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THERE ARE NO BAD TRIPS, ONLY FEAR by Michele Bressan
March 4 @ 12:00 pm - April 4 @ 6:00 pm UTC+3
Michele Bressan works with everyday images and objects, told and untold stories of characters from the periphery of society, contemporary myths, and personal histories, distilling them into spectral images of a humanity only he seems to understand. Because time, the most important ally of his artistic pursuits, is always on his side.
“If time is the one that follows us all, I am the one who follows time.”
Michele Bressan’s artistic trajectory always surprises with the experiments he proposes, although his anchors in photography fix a visual construction associated with the östalgia and the paradoxes of a Romanian society perforated by the traumas of history. In the last eight years, his artistic practice has expanded its territory of means of expression to sculptural installations, in-situ interventions, drawing / painting, and the results outline a magnetic field on which the essential themes are “stitched”, less and less rooted in a socio-political diagnosis: death, fear and rupture.
The exhibition THERE ARE NO BAD TRIPS, ONLY FEAR is built around elements / works extracted from the artist’s studio and most of them unexposed so far, thus becoming both an overview and an intimate foray into the dynamics of obsessive subjects and inner vibrations able to establish a duality specific to mythology in relation to poetry.
Each work can be viewed as an erosion of the aesthetic, cultural and historical scaffolding that we are tempted to mystify, projecting rather the “past that follows” (M. Bressan), that ruin accelerated by the premonition of a complicity of time, which will transform “The End” – a motif declined in multiple formulas throughout the exhibition, into a projection room for a future in the past.
The photographs from the Rabla and PicNic series, although they do not fix the represented elements temporally or spatially, they constitute a thematic nucleus around the ruptures and discontinuities of the collective mentality, which are in a drift of the world order. This collective character, who observes everything and cannot detach himself from the past, seems to be overflying the entire exhibition. In relation to the “monsters” created by the piles of car debris, the photographs of Pompeii, CanalCL and Timpuri Noi complete these spontaneous and improvised “creations”, intentionally aestheticizing the tearing of the social fabric that generated them. Also, the new work All Dogs Go To Heaven, a model of a crematorium, and the poster type canine portraits bring another connotation to that instinctive fear that crosses the exhibition, bringing a permeable and flexible materiality. Ghostly photographs of anatomical elements, a blurred figure and museum elements create an additional ambiguity, along with the traces intercepted by the artist on the walls that reveal the layers of previous lives.
The trips to which the title of the show refers are not only shifts, but also explorations of the mental pockets in which we often find exactly the fears and ambivalences which Michele Bressan lays in front of our eyes with a lot of empathy, courage, but also irony.
Diana Marincu, curator
Michele Bressan (b. 1980) is an artist based in Bucharest, known to the public for his photographic projects, for which he won the Essl Prize and was nominated for the Henkel Prize for Art in 2009. In recent years, the themes he explores have materialized, along with photography, into object and installation. Michele’s interest in visual perception and the ways in which the collective imaginarium is being built starts from the image taken as a matrix of social and historical consciousness. This search is doubled by the desire to cut out from everyday reality the poetic spaces, which arise spontaneously or accidentally.
Exhibitions (a selection): Bruiaj, Art Encounters Foundation, Timișoara (2020); Rencontres Internationales Paris / Berlin, Louvre Museum Auditorium, Paris (2019); Endless / Nameless, Zorzini Gallery, Bucharest (2019, solo); La Brique, The Brick, Cărămida, Kunsthalle Mulhouse (2018); Double Heads Matches, Új Budapest Gallery (2018); Life – How to use it, Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara (2017); CAMERA PLUS. Biennial of Contemporary Photography and Dynamic Image, Iași (2016); Inventing the Truth. About Fiction and Reality, Romania’s participation in the 56th edition of the International Art Exhibition – at the Biennale di Venezia, New Gallery of the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice (2015), Les Rencontres Internationales, Gaite Lyrique & Palais de Tokyo (2014), Paris; Pasaj, Bucharest National Museum of Contemporary Art – Annex (2014); Recorded Memories, Museum für Photographie Braunschweig (2013), Waiting for the Drama, H’art Gallery, Bucharest (2012, solo).