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TRAVEL / REISEN

posted Feb 15, 2013, 2:54 AM by Anca Sinpalean

Group exhibition “TRAVEL / REISEN”, from 23. 2. until 15. 3. 2013, in artfoyer Cavigelli, Zürich, Switzerland

Artists: Nadja Athanasiou, Irina Birger, Andrea Gohl, Daniel Fernández Pascual, Delia Popa, Anka Schmid and Anca Sinpalean

Curated by Anca Sinpalean

Opening reception: 22. 02. 2013 from 7 pm

Related program: Screening of Magic Matterhorn by Anka Schmid, 1. 03. at 7 pm

“Being on the way” has become a way of living for many contemporary artists. Traveling between exhibitions, projects and residencies, as well as the immigration has influenced the methods and outcome of their work. The exhibition presents some of the forms and functions of artists’ travels today, while taking us on a virtual tour of the Swiss Alps, the American Disneyland, the Spanish Coast, the parks and markets of China or of Venice during the Carnival.

The exhibited works are results of architectural surveys, ironic comparisons of cultural stereotypes or of activism. They show the limitations of understanding other cultures while traveling or the illusory search for “home”; some challenge the conventions of touristic imagery by undermining them and by focusing on the banal or the ugly; some explore the political implications of a changing touristic landscape, like the Spanish Coast.

Travel, with all its forms, from strolling to immigration, used to hold the promise of the unexpected and the new. But for us, there are no dragons left on the edges of maps. Can artists still transform themselves into cartographers and map the world in new ways?

www.artfoyer.org

The Doors of Perception

posted Mar 19, 2011, 9:34 AM by Anca Sinpalean

January 21 - February 18, 2011
Opening reception: Thursday, January 20, from 7 p.m.

Artists: Sofia Izrael, Arkadiy Nasonov, Sergei Nikokoshev, Cora Piantoni, Maria Pomiansky
Curated by Anca Sinpalean



Concept
“That humanity at large will ever be able to dispense with Artificial Paradise seems very unlikely. Most men and women lead lives at the worst so painful, at the best so monotonous, poor and limited, that the urge to escape, the longing to transcend themselves if only for a few moments, is and has always been one of the principal appetites of the soul. Art and religion, carnivals and saturnalia, dancing and listening to oratory – all these have served, in H.G. Wells' phrase, as Doors in the Wall.” Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception

Under the title “The Doors of Perception” - a clear reference to Aldous Huxley's book bearing the same name – the exhibition investigates notions like unconsciousness, dreams, awakening, desire, fantasy, fears and changes in perception. Using different media and different narratives, the artworks will talk about moments of losing balance and seeking for a new perspective, moments that occur during dreams, panic, as a result of ecstatic experiences, alcohol, drugs, sensual pleasures, or simply by contemplating the Alps, a flower, or drinking a glass of water. The works investigate what happens when we become aware of what we have not been aware before. In those moments, attained by natural or artificial means, we manage to unmask the fictitious, unreal character of our “normal” consciousness, of our “normal” lives.  

It is good and healthy to sometimes question the things we normally take for granted and which present themselves as unquestionable evidence. After all, doubt is a primary tool for gaining knowledge, and we should not be afraid of it. Too much positivism has led humanity to strict rules, false hopes and other kinds of prisons. Everyone should wear, at least once in a life time, some sort of inversion glasses that would show them the world upside-down and thus destabilize their balance. We wear these glasses more often than we think: when we travel, we relocate, we fall in love, we dream, we drink etc. For someone attentive to the world around her, it is in fact hard not to have new perspectives on things every day.

Digestif 2010

posted Mar 19, 2011, 9:23 AM by Anca Sinpalean

Bread as Remedy for the General Constipation 

Action with Mo Diener and Eugenia Loginova-Hünemörder. 

December 2010, public space, Zurich.


The "Digestif 2010" was a series of actions with artists Mo Diener and Eugenia Loginova-Hünemörder. It consisted of selling self-baked breads containing messages from the media was scheduled in the opening evening. The action was a critical reaction to the successful political campaign of a nationalistic party in Switzerland, the SVP. "Digestif 2010" was then repeated throughout the month of December, at different locations (openings, community fests, public places in Zurich), as a way to investigate how the public's reactions are influenced by the context.

artfoyer.org

posted Jun 17, 2010, 11:22 AM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 11:39 AM ]

The Arfoyer Cavigelli in Zurich has a website!


