A reflection about the status of the image as a balance of forces in tension and a paradoxical act of cancellation of the body through its own representation.
In Ion Grigorescu’s work, as in the book, the body is continually shown in different ways - from photography to film, from performance to drawing - and yet it remains absent, obscuring its own identity in an attempt to question the collective one. As it is impossible to show his art during the regime, it ends up hiding, disappearing inside the image. Instead of showing, the image conceals, because it is non-documentary and non-transmittable; it is an act of birth, a prove of the artist’s resistance, especially as a human being inside (or against) any geographical or historical background. In the rituals of his gestures and in the symbolism of his performances, Grigorescu finds a way to stay alive, preserving his own intellectual status while also defending the dignity of everyday life.
The book traces the progression, both expansive and inclusive, of his work, which inscribes itself into the space of the body and of the world. Grigorescu absorbs elements of the surrounding reality, showing us a continuity between art and life: his act of dissidence is not an outcry of provocation, nor is it extreme; it is an anti-aesthetic operation which uses experimentation and rough techniques to uncover the fiction of art, to denounce the artifice of representation and to affirm images as an instrument of subversive power.
Ion Grigorescu (Bucharest, 1945) is one of the most significant Romanian contemporary artists of the Post-War period and an iconic figure of the conceptual and performative art since the early 70s. He took part in Venice Biennial in 1997 and 2011; his works are in the main public collections, such as MoMa, New York; Tate Modern, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris. He is represented by the gallery Gregor Podnar, Berlin.
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