Florin Flueras with Alina Popa
Undreaming, 2015 (FF), performance
Selection of drawings, 2018–2019 (AP)
You Are (objects), 2018 (AP)
📍 Venue → GHMP
The gestation of Florin Flueras’s Undreaming is conducive to the environment that he co-devised with Alina Popa called Unsorcery. Vaguely articulated as one of the Artworlds they inhabit, it is meant “to compose and explore ways of sorcery that can eventually surpass or undo some of the contemporary realities and subjectivities.” Over the course of the biennale, Undreaming can be simply described as the unstoppable practice of waking up to art. Dreaming with or waking up to art’s pleasures, sensations to the body, and other simulations of the world is not the purpose of the artist’s invitation to museumgoers to “undream” with him. Rather, it insists on the value of being half asleep. Collocated in this abstraction of escape are drawings that the artist made with her eyes closed and notebook on her chest. They are the indelible marks of hands in motion with a disease that thinks, that creates life forms. “The edge is now fully lived,” as Popa commented.
Undreaming is experienced in the exhibition through suggestions and simple body practices. Guided by the artist through his voice or text, the audience can read and listen to its surroundings through their half-asleep perceptions. Similar to meditation, awareness is the material that transforms art perspectives into other realities. As dreaming is what makes a world appear; Undreaming can be what makes a reality dissipate into another, through the process of waking up, say in a performance and maybe repeatedly.
Selection of drawings, 2018–2019
Alina Popa’s drawings are reproduced in the exhibition to concretize another association beyond their representation of her time with illness. In her last text titled “Disease as an aesthetic project,” she wrote about the wildness of the disease and the body, and the jungle that grew inside her and the new species of experience that roamed around it. How she described her belongingness to the kingdom of the sick as gift and enemy could be extended to these irreverent illustrations.
You Are (objects + video documentation)
In its iteration in the Biennale, You Are is presented as a document: objects that the artist commonly utilizes in her performance and the video documentation that recorded her execution of a performance. It uses the idea of a space—social and affective—that can accommodate forms of therapy, of performance, and abstract thinking. For example, the white cube is a therapy room or a lecture hall, where contemplation meets abstraction and therapeutic touch meets conceptual distance. In this post-hospice scenario, the visitor-performer is always (a) patient, awaiting the therapeutic touch of a collective.
Alina Popa (February 1, 1982, Ploiești – February 1, 2019) was a Romanian artist who moved between choreography, theory, and contemporary art. She was a co-founder of the Bureau of Melodramatic Research (BMR) and co-initiator of the ArtLeaks platform. Her political and artistic research centered on affect theory, the relationship between neoliberalism and melodrama, and the ideological ties between mountaineering and nationalism. Popa studied finance at the Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies (2000–2004) before studying painting, cinematography, and photography at the Hungarian University of Fine Arts, Bucharest (2003–2009). At the BMR, which she founded together with Irina Gheorghe in 2009, she researched the ways in which emotion is gendered and feminized, created work that addresses the effects of capitalism in contemporary society, and formed an online platform that aims to amplify the voices of cultural workers whose labor rights have been violated. She showed and performed at various institutions, such as MUMOK in Vienna, DEPO in Istanbul, and Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. She lived and worked in Bucharest.
Florin Flueras’s (*1978) work expands into spheres of politics, philosophy, spirituality, health care, media, education, and literature, producing performative meetings between art and its outside and affecting conventions and certainties in both areas. In Artwork he transforms works into practices, composing a “method” in the format of somatic/spiritual methods. With Alina Popa he created alternative art environments such as the series Artworlds (Unsorcery, Clinica, Black Hyperbox). With Ion Dumitrescu he initiated Postspectacle, a practice of applying performative tools outside art, like in the presidential campaign of The Candidate. He has shown at Fap in São Paulo, DEPO in Istanbul, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Jardim Equatorial in São Paulo, Fabrica de Pensule in Cluj, MUMOK Kino in Vienna, HAU in Berlin, TQW in Vienna, Karas in Zagreb, DeSingle in Antwerp, Suprainfinit in Bucharest, Atelier 35 in Bucharest, MNAC in Bucharest, Salonul de Proiecte in Bucharest, Berardo Museum in Lisbon, Aleppo in Brussels, Akademie Solitude in Stuttgart, Europalia in Brussels, Bozar in Brussels, and Swimming Pool in Sofia.