A permanent new commission
Opening: Saturday, 24 February 2018, 7 pm
Al. Lăpuşneanu street, no. 7-9
Untitled (Light fitting from the House of the People, Bucharest) / Fără titlu (Corp de iluminat din Casa Poporului, Bucureşti), 2018 is the new work by Jens Haaning in Romania, twelve years away from his previous intervention on the Iaşi local context***. While in 2006 he decided to dispossess the organisers of ten sets of biennale catalogues in order to displace them and to resettle them in a situation in which they would no longer be able to signify anything but uselessness outside the field of art (the catalogues were sent to the central post office of Conakry, Guinea), in 2018 Jens Haaning displaces a light fitting from the Bucharest House of the People in order to install it permanently in the tranzit.ro/ Iaşi space. This object is not – as many of us would be tempted to assume – a valuable chandelier, custom-made for the building, but instead a humble light fixture (one of the dozens of thousands we are not used to see or to mention in our remarks regarding this building).
Given the circumstances of 2018, it is difficult to look around us without the lenses of the ideologies of capitalism. Being rational nowadays becomes being loyal – obligatorily – to the capitalist logic. It is not by chance that we are talking about "the palace of the dictator Nicolae Ceauşescu" instead of about the intended head-office of the entire state administration of the Socialist Republic of Romania. In terms of linguistics, the choice between the word "palace" and the word "house" could not have been a random one. Today, the vocabulary itself adapts exclusively to the ideologies within which capitalism can operate.
Jens Haaning was born in 1965 in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he currently lives and works. His artistic practice addresses in many instances the ideological and economical hegemony that is designing even the most particular and intimate activities our lives within the neo-liberal system. Often, when encountering one of his projects one may become more reflective on the possibilities of infrastructural redistribution of value and wealth, otherwise difficult to be imagined.
Jens Haaning has exhibited extensively, e.g. documenta XI in Kassel, Germany in 2002, Traffic (curated by Nicolas Borriaud) at CAPC Museé d'art contemporain in Bordeaux, France in 2002, and Periferic 7 Biennale, (curated by Florence Dérieux) in Iaşi, Romania in 2006. In the fall of 2017 a large survey of Haaning’s artistic practice could be seen at the Gothenburg Biennial (curated by Nav Haq) in Gothenburg, Sweden.
With the support of: Danish Art Foundation, Iași City Hall, through the 2017 programme for non-reimbursable funding granted by the Iași City Hall budget and MNAC – National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest.
Special thanks: Călin Dan, Molly Haslund, Adrian Dohotaru, Adriana Oprea, Delia Bulgaru, Andrei Timofte, Nebojša Milikić
Curators: Florin Bobu, Livia Pancu
Translator: Sorana Lupu
*** “10 catalogues Periferic 7 sent to a post office from Africa, randomly chosen" / 10 cataloage Periferic 7 trimise unui oficiu poştal din Africa, 2006 as part of the International Bienale Periferic 7: Focussing Iaşi (section: Strategies of learning, curator: Florence Derieux), 2006
Image: Jens Haaning, "Untitled (Light fitting from the House of the People, Bucharest)", 2018
Photograph by Odin Moise