Contemporary Art Gallery

Brukenthal National Museum
Sibiu, Romania

19. April - 13. May 2012

Opening: Thursday 19th April 17h


When political mystery, seen as a veritable champion of social thought, is combined with the curatorial display of art, one can reach the intricate restoration of a lost world.
The Austrian artists Micha Payer & Martin Gabriel, Katharina Gruzei and Andrea Winkler were invited to translate and visually recompose the tension and the consequences of a historical moment, and a rather mystical time - The Congress of Vienna that took place for 7 months, in 1814 and 1815. the operational mechanisms of the congress resemble the way in which art is evaluated today while overlaying the leading and the secondary actors in a creation state, in a period when without violence the political view can become emotional, and egocentrism is an instrument that reveals the weaknesses and the opportunities. Ambiguous, and at the same time showing an altruist attitude, the Congress of Vienna had blocked major conflicts for 100 years, creating the illusion that when the balance of power is steadily arranged, any war can be prevented. The principle of legitimacy, of compensation, of charity, reintroducing peace, diplomatic negotiation, the transparency of political correspondence or the relevance of innocent and idyllic actions represented reactionary ideals that supported the violent emerge of modernity at the expense of an exhausted eternity.
The sensitive connections between those that had participated in the face-to-face discussions determined the disclosure of a too personal set of characteristics in parallel with the political representativeness; prince Metternich´s famous champagne, the contest for the best cheese in Europe won by Talleyrand with Brie de Meaux, the death of the Turkish ambassador due to his nocturnal revels, the enigma surrounding Tsar Alexander I have been interpreted as approvals of a certain life style that externalized the senses, and also the temptation towards their public expression. Following the clues behind history books, the four artists united within the project The congress dances. The elephants have gone crazy have investigated the liaisons between past as dominant structure, and the capacity of visual forms to misappropriate, taking utopias and historical abnormalities forward. Andrea Winkler, through the textile objects with anthropomorphic shapes, posses an unusual ability to describe the effects of some absurd desires. The meticulous drawings of Micha Payer & Martin Gabriel provoke liberal feelings, surprised in the warfare for public wisdom, and the hopeful appreciation of the present days. The photography of Katharina Gruzei describes an indefinite future, when identity, doubled by extravagance, seems easy to obtain, and to lend.

Liviana Dan and Anca Mihulet

This project is a collaboration with mobile Galerie.Kärnten.

Muzeul National Brukenthal
Contemporary Art Gallery
6 Tribunei Street

Opening Hours
Tue - Sun 10am - 6pm

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