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(Tele)Vision of a Nation (2014)

Vision of a Nation
Bull.Miletic, Nicu Ilfoveanu, Kristina Norman
Curated by Alina Șerban

1 November 2014 – 11 January 2015
Opening Thursday, 20 November, 7 pm

What is today the vision of the future in regard to the feelings of longing and belonging to a nation? Why do individuals project their own emotions, anxieties and desires amidst the national community? How is national communion encountered and represented today under the specter of anew imagined trans-national geography? What are the limitations, challenges, and hopes?

VISION OF A NATION is an exhibition produced by Fotogalleriet, which opens up territory for questions about the ways the contemporary representations of the nation, embedded in spatially specific scenarios, translate deeper issues of power, ethnicity, amnesia, and radicalization of societies. The project attempts to differentiate and mirror the sense of self along with the varying individualized or publicly fuelled narratives. It is against this background that performances of nationhood (-ess) are captured and re-imagined with reflective self-awareness by the invited artists.

What further comes to the foreground in the exhibition is a practice of micro-analytic analysis that situates the nation in conjunctions with increasing interiorization and differentiation processes revealed by current transformations of societies. Navigating and connecting different agencies and forms of memorization, the exhibition unfolds stories concretely grounded in the local contexts in which specific identities and depictions of the self are acclaimed or contested. The re-visitation of the semantics of the nation take into account the fictitious time-space of historical narration, the traditional frames for expressing national representation as well as the processes of territorialization.

VISION OF A NATION represents an exploration of the particular narratives and forms of engagement of individuals/societies with the national imaginary and the operations of history rewriting. Reflecting upon the specificity of each regional and historical context, and mapping the various forms of national (re-) construction, the artists will provide through their work an analytical framework to research and critically re-evaluate themes and representations that appeared in the public realm during recent years.

Bull.Miletic’s work Tele-Vision of a Nation reflects an alternative pathway into the fictional and factual representation of Oslo’s Tryvann Tower in the contemporary Norwegian imaginary. Part of long-term research dedicated to this observation and television tower, the work discloses a metaphoric space of interaction between the processes of historicization and the sensory aesthetic experience of architecture. The cinematic motion of the revolving slide projection provides a complete panoramic view from the tower – engaging a reflection on the interrelations between natural geography, politics, and technology.

Nicu Ilfoveanu’s work Series. Multiples. Realisms. is conceived as an ongoing photographic archive documenting the everyday life of public monuments erected in IWW in the rural ambiance of Romania. The processes of recording these sites of commemoration rely on an anthropological methodology, mediating between the “intangible” and ubiquitous nature of these monuments and their impersonal relationships to the contemporary realities and daily social practices.

Kristina Norman’s work 4000 Square Kilometers of Europe is the outcome of a research carried out in the unrecognized Republic of Transnistria in collaboration with the Estonian documentarian Meelis Muhu. The project surveys the visual apparatus (the symbolic representations and rituals) employed by officials in order to sustain the heroic narratives of state-building. The experience shared by the work through different documentary footage allegorically evokes the dialectics of seeing and the particular mode of making sense of the new social and political configuration. 4000 Square Kilometers of Europe represents an interrogating transcription of visual testimonials of an unfinished process of self-narration.

The exhibition is curated by Alina Șerban. Born in 1978, she lives in Bucharest. She recently co-curated the research project Enchanting Views: Romanian Black Sea Tourism Planning and Architecture of the 1960s and ‘70s, Dalles Hall – The National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (2014); and curated The Romanian Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (2009) and at the Renaissance Society, University of Chicago (2010). She is the editor of the artists’ monographs Ion Grigorescu. The Man with a Single Camera and Geta Brătescu. The Studio (Sternberg Press, 2013).