Artist: Tara (von Neudorf)
Curator: Diana Dochia
04.10.2007 – 04.11.2007
Opening: 04.10.2007 at 07:30
The Baron and the Artist
“The map is open and it can be connected in all its dimensions, it is detachable, reversible and susceptible to constant changes. It can be turned upside down, from one side to the other, adaptable to all kinds of permutations; it can be imagined as a work of art, made as a political action or as a meditation.” 1
Gilles Deleuze, Felix Guattari
Which could be the link between the refined cultivated man, the eminent politician Samuel von Brukenthal and the contemporary artist, Tara, who calls himself von Neudorf?! At first sight none, but maybe… Brukenthal imagines a system, tries to build and to impose a new way of living and thinking, a new way of seeing and relating to the world we are living in and surrounds us. Brukenthal opens a new path, predicts a new path, and builds up a remarkable collection of works of art, cartography, bibliophily which he offers to the audience. Brukenthal institutes in the XVIIIth century an incipient museum system whose evolution can be foreseen in the cultural policy of the contemporary Anglo-Saxon area. If Brukenthal sets up the system, Tara is the one who contests it. As an artist Tara feels committed to take an attitude towards the system, to get involved in the frame of his artistic demarche and to be preoccupied by the society in which he lives. If Brukenthal struggles between tradition and modernity, Tara tries to understand tradition, to conceive modernity and to live in the contemporary world. Brukenthal used to love art, books, maps; he knew all that what was happening in the Age of Enlightenment. Tara gets into Brukenthal’s Palace in Sibiu and closely examines the residence of the baron in Avrig, where he continues to draw both old and new maps. The map becomes, in this way, a tool and a way of getting into the heart of events from that time and from today. The map is a manipulative element, in the frame of profound movements which took place over the time, leading to the change of names, opinions, cultures, political attitudes, and the way of living. A map often describes a problem which can be explained through the events that were before it and determined it; it is a reference to the history that imposed itself. On the other hand, history is written in the ground, and not only the political history, but also the institutional and the religious history, as well as the history of artistic creation, of conflicts and of economical relations.
McLuhan once asserted that “The world has become a village” (“Le monde est devenu un village”), and once the new media and the audiovisual appeared, the world was to know an accentuated Information Age that would lead to a more accentuated globalization. But, what can you do when, in this Information Age, an artist finds in a school, in a forgotten Transylvanian village, a series of maps, in a precarious state. This is the way Finis Mundi came to life. Arthur Danto asserts: “Throughout its internal development, art reached a phase in which it can contribute to the interior development of the human thinking that tries to understand its own historical essence… Art caused the transformation of thinking” 2. But the contemporary artist detached himself from this ideological side, proposing an image without imposing an ideology. Together with contemporary art, knowledge and thinking got into art, as well as the social and the political, according to Jean-Jacques Gleizal. Edgard Wind in “Art et anarchie” considered that art has the power if not to destroy the state, at least, to contradict it. Gilles Deleuze considered that “to create means to be free”.
The map becomes, in the frame of the artistic process, a way of remembering events from the past, but also a way of describing actual states. The superposition of the drawing over the already existing surface of the map often synthesizes the idea which Tara sees regarding the territory being discussed. The map becomes a discussion basis, an element to which he refers to, often contextualizing and de-contextualizing a fact in itself. The map becomes an instrument, a listing of events, a background and at the same time a link towards a destiny, a situation, a story and a history. Tara manages to individualize throughout all that he is doing. Tara feels and lives all that he draws, his artistic projects often become personal dramas, difficult to synthesize and barely perceptible at first sight. Tara lives in his world, sees monstrously and feels visceral. His heroes are often our heroes, only that Tara goes into depths, examines, is attentive, and tries most of the times to understand. Tara is playing with the Earth, with history, with us, with you, with me.
Curator: Diana Dochia