Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu

artist in residence September 2015, Romania /


Our main goal as artists/cultural workers is to support the inequalities of Western Discourse and to ensure the power relations within it.
In the same time, as humans, but also as artists/cultural workers, we calculate each of our steps and maneuvers in order to ensure our survival.
Therefore, by presenting (through an artist talk/presentation) our performative practice from our student years (1979-1983) within the residency, we hope to ensure subjective criteria.


Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu are patiently building a fictional archive which reconstructs a part of the (supposedly) unknown, supressed, invisible or otherwise forgotten art history in the former Eastern Europe, while ironically reflecting upon their own condition of marginality in the current globalized art world. They instantiate a lack in the discourse of art history that is constitutive for the cultural mechanisms which surround the changing relations of power today. At the same time, they produce additions and suplements to the existing archive, inventing performances and actions that could have taken place in the past, but come into being in a deliberately belated manner. By mixing up document and fiction, they re-enact the aesthetic and theoretic principles of the retro-avant-garde, already used in the 80's by IRWIN, Kazimir Malevich from Belgrade, or, more recently, by Walter Benjamin, in order to reveal, on the one hand, the current fetishization of experimental art under communism, and on the other, the internal contradictions of this crucial cultural phenomenon that comprises, in nuce, the germs of a different modernity - a modernity which may still alter the current status quo. Amancei and Armanu impose a series of gestures which deflect the seriousness of the former avant-gardes, while preserving the codes of rebelion, oppositionality, marginality and futility. However, they are neither deconstructivists, nor postmodernists. They avoid aestheticizing the vocabulary of the neo-avant-gardes, while carefully recomposing parallel narratives which ultimately reveal the constructed nature of our history and the fractures of our present-day self-understanding.”