Artists: Apparatus 22, Anatoly Belov, Ștefan Botez, Irina Bujor, Robert Gabris, Alex Horghidan, Barbora Kleinhamplová, Sebastian Moldovan, Ioana Nemeș, Elisa Sighicelli
Curator: KILOBASE BUCHAREST
Title: JOY ~ JOY ~ JOY ON THE PEPPERSIDE OF SUPRAINFINIT
Venue: WONNERTH DEJACO Gallery, Vienna
JOY ~ JOY ~ JOY ON THE PEPPERSIDE OF SUPRAINFINIT works like a chant on many voices conjuring dreams of futurity.
Even though the exhibition highlights instances of artistic imaginary from Eastern European, cardinal points as we know them are dismissed, only to relocate the process of folding, unfolding and refolding of the future in Pepperside, a geographical realm found in Suprainfinit. Growing slowly in the crushing shadows of trauma, anxiety, ennui, patriarchy and dystopian realities, Suprainfinit—a utopian queer universe imagined since 2015 by the artistic collective Apparatus 22, in which hope is critical and corrosive to the status quo—becomes a pretext for empowering trajectories of joy, for exciting new possibilities for techno-science and introspection into dreams of happiness.
Lifted from Where does? (2014), an arresting installation of Irina Bujor about laughter in collective contexts, the exhibition’s incantation JOY ~ JOY ~ JOY is neither an imperative, nor a (naive) escapist outlook of an endless stream of ecstasy.
In order to modulate pluralistic future(s) as a collective effort, the works in the exhibition are not just looking at phenomena related to joys, pleasures, utopia but rather through those, thus becoming instances of embodiment. In-betweenness is a key approach for grafting the present sometimes with wild speculations, other times with nonhuman sensibilities or proposals for erasing signs of a heavy past. This in-betweenness is visible also in the display: an abundant selection of works is meandering between the gallery rooms — and inside the painted passageways between them, akin to a vessel for multiplicity, necessary eclecticism and expanding transformations.
Advancing through the deep mist of futures, one would stumble into reservoirs of joy by accident. Fraught with the danger of the illusory, it is yet a transformative act: from the animism of ultra-fragile Shields (in drag) protecting operatic wishes for transgender communities (Irina Bujor) to arousal ~ tranquility ~ future nostalgia in rural queer utopias (Alex Horghidan); from the sharp hybridization of myth, art history and dreams of techno-body (Ștefan Botez) to plunges in moments when clubbing proves to be space not only for euphoria, but for freedom (Apparatus 22); from rituals for “emotional reparations” performed by Mistress Velvet (Barbora Kleinhamplová) to subverting into poetry some readymades used for selling paints and dreams (Ioana Nemeș); from an afterimage of a new order (Elisa Sighicelli) to processes of becoming fluid, new types of bodies (Robert Gabris) or to a musical daydream challenging patriarchal structures (Anatoly Belov); from the playfulness and defiance of laughter in community settings (Irina Bujor) to support systems marking the dissolution of the boundaries between interior ~ exterior ~ invisible, pragmatic ~ poetic ~ hierarchical (Sebastian Moldovan).
While feeding on perspectives originating mostly in Eastern Europe, the works included in the exhibition suggest an intense fluidity of artistic cosmologies and entanglements of thinking, imagining, speculating— well beyond the confines of a broader region that is simultaneously troubled ~ fascinating ~ puzzling. This collectively laid out future, switched in parallel by the group of presented artists — and the corresponding joys one could trace back into a distant projection that’s yet inextricably informed by what is already revealed in our perception — thus becomes a practice session of sorts for everyone finding themselves facing the works; it is an open invitation to partake, to let oneself get carried away towards / through the Pepperside, while never losing out of sight the very causes and incentives that make such encounters possible.