Time Travel

Beniamin Popescu I Mircea Modreanu

Annart Gallery opens the autumn season with a duo show of the artists Beniamin Popescu and Mircea Modreanu.

The structural relationship and a similar impulse in dealing with experience lead the two artists to synthesize the artistic object in its elementary forms.

The scale determines opposition and balance. By analogy, the exhibition's title refers to the central component of such a mechanism. It supports two parallel, opposing elements that appear balanced. Time Travel does not define a precious and complex concept related to the notion of time, nor does it aspire to unravel the depth of the sources of inspiration of the (hic) incipit of the works. Instead, it supports the selection of artworks and the joining of the two artists.

There is a weight on the right pan of the scale called Time Travel. I mention the concept of parergon, most particularly known thanks to Derrida, who used the term in one of the essays in "Truth in Painting". Through para- (outside) and ergon (work), he deconstructs the status of the frame, the limit of a painting, moving away from the Kantian concept that the frame of a painting (or the column of a magnificent building) exists outside the work of art. For him, the frame is that part of the work that "gives birth" to the artwork. However, the history of the frame's status cannot be overlooked. In addition to philosophical decodings, frames (whether they have practical, aesthetic, or mental functions) also vary according to the taste of the era or characteristic ornamentation. Mircea Modreanu starts from the photographs of the frames in the Louvre Museum. The decision to treat the frame as an independent, primordial object, and its subsequent transposition into a meta-frame, constitutes the contemporary instinct of isolation and exploitation of the artistic object. The discreet process of transferring the image onto the support of a rough material (plaster) and its limitation by a wooden frame, frust, reproduces the familiarity of a current attitude.

On the left plate, another weight balances the scale. Much more meaningful is the chronology of formation and deformation within the works of Beniamin Popescu. The antinomy formulated in its structures starts from the intention to build the unfolding of the double scenario of the existence of an archaeological site - from the origin to the contemporary contextualization of topographical components from a historical past. In the case of the artistic process, the temporal character is transferred internally, immanent to the reference themes embedded in the works. The materials that make up the various anthropogeographical histories reside in the compositional hardness. The shape and color, on one hand, and the metallic structure, on the other, compete for supremacy in an inevitable start to understand its trends.

(Calina Coman, curator)

Beniamin Popescu (b. 1989) is a Romanian visual artist living and working in Bucharest that incorporates sculptural painting in his recent artistic approach. His works explore textures and shapes that make us think of building structures on an archeological site. Whether it is about a living space or an old monument, his artworks examine the concept of building, a continuously changing place where progress and regress meet. The role of a building doesn’t end when it no longer serves a practical function. Beniamin Popescu provokes us to look differently at the architectural object: as a time bridge between past, present, and future.

Mircea Modreanu (b. 1989) is a visual artist, cultural projects manager, and gallerist. He studied at the University of Art and Design in Cluj-Napoca, Faculty of Fine Arts, and shortly after graduating, he moved to Bucharest. In 2014, he finished his Master's degree in the Graphic Department of UNArte, and a year later, he founded an NGO, his debut as a cultural projects manager.
Since 2018, when the ETAJ artist run-space project was born, he invited more than 200 artists in solo or collective exhibitions in his space on 43 George Enescu Street. During the lockdown, he started to document and archive artist interviews by filming and uploading them on the ETAJ TV youtube channel. He is the coordinator of ETAJ Magazine, a publication launched pursuing the desire to promote contemporary art and local artists.