|Text by Octavian Esanu||switch to romanian|
The virtual museum of contemporary art from Moldova will host information about several important events that took place this year in Chisinau. Besides the permanent exhibition, which we supplement every year, the museum also has "exhibition space" to support other events that we believe are important. Last year (1998) these were 'The Break', 'Gioconda's Smile', Mitos Micleusan's solo exhibition. In 1999 the museum will host several other events organized by the Center for Contemporary Art, or events that took place outside the Center but which were possible as a result of the Center's activity. We do not "stock" the works by their historic period or age and "the importance" granted by society to certain authors. "The same wall can hold" works signed by established artists as well as by little known artists or not yet known at all. For example, together with works by plastic artists whose names are indispensable from certain cultural periods in the history of this country - Moisei Gamburd, Mihai Grecu, Valentina Rusu-Ciobanu, Andrei Sirbu, Iurie Horovschi and others, you will find names that will mean nothing to you, or that may mean something only to a very narrow circle of people. Nevertheless, I am taking the responsibility and placing them "on the same wall," since I am certain that the product of their work is not less important than of those whose works are being collected by the real museums in our country.
The museum's "permanent exhibition" includes "acquisitions" of works of art by artists from Moldova. The text you are reading now contains many words and expressions which I have placed on the Web page in quotation marks. This is because of several reasons, the first one being the virtuality of this undertaking. I use key words relating to the activity of the institution-such as to acquire, to exhibit, to stock, and many others-on purpose, to show the reader how serious we are in thinking that we do need a (real) museum of contemporary art. For now though, the museum's storage is the hard drive on the server at the Center for Contemporary Art, which stores in its "basement" megabytes of information containing works and documents by artists from Moldova.
Naturally, this year too the "permanent collection" has expanded by new works. These works have been created this year in Chisinau during events organized by the Center for Contemporary Art. Bradley Adams originally from NYC but who has been rambling the world for three years (he came to Chisinau from Damascus, Syria) gave to the museum several works he created in August in Chisinau. These were several photographs Bradley made during the photography workshop, for which he had been invited. They represent portraits of Moldovan people which he took while wandering with his camera made from a packaging box.
Doina Stici, artist from Chisinau who lives in Cluj-Napoca, made a series of self portraits. These photographs of an exquisite beauty and sensitivity were taken by a simple cardboard box-a "camera obscura."
Veaceslav Druta's exhibit in the "permanent collection" is a photograph-installation called "interior about exterior". He made the photograph using the same principle of camera obscura (during Bradley Adams's workshop). The image placed in a box from an accordion depicts the accordion. The piece seems an ingenious idea because Veaceslav came up with a series of objects that were connected by a "blood relationship." The box that held the accordion was later used as a camera when the "accordion player" made a small hole in it. The Russian accordion itself was later replaced by its own image/semblance.
The piece "Hands" by Liviu Ignat, acquired by the museum (by scanning at 72 dpi resolution) is, as the English say, "last but not least" from the series of photographs taken during Bradley Adams's workshop.
I think that photography was the artistic medium of 1999 with the Center for Contemporary Art. Most of the authors who participated in the Camp used the photographic camera for their work. The "permanent collection" contains also samples from a project by Valentin Tarna si Victor Dorosenco. Their 'untitled' project shows the weakness that the two artists have for "flying objects," that is objects thrown into the air by one artist to be "caught"/photographed by the other.
'Alexandru Tinei painted Ghena Vasiliev with a girl' is the title of another set of images included in the collection. What determined Alexandru to paint Gena Vasiliev, who is a famous artist in Chisinau, was the spiritual warmth/goodness and the generosity of that man.
There is one thing I noticed and which I want to point out. In the projects of this year one can feel, or at least I can sense a change of mentality in many of the artists I classify as "the new GeneRati(on)." Their works have acquired a conceptual profile, which is a characteristic of contemporary art. The ideatic/conceptual aspect has started to take over the objectual one. One can point to a project by two artists - Dragnev and Macari, 'Kinovari Imitatia', which is part of this phenomenon and which has been 'exhibited' in the museum in a separate 'room'. "The permanent collection" has 'acquired' the first piece of the project, "PapiRrose Selavy". Dragnev&Macari, together with Bradley Adamas, made a copy of Marcel Duchamp's alter ego Rrose Selavy (Adams not only has facial features similar to those of the great 20th-century artist, but he also was born on the same day as the great artist-28th of July). The authors of the project will commission from painters and everyone else interested a copy of a work of art from the 20th century, and later all copies will be gathered into a collection. This collection of copies will also serve as "teaching aids" for art schools in Moldova.
Igor Scerbina [Fazya]'s exhibit in the museum is his project 'Document 5.1.99. The ideal contemporary artist for Moldova'. 'Document 5.1.99' is an investigation to characterize the "ideal artists" in this country. As the author himself said, "I am interested in the character's appearance, his physical characteristics, which is the 'arithmetic mean' of the artists participating in CarbonArt 99."
Contemporary Art Virtual Museum - Chisinau - Republic of Moldova
Supported & operated by SCCA Chisinau