Wednesday, September 1, 2021 / 19.00 EET
Artistic intervention in the EXPO_03_VERNACULAR exhibition
September 1 – October 3, 2021
Wednesday – Sunday / 15.00 – 19.00
Salonul de proiecte
Palatul Universul, Building B, 1st floor, Actor Ion Brezoianu 23–25, Bucharest, Romania
The first artistic intervention in the EXPO_03_VERNACULAR exhibition is by Bjarne Bare, an artist interested in the status and potentiality of photography in the context of the media pressure to which images are subject in the present day. The artist’s encounter with the Image Collection Mihai Oroveanu brings about a synthesis between his own method of practising photography, on the one hand, and the flux of memory unleashed by the archive images, on the other. But the memory invoked by Bjarne Bare has more to do with imaginative-collective wellsprings sited on the boundary between the personal and supra-personal. The photographs by Bjarne Bare included in the installation conceived especially for this occasion are mysterious and striking in their presence; they are as monumental as the fragments of urban architecture that they capture – delocalised and ubiquitous, abstract in their texture and fragmentation, while at the same time evoking a vague historicity. Their aura of melancholy partly derives from the emptiness, alienation and suspended temporality that contemporaneity often conjugates. However, their absolute stillness situates them at the opposite pole to the hectic, high-speed visuality to which the contemporary gaze is inured. Everyday narrative and flux are voided from this type of photographic construct, which thereby places itself at odds with precisely the “didactic expectations” imposed on the medium. Alongside the two photographs authored by him, the installation also includes a slide carousel, whose motion projects a series of images from the Oroveanu collection, in an approach that brings into close proximity the historical narrative, perceived from the perspective of personal memory. Born in Poland, Bare discovers a sense of familiarity in frames that capture places of recreation, forms of relaxation and casual socialisation, choosing to counterpose totalising discourses about the nation with a seemingly minor mode of activating the process of fixing a country’s culture in the memory, focusing on the moments of humour and optimism provided by the archive.
Bjarne Bare is based in Oslo and Los Angeles. He is the co-founder of MELK, an artist run space in Oslo, focused on new Scandinavian photography and active since 2009. Through his work as an artist, gallery director and publisher, Bjarne Bare maintains a profound interest in the development and current state of the photographic image, as well a theoretical curiosity concerning modes of perception in the reading of the photograph. His works have been presented in institutions like Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Palazzetto Tito, Venice; UCLA Broad Art Center, Los Angeles; Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre, Xiamen; Kunstnernes Hus, Oslo; Bomuldsfabrikken Kunsthall, Arendal; and OSL contemporary, Oslo. He has published several books, which have been included in library collections such as MOMA, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles; Sächsische Universitätsbibliothek, Dresden.
This artistic intervention is the result of a partnership between Fotogalleriet Oslo and Salonul de proiecte, the conversations between partners being also aimed at the process of selecting artists from Norway, potentially interested to react to images from the archive and to propose new productions.
The exhibition EXPO_03_VERNACULAR / A selection from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection focuses on a genre of photography that has enjoyed much attention in recent decades and which goes hand in hand with the effort to expand the range of approaches and methods of the history of photography. Vernacular photography is situated at the margins of established, standardised representations, with regard both to its image content and the freedom it takes with its nonchalant attitude towards the medium, making room for clumsiness and for the unpredictable, and activating a type of creativity akin to that of popular culture or elicits deeply personal and unique forms of expression.
The exhibition can be visited until November 28, 2021, the guided tours will be announced in advance on social media.