Visual arts in the feminine

visual arts in the feminine   Our segment today features contemporary artist Marilena Preda-Sânc

Visual arts in Romania have been influenced by various factors in various times. Censorship in the communist years and the freedom of expression gained following the events of December 1989, the pressure of staying true to a particular movement and the freedom of expressing your own artistic beliefs, all these have shaped the works of successive generations of artists. Seen as the first to approach the theme of feminism in Romania, Marilena Preda-Sanc is also highly appreciated as one of the most important contemporary Romanian artists. Marilena Preda-Sanc:

"My artistic practice started in 1980. Ever since my first solo exhibition, I have tried to express myself through various artistic media, and I think this is what defines my entire work. I have been very interested in the message and in what I was attempting to say, and I tried to find the best form of artistic expression for it. So in this respect, I have been interested in experimentation. Artistic practices are very diverse, going from drawing to traditional painting, to art books, photography, performance and installation. I have taught and I have taken great interest in art in public spaces. This includes all kinds of temporary events and performances happening in a public space. What I see as the most important to an artist is freedom. The freedom of creating, the freedom of waking up in the morning and doing whatever you choose. Freedom from trends, from clichés, from the entire coercive system, be it ideological or generated by the contemporary consumer society."

For Claudia Braileanu, a representative of the new generation of visual artists in Romania, the concept of freedom goes well beyond one's personal space. Her experience in Germany helped shape her work in the field of visual arts:

"I don't necessarily mean the freedom to create, but rather the freedom to learn. It's not so much the fact that I wouldn't want to be limited to a particular area or a particular project. It's simply about being able to move around and find out things which can guide me towards new areas to explore and to become familiar with. Given my background in painting, I started doing this because painting is precisely what had drawn me to the field of visual arts in the first place. I studied in Bucharest, at the National Arts University. Then there was another, equally important experience for me, namely the scholarship at the Arts Academy in Leipzig. This is where I tried to experiment things that I had not been very familiar with. I have written texts for performances. I was in a visual art class that tapped into various media. We worked with painting, objects and even text."

Social involvement is important for the young generation of visual artists too. Due to the unlimited possibilities offered by new technologies, Claudia Braileanu includes in her paintings an aesthetic that emerged in the virtual space:

"I picked a course called Social and Humour. It was something I hadn't done in the past. In fact, in this entire context I found a means of expression that I then brought into my painting even though what I experienced there was totally different. It was a totally different aesthetic in the way in which I looked at this idea of repetition, which was very important for me, and I tried to treat the social side through this idea of repetition. A structure that repeats itself generates a certain pattern which changes in time. Repetition changes a pattern. For me it is an organic thing, which I have integrated into my painting. This is how I got to the project I'm working on now, which started two years ago. It was just painting at first, but now it is also digital."

Marilena Preda-Sanc has had exhibitions in prestigious galleries all over the world, such as Kultur Kontakt Vienna, Ernst Museum Budapest, Valparaiso Biennale, International Art Centre of Kyoto, Propaganda Warsaw, and Kunsthalle Nurnberg. As a young artist trained in the 1970s and '80s, Marilena Preda-Sanc came into contact with the feminist ideas of that era:

"When I started to make my first photos and interventions, in 1983, I knew nothing of feminism. However, it was an inner state, a strong feeling, I felt I had to do that. I've always thought of myself as an opinion leader in my gender. I did it with empathy towards others. Speaking of which, it is what I practice in all I do as a visual representation, this is what I wish for. Of course, after 1990, when I met some theoreticians, such as Mihaela Miroiu, towards whom I feel a deep attachment, or Laura Grunberg, I managed to travel, to understand the phenomenon. That is when I became aware of what I was doing, and things became more applied. That is how I got this label of feminist. I don't understand feminism from the aggressive perspective, practiced mainly in the '70s, but, as I wrote or curated in exhibitions, I understand it rather from the eco-feminist perspective, a certain deep ecology. I think it is essential."

The everyday and cultural experience that Marilena Preda-Sanc and Claudia Braileanu transpose into visual art are offered to the public from the perspective of two different generations of artists. Which is important beyond the means of expression, it is a dialogue between two eras to which the artists belong.
Publicat: 2019-09-07 14:00:00
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