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HORIA BERNEA

One of the greatest contemporary Romanian painters, whose exhibitions inside and outside the country remained permanent landmarks in the field. From 1990 to his death in 2000 he was director of the Romanian Peasant Museum. He established an original style in European ethnomuseography which he liked to call nascent or flickering museology.
I learned from him that you must not hurry or get stubborn when you want to accomplish a project. You first have to think about it really well, to see if your initial idea is correct. Nobody saw better than he did. Then you should consult with others, preferably with those whom you know to have different opinions. Then you try to take into account all these remarks, arguing against those you reject and including those that can enrich the project. Then you wait, germinate, preparing the illumination. For Horia Bernea, illumination meant the conviction that the idea was convergent with the faith – freely chosen to be the Christian faith. Only then, the project could start the adventure of the mise-en-oeuvre. Only then, could the miracle of the formation of the team happen. I haven’t yet met anyone so capable of constructing little punctual families with people, all too human, to transform their weaknesses in creativity, their complexes in personal style, their frustrations in a new enthusiasm, their preferences in wish for collective accomplishment.
He was not afraid to shock, to irritate, to incite. He contaminated us with courage by asking difficult questions – what do you see here? What do you think about this? What do you understand? Why don’t you like it? – or by simply inviting us to contradict him. It wasn’t and it is still not easy. But nothing that we do at the museum under his wing is easy.

Ioana Popescu

Draw me like one of your French girls...
28 mai -16 iulie 2021




Ioana Sisea transforms the familiar into the uncanny, convention into immanence, static systems of meaning into dynamic ones and vice-versa. Focusing on the socio-symbolic relations between the artistic object, the artist and the viewer, her artistic practice is medium agnostic. She embraces the freedom to approach various visual media, such as drawing, sculpture, installation and video, and different styles and art genres according to their impact on the spectator’s perception. Her works give way to subtle inversions, complex alignments and changes of position between the object and the subject, in a genuine game in which the viewer becomes voyeur, therapist and patient.


"Draw me like one of your French girls..." is an installation and performance challenging the long-held practices of society determining a woman’s inner world. The classical motif of the Odalisque is re-interpreted to empower the female subject, placing her in contemporary poses of sexual pleasure, exploration and self-adoration. The title references a request for objectification and sexualisation, given by the woman at her own pleasure. This inverts the history of the Odalisque as a passive, voiceless object of male sexual gratification and transforms male voyuerism into female indulgence of adoration.

The accompanying performance breaks the fourth wall of the Odalisque, physically animating the figure and giving her the power to interrogate her audience. She is given a voice through a set of texts written by the artist. The texts are secret repositories for instructions, impulses and reflections narrating the ideological impositions of sexuality on the female, even in the present day, as well her own sensibilities and sensations.

Performer - Claudia Chiraș
Project coordinator - Ilina Schileru
 




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