Răzvan anton / Mnemonics

21 January / 22 March, 2015
Curator: Călin Vasilescu

upper floor

Mnemonics exhibition has set two different objectives.

First of them is the presentation of Răzvan Anton and his project of research within the graphic medium. The second of them is about finding a way of showing his work through which the message and the context can be perceived in all their coherency and clarity. If the first objective can be reduced at the direct presentation of works, for the second one we need a contextual translation. The whole exhibition is dedicated to the criticism of discourse through which cultural institutions legitimize their position in the public space. To be more accurate it's a criticism aimed at the foundation on which this discourse is set. After the horrors of the last world war, Memory has replaced Reason as a basis of institutional discourse in the public space. Memory has become the ethical landmark and the commemoration of all crimes is now the measuring system of all the dangers that could be comprised by any new vision ignoring the past. Modernism was blamed for the radicalization of Reason and the paradigm change allowed a new start in the cultural world of a new revolution based on this ethical foundation which is the Commemoration.

No matter how shocking or frivolous Postmodernism might look (as a doctrine of the public space) it is founded on the concept of Commemoration but also on a public censorship originated in the files of recent history. The source of the graphic interrogations of Răzvan Anton is this exact root which legitimizes the discourse in the public space. Răzvan Anton is in perfect agreement with the need of Memory and Commemoration but he considers equally important the way in which we do that. The title of the exhibition is a technical term through which we designate various methods of memorization. Usually methods by which a person can learn by heart a given amount of information. The efforts of learning by heart, without the understanding of content, pose the risk of misappropriation towards a repetitive and oppressive speech. Răzvan Anton is always questioning what we learn: the meaning or the form, the human relations or the speculative advantages offered by contemporary legitimization. The exercises of Memory can be as dangerous as the ones of Reason. The experience of wooden language which accompanied the traffic of memory used by the dictatorial regime of Romania is still a common place for a large social group. The need of reflection in accepting this paradigm for the public and cultural discourses is obvious in Romania.

The artistic practice of Răzvan Anton stems from this reflectivity applied over the drawing process and in the development of relations between visual subject and its successive rendering in different graphic medias. The meanings are altered according to the materials through which Răzvan is applying systematic treatments to the images often present in the public debate. The consequence of these treatments is the preservation of an area of reflectivity over the practice of drawing, of the discourses which legitimize this practice and over the source of legitimization in the need of Memory. Drawing is Răzvan Anton's method to memorize Memory itself.