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I Dreamt of You so Much That…
Curated by Olga Stefan

before the end
Curated by Tatevik Sahakyan

Art Direction – Candace Goodrich

March 12 – April 5, 2015

In his stirring 1926 poem, J’ai tant reve de toi, (J’ai tant reve de toi que tu perds ta realite) Robert Desnos laments the impossibility of real love with the young woman he tries to capture in his dreams. Desnos remains in a state of longing, lost between reality and the idealized image he creates of her, the carnal and the immaterial. He takes refuge in his dreams, the space where he can hold on to her, and as he does, his lover recedes more and more away from reality. Therefore, hope for true connection is futile – the two lovers are but shadows to each other, existing only in the imagination, a third space, or heterotopia, that mixes reality and fantasy, and allows them to actualize their impossible love.

Much like in Desnos’s poem, in the work of Stefan Constantinescu the imagination plays the role of consolidator of two distant and disparate worlds. In his three films (of a future series of seven shorts), imagination of the characters, which is activated through the use of technology, is essential to the conflicts and tensions that well up within their heterosexual, amorous relationships. And yet, Constantantinescu’s open-ended stories do not cling to the specific events depicted– they reveal larger societal truths, hypocrisies, and deformations that force the viewer to question himself and his role as spectator, but also participant, in everyday human dramas. This calling into question of societal structures is an aspect that Jean-Luc Godard considered essential to making films politically ,or what would also be called Third Cinema today, by ”creating moments of openness and undecidability: moments that also question the structural principles of cinema and the filmer-filmed-viewer contract”.[1]

[1] http://www.republicart.net/disc/representations/oehner01_en.htm

The exhibition, which in addition to the films also features a photo essay and journal, Northern Lights, revealing private moments, anxieties, and longing typical of the immigrant experience, as well as a pop-up book, The Golden Age, juxtaposing the artist’s biography to the history of Romania, his native country, alludes to the most private of spaces, the bedroom, where conflict and intimacy take turns dominating the nature of the relationship, often overlapping. This setting creates a third space that is both public and private, and yet neither. Here we encounter the artist’s most intimate disclosures, transforming us from mere spectator to participant and even more so, a partaker in the artist’s life. We are forced to question our role as audience and explore new relationships with art and our environment, an essential element in today’s political cinema and art.

Stefan Constantinescu is a filmmaker and artist living and working in Stockholm. He works in a multiplicity of mediums including film, photography, artist books and painting. In 2009 he represented Romania at the Venice Biennale with the film Troleibuzul 92. He has exhibited his films and other work in group and solo museum shows throughout Sweden and the rest of Europe.  In 2012 his short film Family Dinner was selected for the competition of the 51st Semaine de la Critique in Cannes, and in 2013 his film Six Big Fish premiered in the international competition Pardi di domani of the Locarno Film Festival.  He is currently working on a feature-length film, Seven Shades of Love, composed of a series of seven shorts portraying the conflict inherent in amorous relationships.

Olga Stefan is an independent curator and arts journalist based in Zurich. Some of her recent exhibitions include Few Were Happy with their Condition: Video, Photography and Film in Romania, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Drawing Protest: From Museum Walls to Facebook Walls and Back, Dan Perjovschi, Shedhalle, SHOWTIME, ABContemporary, Zurich, and others. She is the curator of Bucharest Art Week, October 5-12, 2015, a multi-site international exhibition which she themed “Laughter and Forgetting” after Kundera’s 1979 novel. Stefan contributes to Art In America, ArtReview, Sculpture Magazine, TurnOnArt, Artslant, and other international publications.

Click here to download Press Release pdf CONSTANTINESCU

before the end” presents different endings and multiple finalities, such as an installation that talks about someone’s life seen throught the numbers and letters of his cost notebook, that ends with the person’s funeral costs, a photographic journey through the lives of the Romanians that took part in the 1989 Revolution, or a film journal of his nanny’s last 12 months.

With a keen interest in documenting, while also developing ways of expressing „the undocumented”, Daniel Djamo’s experiments reflect on themes unusual for someone his age. His interest in memory, in journals, and in the one’s past, with a microscopical view into each chapter, make his art different and a bit difficult to absorb at a first glance.

Djamo manages to create an altiverse (an ambiguous universe) in which the viewer can either accept the pathways manufactured by the artist, or be tempted to create its own, further expanding it.

Daniel Djamo (born 1987, Bucharest) is a Romanian artist and filmmaker, that is interested in personal and group histories and stories. He combines film with video art and installation with photography in order to evoke the past and to underline “the now.”

Winner of the ESSL award, Henkel Art.Award. Young artist prize CEE, Startpoint Prize Romania and the Grand Prize of the National University of Fine Arts from Bucharest.

Djamo exhibited at the Museum of Moscow, Bucharest National Museum of Contemporary Art, Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA), ESSL museum from Vienna, etc. His video artworks have been screened in numerous video art and film festivals.

He is a PhD candidate at the National University of Fine Arts from Bucharest.

Tatevik Sahakyan (born 1989, Gyumri) is an Armenian poltical analyst and cultural manager focused on Eastern-European cultures, that is based in Kiel, Germany. She holds a BA in Political Science (CAU, Kiel) and one in French Literature and Psychology (VBU, Yerevan). Sahakyan recently curated a solo show of Djamo in Glasgow, at the Briggait (November-December 2014).

Click here to download tearsheet Stefan Constantinescu Daniel Djamo exhibition



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photos by dotgain. graphic design by david voss.

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