Lia Perjovschi asks visitors to contribute to her installation “Endless Collection” – two panels, each containing 100 photographs of globes that she collected on her travels throughout the world – by bringing other objects featuring globes to the reception and anytime during the show.

The artists of this exhibition push the boundaries of contemporary Romanian art. They analyze the changes that are taking place, and bring to light the critical questions that Romanians must face in a period of transition and instability.

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Dan Perjovschi

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Teodor Graur

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Lia Perjovschi

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Ioan Godeanu

Proceeds benefit the Gheorghe Ursu Foundation, a non-profit foundation dedicated to reform in the justice system and human rights in Romania. http://gh-ursu.ong.ro/e_index.htm

Please bring an item of any kind featuring a globe on it to help create Lia Perjovschi’s installation. (ex. keychain, newspaper clipping, napkin…)

Roundtable Discussion on Art and Politics in Romania with Dan and Lia Perjovschi, Matei Bejenaru, Aurelian Craiutu, Assistant Political Science Professor at Indiana University, Sever Voinescu, Romanian Consul in Chicago, and Olga Stefan: November 7, 6-8pm

This exhibition traveled from Sonnenschein Gallery, Barat College, Lake Forest, IL to LIPA Gallery, Chicago, IL 2003

Press:

LIPA Gallery website

FNews Magazine, The Art Magazine of the School of the Art Institute

DePaul Museum website

Artner, Alan, Chicago Tribune Arts Section, November 2003

Artner, Alan, Chicago Tribune, November 2003

Report from Romania, Chicago Reader, Deanna Isaacs

The News Sun – Waukegan (IL)

The Herald Sun – Durham

The Daily Herald

Publication produced in conjunction with the show.

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