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1+1 @Aparte Gallery, UNAGE, December 2021

Matei Bejenaru, Cezar Lăzărescu, Mihai Vereștiuc, Luminița Toma, Dumitru Oboroc, Lavinia German, Andrei Timofte, Smaranda Ursuleanu, Livia Pancu, Cristian Nae, Oana Maria Nae, Gloria Luca & Tudor Patrașcu (Anticamera), Bogdan Armanu & Silvia Amancei (s.a.b.a), Andreea Cioară, Delia Bulgaru, Dan Acostioaei, Cătălin Gheorghe, Cristina Moraru, Mălina Moncea, Sarah Muscalu.

Exhibition design: ZoKraft (Andrei Pripasu & Ionuț Toma)
Curators: Florin Bobu și Smaranda Ursuleanu
Installation shots: Alexandru Paul

Resulting from an extensive mapping process, the Structuri și infrastructuri / Structures and Infrastructures exhibition aimed at the materialization and historicization of an extremely complex and volatile (inter)national network built during the last 20 years of activity of artists, theorists and curators living and working in Iasi by bringing together objects (personalized bags) that are at the intersection between marketing and artistic production and which are produced by the most important institutions of the contemporary art network.

The exhibition included the work of Cezar Lăzărescu: “I like Periferic 3” which we considered a so-called Proto Art Tote Bag, dating from 1998 (the year of Periferic 2 Performance Festival). On that occasion, the artist walked around the city or participated – as an audience – in a series of performances of the event with a white plastic bag, on which Lăzărescu, using the present tense, had self inscribed, with the marker, a sentence in which he expresses his confidence that the next edition of the festival (Peripheral 3) will please him just as much. Thus, we have photos from the performances of Dan Perjovschi or Vlad Horodincă that were doubled by a second performance, from the audience. All this was happening at the French Cultural Center in Iasi.

In the last two decades, the objects personalized by contemporary art institutions (Contemporary Art Tote Bags) have become the symbol of the marketing and to go promotion of festivals or biennials, precisely because of their dual character, located at the intersection of purely functional objects and posters with an independent path of promotion and dissemination. As a matter of fact, in 2013, the Australian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale offered 5,000 tote bags, printed according to their visual identity which were exhausted in the first 2 days of the private view. In recent years, they have become a medium in themselves, a reference that constantly communicates with the work or the artistic approach, with the place and time of the event, and indicates an international cultural ecosystem, a network with ramifications in time and in space through which immaterial structures or local artistic producers become important pawns in the circulation of discourse.

This cultural ecosystem includes not only artists and curators but also a wide range of creators such as designers, architects, cultural managers, specialists in the installation of contemporary works of art, people specializing in educational mediation of contemporary art and research as well as artistic research experts.

In the Aparte Gallery, 138 personalized bags from the collections of the 22 participants were exhibited. Each was accompanied by a text with information about the circumstances in which he received those objects, about the event or contemporary art institution that produced these marketing elements. Through them, the dynamics, trajectories and networks of the artists, theorists and curators who live and work in Iași could be determined.

Structuri și infratructuri (Structures and infrastructures), group exhibition, Aparte Gallery, George Enescu National Art University, Iași, 3 – 8 decembrie 2021. Installation shots by Alexandru Paul.

Curated by Florin Bobu and Smaranda Ursuleanu

„Structuri și infrastructuri” is organized by 1+1 in partnership with the German Cultural Center in Iași, tranzit. ro/ Iași, The National University of Arts “George Enescu” Iași and is co-financed by the City of Iași.