Larisa Crunțeanu

A Room Full of Hysterical Women, 2019, installation

📍 Venue → GHMP

Hysteria comes from the Greek word for womb, hystera. Hysteria, a condition associated throughout history with the emotionally excessive behavior of women is a theme explored in this work. It features female characters from various kinds of literature of different genres, cultures, and ages, from Aristophanes’s comedy Lysistrata to Octavia E. Butler’s science fiction novel Wildseed to Anne Sexton’s poem about suicide. The characters make themselves present as constellations of triptych-shaped structures which resemble dressing screens. Each structure includes an allusion to the character—a quote from her speech, a piece of clothing, and an architectural reference to the space the character inhabits at the moment referred to by the quote. The quotes are angry. The work points out how these protagonists, namely in the manner in which they were presented in cultural artifacts throughout history, have contributed to, mirrored, or problematized the ways in which societies have treated women’s expressions of dissatisfaction and otherwise disciplined the behavior of women deemed inappropriate. Playing with the unstable boundaries between public and private, reality and fiction, the installation of dressing screens, costumes, architectural plans, and literary quotes poses questions regarding hysteria’s link to systemic issues of injustice.

Larisa Crunțeanu’s (*1986) practice as performer, video artist, and sound collector moves from reality to fiction in an endless conversation with the viewer. Crunțeanu’s works create contexts in which facts and memories are reactivated, encouraging a shared effort and the emergence of new practices. Many of her projects reflect on the notion of collaboration and the ideas existing behind objects and stories. Her works have been shown in important institutions such as the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest, SAVVY in Berlin, Zacheta Project Room in Warsaw, RKI in Berlin, and Museu de Arte Brasileira – MAB FAAP in São Paulo. Her works are part of important private and public collections and have been exhibited in the following selected shows: I’ll walk with you these streets, one last time, Kunsthalle Osnabrück (2022), One day the day will come when the day will not come, Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara (2021), DO IT BY HEART, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2020–2021); Image Fantome, Anca Poterașu Gallery, Bucharest (2021), 12 YEARS AFTER. A SURVEY OF ROMANIAN ART IN 180 WORKS, MNAC Bucharest (2020–2021), Les Films de Cannes à Bucarest, Bucharest (2021), New East Poetistas, Alte Feuerwache – Projektraum, Berlin (2020), A Room Full of Hysterical Women, Artissima Fondamenta, Torino (2020), The Winner Takes It All, Montez Press Radio, New York (2020), Wish, wishing and some associations to that, Radio Corax, Halle (2020), A Room of One’s Own, Anca Poterașu Gallery, as part of NADA New York Gallery Open, Catinca Tăbăcaru Gallery, New York (2020), R.A.B.L.A. (Random Archives & Basic Loop Activators), kinema ikon, Arad Art Museum, Arad (2020), and many others.

Installation view (c) Jonáš Verešpej