Chimeras – duo exhibition, March 5-30, 2022
Artists: Oana Fărcaș and Mirela Moscu
Curator: Maria Bilașevschi
Reality has drops of magic when you look at it carefully, when the real – fantasy polarity turns into a twisting line that unites stories and styles. The exhibition brings together two pictorial discourses signed by Oana Fărcaş and Mirela Moscu, each naturally exploring the unpredicted layers of reality, synthesizing the perception of reality to reach its abstraction, an eidos that belongs to perception and not reality itself, thus outlining an unique experience of vision beyond what is apparent. Fantastic elements, with mythical or folkloric ramifications, reinterpretations and reiterations of motifs extracted from social culture, the infusion of metaphors with nuances of memories, are not pretexts to escape from everyday reality, but the way of each artist to dive directly into it, the “surreal” motives being part of the constructed real.
Oana Fărcaş’s portraits introduce you, one by one, like in small cabinets of curiosities, in which some characters with Pygmalion-like appearances announce their existence and identify together with the compositional scenography, with the rooms overcrowded with decorative objects, enlivened and recontextualized to frame stories in stories. Perhaps that is why, at first glance, the viewer may be tempted to stay in the first layer, the one of the conceptual discourse translated into the sphere of gender identity, given the exclusively female portraiture. However, it requires a careful reading of the details that emerge from the construction of the image, from the assemblies of symbols that result in objects or beings that seem to be extracted from different semantic and historical fields, combining medieval and post-modern meanings by elaborating new codes. The snake, the cat, the unicorn, the sumptuous flowers, the peacocks, the stars, the hidden silhouette, the mobile phone, the dolls, the totemized deer, the fashion-related components and the artificial charm of appearances, all create a meta-narrative that combines the transient banality, that reduces the female to the product status, in certain hypostases, with reality, that is eternalised through the transformation and awareness of own dimension.
Oana Fărcaş disturbs the understanding of an event that appears as a given, through the acidity with which she questions the structures, hierarchies, justice and, especially, equality in societal behaviours. Critical towards the existence saturated by the mass consumption of one’s identity, the media-induced narcissism in which the quality of “being” is validated by the perception of the self on the phone screen, the artist traces the self-destruction of identity and the erasure of humanity in relation to others. Reinterpreting and reversing the stereotypical representations of the woman, from intelligent and seductive to the one sanctified and praised for her domestic and maternal qualities, the artist shows the inner realities through the external circumstances. Therefore, Oana Fărcaş elaborates strategies that do not require an existing model, in a collage of manifestations of femininity, between real and unreal, in which everyone lives through details. The introduction of the doll oscillates between the memory of childhood, of the child within each, projecting on the surface both the playfulness of innocence and vulnerability and also the lack of defence and abuse, thus the doll often takes inhuman forms, emphasizing that what prevails is only the cover.
It is no coincidence that Oana Fărcaş selectively animates beings, preferring to leave some motionless, like objects, and if you choose to look at each narrative as a disclosure of the mental and soul architecture of what’s unseen but felt, you begin to be aware of the autobiographical component. Reflecting from behind the canvas on identity, the artist does not seek to distinguish between “self” and “others”, but to reveal the interconnected internal roots shaped from the outside, consciously or not absorbed in cultural and social form, the identity being the result of own choices.
Sometimes we live in worlds parallel to the natural one, time being swallowed up in hours and minutes, accelerated by the outer rush. In the face of this reality, Mirela Moscu’s painting recreates the circuit of a journey towards nature that combines the external, tangible and familiar world with an internal emotional realm. The artist constructs a world that can be experienced through the imaginary existence, the references to a known physical form being, in fact, the product of the spectator’s own associations. Alter-ego of the human, of the atomic being part of an universe that sums up both the existence of now and here but also the accumulations of ancestral archetypes that build spaces for themselves, for contemplation and dreaming, the nature painted by Mirela Moscu is not visceral, but a space in which you enter full of wonder.
Subject and not scenery, the forest, the vegetation, the suggestions of clean, pure spaces, are characters, biographical fragments, memories of immersion in a world where dialogue is carried out without words. If in stories the characters lose their way through the forest, both literally and metaphorically, in Mirela Moscu’s painting no dichotomies or arguments in favour of the subject are sought, but rather to capture a fleeting moment in which the human being, often lonely, is taken by surprise in a moment of hesitation, in stopped motion, in which all the energy, all the questions and desires seem to be absorbed in the blue-green-brown shades of nature.
The artist’s discourse contains a great deal of intimacy. Not only by the fact that the pictorial projection resulted from spontaneous compositions and superimpositions of images of memory allow a penetration into the depths of thoughts, nor by the familiar character of the characters, reshaped after reality, but through the hypostases she chooses for each, hold in frame in an incomplete movement that reveals the ephemerality and unrepeatability of the second.
Trees highlight the primordial side of existence, nostalgia that emerges from the complexities of the subconscious, idealizations of childhood, which urges you to listen, rather than see, to recompose the data in terms of your own nature. The fusion of the human with nature does not carry a romantic-lyrical load and, like the past and the present, being or appearance, everything seems to stream in the form of a flow of consciousness in which memory melts the limits. The ambiguity of the bodies, the blurring or dissolving of the form in the background, force a searching gaze, and the abstract omissions, the duality shadow /light, full /empty, make the act of seeing possible only through the mediation from the artist of the areas in which utopia embraces the possible, transforming what’s real in its fundamental coordinates.
Mirela Moscu creates a visual tale in which each symbol plays the role of signifier: mask, eye, ghosts, all revealing an emotional content accentuated by the temporal and spatial indeterminacy of the scenes that refuse to be solved in a concrete pictorial time or space. The scenes between dream, myth, reality, make her artistic approach unmistakable, the ambiguity disturbing through the possible similarity of experience; the artist infuses the nuance, the tone, the saturation with the suggestion of a simultaneous scenario related to reality, while the detachment of the characters, the introvert character of the hypostases, make the outsider face his own remote observation, almost an intruder in a world seen in a double mirror, the escape into the landscape being equivalent to escaping the inner void.
“Chimeras” challenges you to a total experience of immersion in fantasy, to use your own decanting anchors of reality, the line that separates them being by itself unimportant, self-referentiality serving as a starting point for activating memory and recollections, with references to childhood either through wonder/ playfulness or suppression/ repression. Oana Fărcaş and Mirela Moscu model worlds defined by their own involved logics, spaces in which the story does not end inside the frame, but continues to amplify, look after look, in each spectator.