Istvan Laszlo, Untitled (Revolutia 89), 2007-2009, Animation, sound, 3 min, loop.

SUPERNOVA, Romanian Collective Redefines Europe, East and West

Ciprian Muresan, Expulsion from Paradise, 2007, 20 drawings, framed, 42 x 29.7 cm each.


Ciprian Muresan, Choose … , 2005, Video, sound, 45 mins.

Ciprian Muresan, Untitled, 2009, Video, sound, 50 mins, loop.

Cristi Pogacean, Modernist bird house, 2005-2007, Wood, 17 cm high.

50 to 58 Vyner Street
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Project Space
Galeria Plan B Track Changes
Istvan Laszlo / Ciprian Muresan /
Cristi Pogacean

February 28-April 9, 2009

Track Changes is presented by Romanian artist-run space Plan B. The exhibition assembles recent works by the three members of SUPERNOVA, active in Cluj 2001-2004. The group's presence in Romania contributed to a shift in tone and artistic attitude, away from the melancholia of the post-Wall generation, defining the East as non-West, as absence or lack, and the West as surplus, and puzzling over this in-built incompatibility. Alongside other new voices, Ciprian Muresan, Cristi Pogacean, and Istvan Laszlo engage the recent past of Eastern Europe to extricate the notion of history from ideological falsification, to bind it with personal experience, conceptual accident and art history. In their collective and individual projects, history appears as a network of conflicting timelines, while ways that globalization and post-communism complicate each other and are observed from a perspective immune to the utopias of revolution or liberalism.

Ciprian Muresan's video Choose..., part of a significant body of work dealing with the father-son relationship, sees Vlad Muresan mixing Pepsi and Coca-Cola in a glass. The child's prank rings, in the context of Muresan's practice, pre-apocalyptic: a glimpse of the moment when carefully marketed differences merge in the same viscous paste, a rehearsal for the collapse of identities. Another work by Muresan is situated in a dreamlike interval between wars, as an extended recollection of the previous one and a monotonous preparation for the next. For one excruciating hour, soldiers peel potatoes, silently yet stubbornly interrogating geopolitical strategies, ideological unrest and the clashes of civilizations.

Istvan Laszlo and Cristi Pogacean engage history the way monuments do, proceeding by extreme, effective simplification. Pogacean's Modernist Bird House, collapsing Mies van der Rohe and St. Francis of Assisi and pairing the Modernist effort to regulate life with its systematic irrationality, or Laszlo's manipulation of a propaganda image, showing the political leader drowsing off into irrelevance — these works isolate and modify bits of history in what feels like a simulator for alternative flows of time.

In Pogacean's Caranime, Caravaggio's Doubting Thomas becomes a lesson of anatomy, as the repeated gesture of incredulity and physical testing disrupts the event, introducing a deferral in the revelation of Truth and its acceptance. In another work, Istvan reflects on the fact that "the first revolution broadcast live on television" did not lead to a "film," to a director's cut, but to a profusion of making-of features and DVD bonuses, divested of denouement or resolution.

Plan B is an artist-run space set up in Cluj, Romania in 2005 which focuses on Romanian art of the past 50 years. In 2007 Plan B organized the Romanian Pavilion at the 52nd Venice Biennale with Victor Man and Cristi Pogacean among the artists exhibited, and have recently set up a second space in Berlin, Germany.

Cristi Pogacean, Breaking Heart, 2004-2005, Medallion, gold.

Istvan Laszlo, Bisnitar, 2009, Resin, Height 25 cm.

Istvan Laszlo, Trei culori, 2007-2008, Video, 3 min, loop.

Cristi Pogacean, Caranime, 2002, Video, 8 sec, loop.