"Natural and Decay"
"I'm fighting for my right to be different"
After the final fall of the "curtain", the grim landscape of these places could finally be scanned: the earth, barren and heavily trodden, like in a disused paddock, a most realistic counterpart of the disaster. The differences can be spotted, but the similarities ar far more compelling - the same sadness stemming from unaccomplished hopes, the reciprocal deliberate act of ignoring the other, isolation from the media network in the western world. Thus, suspended between the borders turned into absolute barriers, far beyond the "integration" that politicians invoked, East Europe poignantly felt her exclusion from Europe. Having to cope with economic dificulties, in which it is becoming ever more engulfed, East Europe finds out that nobody really cares anymore, there is no more time and the interest in its problem areas declines.
The esthetician experiences with more and more subjective involvement, the drama of this "Zone". He feels like a kind of stigma, the dire poverty, the isolation of the people she is part of. In the context of this desperate world, that is crying out its lack of hope, the artist must find his own means to meke himself understood. Among the art genres, the East European artist takes up the most direct - performance art. In the former regime, this had been their way of expressing their protest and it was generally forbidden.
The choice of Timisoara as the venue of the Festival is obviously charged with significance: the city became a symbol of the painful emancipation from under communism. And if in general, all through Europe, the change occured under peaceful circumstances, through "velvet" revolutions, in Romania freedom could only be retrieved through bloodshed. On the other hand Timisoara has always been one of the most reprezentative, interesting and dynamic centres of the country, thanks to a fully-developed avantgarde movement in the 60s and 70s (the Sygma Group), with hepled to keep alive the taste for experiments and innovation.
This encounter of East European artists allows for a systematisation of the problems. Incessantly antagonized from the outside, the artist lives on the periphery of existence, subjecting her himself to masochistic physical suffering (running needles through his arms, hammering his chest) and the state of confused evasion induced by narcotics (Aby Space Group, Poland).
Another obsession of the East is the political context. After the revolutionary 1989, simultaneously with the collapse of communism we witness the upsurge of national talents repressed for more than 40 years of dictatorship. This nationalistic movement engenders strong conflicts, some of them beyond control (ex-Yugolslavia). An invitation sent out to an artist from Subotica, received no reply. Against this background the installation of Ruxandra and Ion Grigorescu sings praises to the Balkanic links through the artist's own family tree. On the other hand, the two artists conducted an opinion poll referring the audience to the imminence of a local war, a very disquieting insight into people's states of mind.
Dan Perjovschi's "Antiperformance", witch is stated to last "as long as the autor", entitled "Romania", the word tattooed on the artist's shoulder before his audience, in an "intimate, tedious and definitive show", as the artist thinks. He places the value of this type of nationalistic discourse in a subcultural milieu, in the underworld area.
Stimulated by the European atmosphere of Timisoara, by the superiority it displays due to its multi-cultural configuration, the Ütö Gustav and Konya Reka group highlighted the coexistence of Hungarians and Romanians, in an artistic act of dramatic interpretation.
The impossibility of communication between East and West, the crisis of perception marking the latter, bringsabout an unsurmontable isolation in the very century of communiccation and mass media. This is ironically and abruptly hinted at in Teodor Graur's performance entitled "Speaking to Europe from Europe".
It is a challenge to deep-rooted habits through the radical demolition of taboos relating to sex and bread, that Janos Szirtes and Lugossy László (Hungary) achieved with compelling professionalism in their performance. Round the same area is centred Imre Bukta's contribution, who formulates ironies, with a type of humour bordering on the absurd, with regard to the political and cultural context of the East European Zone.
The ecological approach of István Kovács (Hungary) is tailored to the genre professed by the artist - body art.
Searching after a solution to the extreme states of mind, some artists take refuge in their own personal mythologies. Amalia Perjovschi's vindictivennes has a target her alter ego, a rag doll, releasing thus her tensions in a purifying attempt, whilst Sorin Vreme constructs an entire mechanism - intricate and absurd - and assumes the mechanical, senseless gestures, stemming from a drab grey daily ritual.
The same theme is at the basis of the video "Automatic Cocktail", done by Geta Brătescu and Alexandru Solomon, demonstrating an elaborate techical treatment, with a view to emphasizing the exasperating routine, automatism of some gestures.
The expressive means of the different participants are diverse. From the most authentic existential expression of the Polish "Aby Space" Group, the body performance of István Kovács to the deployment of theatrical means by the Slovak artist (Juhász Jozsef and Zalaba Zsuzsa) or the experimentalism form the musical performance of Alexandru Patatics, the participants fully ilustrated the overriding directions of the genre. But beyond any speculation whatsoever, they proved to be truthful, authentic and deeply motivated in their artistic approaches. This type of straightforwardnees is doubled by a specific spitituality.
Zone - Eastern Europe: The First Edition (1993) The Second Edition (1996) The Third Edition (1999)
|Copyright © 2006
INFOTIM S.A. Timisoara
||Copyright © 2006
Timisoara Branch of the Fine Arts Union of Romania