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Waiting for Something That Has Already Found Us
04/11/2022 @ 12:00 pm - 04/12/2022 @ 8:00 pm UTC+3
Mobius & Strata have the pleasure to announce an exhibition of new works by Andrei Gamarț, including four new media installations, mixing oil on canvas with live stream projections from surveillance cameras, located in different parts of the world and accessible online. The exhibition is hosted by Strata and co-produced with Mobius.
Gamarț’s latest works mark a change in the theme that the artist has been exploring over the last decade, shifting from complex and timeless subjects such as the memory of light or the relation among light, memory, and matter to a concept that, although it has been with us from the very beginning of human conscience, is now more than usual connected to the current state of the world – the waiting. Even if we live in a time of urgency, global events that have had a direct impact on humanity in the last three years forced the world to slow down and the general background to change from an ongoing action-oriented rhythm to an uneasy state of waiting.
For quite a while, our world has been marked by a paradox triggered by the fact that in theory, we gain more time, but in reality, we seem to be running out of it. The truth is we live in a technology-accelerated era, deeply marked by the sign of immediacy, where everything is a click away from us, and the waiting time required in many aspects of our lives has decreased significantly. We lost our sense of waiting because our tools had changed and provided us with a new culture – the one of immediacy. Instant attention is provided 24/7. Instant access to information as well. Instant awareness. Our attention span is going down to zero, as we struggle to know everything, to be up to date, to be seen, to be noticed, and to be everywhere. And all these, in the blink of an eye.
We are running out of patience because we sense that we are running out of time. The result is that we can no longer wait. We don’t even know how to wait anymore.
However, the latest events that shook our world – from the unpredictability brought by the pandemic to the unsettledness triggered by unexpected military conflicts that threaten to engulf the world as we speak – forced humanity to switch the speed of action and revisit the waiting. On the surface, our lives seem to go on, but on a deeper level, we all hold back and wait for something significant to happen, significant enough to make a change in the structure of the current narrative.
Waiting is not easy when one is no longer used to it. But what we miss to notice is the better part of waiting. In a study published under a highly evocative title, Delayed Response: The Art of Waiting from the Ancient to the Instant World (published by Yale University Press, in 2018), the American author Jason Farman highlights the many levels of importance in the act of waiting, which he defines “not as a burden, but as an important feature of human connection, intimacy, and learning.”
Combining traditional oil paintings with new media installations that project live images from surveillance cameras placed in different corners of the globe, Gamart’s approach to the subject is not necessarily a direct one. The works allure the viewer into more than just a visual story, inviting them to decipher the emotional architecture of a complex condition, that generates a variety of feelings – from impatience and excitement to boredom and despair. In his own words, waiting is not necessarily an action, as it resembles different senses, like seeing or hearing. It is like a sixth sense connected to the future that awaits us, an imponderable state, full of emotion and tension at the same time, like in a dream where you are caught with no means of escape.
Gamarț’s works are not among the easiest to look at; his paintings are disturbing and intense from any angle you look, and at the same time they fascinate, leaving the viewer with an indefinable feeling that the story is always more complicated than it seems. There’s something appealing about the way the artist chooses to stage layer after layer of visual narratives full of surprises that lead you to different scenarios, even though on the canvas they all tie together into one narrative thread. Gamarț gives us clues to what we miss in our rush through and for life. Surprisingly, what we seem to miss is ultimately essential.
The six video-painting installations take us directly into a state of waiting, as the live projections change the narrative of each work from one second to another. Thus, the viewer’s experience turns into a continuous process of discovering new facets, new meanings, and new possibilities of interpretation, all different but at the same time, all born from the same narrative base.
Four of the installations are never before exhibited works – The Waiting (2021), The Meeting (2021), Window #3 (2022), and Adrift (2022) – and they all speak of different types of waiting.
The Meeting depicts a stop-over on one of the trails on Mount Kongo, Sado Island, Niigata Prefecture, Japan. The place seems to be the scene of a ritual: at a certain hour during the day (12:30), people stop by to take a photo in front of the surveiallance camera. The time is always the same, as if members of a community are trying to build a collection of the same hour, captured day-by-day, only with different characters stopped within that timeframe.
The Waiting captures a raft in the harbor of Hellesylt, Norway, a landmark on the fjord cruise route. It is a place dedicated to waiting – somebody is always waiting to arrive there, while others are waiting to leave to their next destination.
Adrift speaks of a waiting time that is outside our usual dimensions, an eternal waiting visually represented by a human body washed up by the waters of time. Technically, the projection is fed by a surveillance camera placed in the proximity of Niagara Falls.
Window #3 deals with a different kind of waiting, one that is more like an ongoing state, with no specific object behind. The installation is different in this case, as the projection is the result of what the artist sees outside the window of his room.
There are huge differences in the way people felt the waiting throughout history, as the artist points out:
I imagine the first people waiting for what back then seemed to be an eternal night to end once and for all so that they can live in the light of understanding and reason. In modernity, waiting was synonymous with the horizon, with dreaming. Now the waiting has become something confusing, a mix between impatience and boredom, but that happens because our future has become immediate.
The title of the exhibition, Waiting for Something That Has Already Found Us, is a reference to one of the lyrics included in the poetry volume An American Prayer, by Jim Morrison.
While you are cordially invited to explore the exhibition, let us all trust that only good things can come to those who wait!
“The image usually functions as a filter, molding itself organically onto the receiver’s image; it’s just like a skin in which you don’t feel very comfortable. I aim to cause the viewer to arrive through a reflexive exercise at his own representation, to identify with the image, as if it were an apparent reflection of it.” – Andrei Gamarț
Andrei Gamarț (b.1980, Republic of Moldova) lives and works in Bucharest. He is an artist educated in Chișinău and constantly exploring other creative fields such as poetry and literature.
His paintings, drawings, and graphic works reveal fractures of a world that seems suspended in-between time and space. The major themes populating this tenebrous and sometimes surreal “counter-reality” tackle the relation between memory, matter, innocence and error.
Mobius x Strata team
Photo credit / Andrei Gamart portret: Matei Buta