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Cult

Artist: Cătălin Petrişor

Curator: Diana Dochia

08.06.2006 – 08.07.2006

Opening: 08.06.2006 at 07:30 p.m.

The ‘Cult’ project exploits the elementary human need of believing in a superior force; it makes experiments on this need, confronting the contemporary man with new idols and altars. At a primary level, it can be read as a collection of images generated by various testimonies in reference to mystical experiences; testimonies perpetuated through myths, modern religious practices or brought from the area of psychical deviations. The large area of influences is not necessarily misleading, because the symbols used are known, and more than that, they are better rooted in our self-conscience. Once we recognize these symbols (the ladder, the wall, the openness, the light, the horns), the wide context in which they are presented is not yet clarified. Its understanding requires a profound reading. We’ll be forced to recognize in the ambiguity of the presentation, the difficulty to interpret the past, the inconsistency, the confusions and the specific contradictions of the contemporary knowledge.

Cătălin Petrişor imagines proper spaces for proceeding events. Not the whole event is presented, but a snap shoot from it, so that the looker to have the possibility of choosing his own end for the story in the image. The spaces in the artist’s works have some common elements: simplicity, sterility, mystery and a dominant coldness. These spaces are familiar because they respect the notion of room but they remain totally unfamiliar through their lack of humanity and their unreality. Thereafter the fear of unknown and possible contact with elements not belonging to the daily sphere is born.

The light is always part of the mystical experiences as it is presented in pictures and images from books that talk about saints and other characters that belong to religion. On the other hand, although it is a relevant symbol of truth and should always show the right path, in Cătălin Petrişor’s works the light is like a spotlight towards a world that we don’t know anything about, not even the fact that this world may exist. The only images, themselves invented, about these representations, are familiar because of the SF films and we the lookers are asking ourselves if today, the light has the same meaning as in the past. Therefore, when the light has a double sense it is discussable even the capacity of modern man to continue the practice of myths or to live authentically any kind of mystical experience.

If the use of light’s symbol is an exercise of futility, once we face the central character of the exposition, a man with horns, resumed in many painting works and used as subject for two projections of shadow, we discover ‘a new idol’. His attitude is grave and imposing. We recognize in his old attributes the significance of horns as a symbol of power that can also symbolize absolute evil, his identity being hard to be established.

Mirela Rădulescu, art historian

Press release – Cult, Catalin Petrisor