The website is intended to be the online "face" of the newly inaugurated art space in Zurich. The artfoyer is a place dedicated by the Cavigelli architecture studio to artistic events and exhibitions. It is located in the heart of Wollishofen, benefiting from a big window display and functioning as an antechamber for the architecture studio situated in the back. The website will will keep a record of the exhibitions and artistic events happening within its perimeter.

I am currently the curator of Artfoyer Cavigelli.

At Home in Wollishofen

posted Jun 1, 2010, 6:40 AM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Jun 17, 2010, 11:22 AM ]

The project "At Home in Wollishofen" is realized in collaboration with the GZ Wollishofen and with the support from the Rote Fabrik, as part of the series of events celebrating its 30th anniversary. It focuses on the Wollishofen neighborhood of Zurich, and tries, through artistic interventions, to create settings for a “communicative home”. One of the factors that triggered the idea of the project were the public construction works that take place in many areas of Wollishofen, which changed the face of the neighborhood, brought in new inhabitants (the workers), made the streets narrower and interaction more frequent. We can think of the whole project as being under the sign of labor, in process, as a network of relationships and interactions in flux. The goal of the project is to create “spaces of encounter”, where the inhabitants of Wollishofen, the passers by, the artists and the street workers can meet, interact and maybe feel “at home”.

Fragmented Home #1

posted Mar 22, 2010, 2:17 PM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated May 19, 2010, 7:52 AM ]


Cavigelli Artfoyer presents: 

Fragmented Home #1


Lamia Moghazy
Curated by Anca Sinpalean

March 25th - April 1st 2010
Opening: March 24th, 6.30 pm

Lamia Moghazy, artist in residence at the Rote Fabrik, will show at the end of her stay in Zürich a video and sound installation, using photographic snapshots of her room in Alexandria, Egypt. These visual fragments of her "home" will be accompanied by a soundtrack, which will allow us to have an audio "glimpse" into the artist's personal world. 

What happens when this intimate space is being exposed and displayed in the showcase of a gallery, which, by no coincidence, is a space dealing primarily with architecture, a place dedicated to building houses where we could feel at home? Does this exposure of the intimate really reveal truths about the artist's identity, or does it hide it more? Could it be possible that it creates more mystery, confirming that we are in fact inaccessible and never totally transparent, not even to ourselves? 
The intimate, as psychological interiority is, in Lacanian terms, a territory where we escape the gaze of the Other. It is what we sometimes call "at-home", a place or a state of mind where we feel safe, where there is no need to explain oneself to outsiders. It is a place where we know ourselves best and where we search and constantly redefine our identity. It can take the form of a physical site, like a house, a room, a forest etc, but it can often be interior and subjective, requiring no place in reality. We can feel "at home" in many different ways: in a crowd, in stories, jokes or songs, in the way we wear our cloths or in the routine of saying our name.

We live in a globalized world consumed by the need to see and to be seen. Can art make us question the value and relevance of what is being seen and taken as true "identity"? The artist will leave an ephemeral trace of light and sound in the environment where she spent her last three months, as a visiting artist. Did she happen to feel "at home"?

I Am Gustav von Aschenbach - Epilogue

posted Mar 11, 2010, 9:13 AM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Mar 11, 2010, 1:56 PM ]

The "I Am Gustav von Aschenbach" project in Venice has ended. The artist, the bear and the curator have returned home.  The experience was thrilling and rewarding, it involved a lot of work but also a lot of fun. The Carnival was a colorful madness, the public has been open and perceptive, Venice was cold but beautiful.

I can openly say that the project was a success on many levels: the Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice gained exposure and a "lively" experience through the project, Delia, the artist, got a lot of video material, interviews and experience as a performer and as a bear, the curator learned a lot about curating and also a bit of Italian. The biggest challenge was the adaptation to the space of the gallery, the solution being one that functioned very well aesthetically and functionally: we taped photocopies of Delia's works and sketches on the walls, had the books that inspire her displayed and easy to look at, created a "studio" environment where she could work, think, interview people, rest. The monitor in the window did draw people's attention, and did draw them in.

The artist's performance during the opening was also an adaptation to the specific space, to the people and the environment. She made a guided tour of the Palazzo Correr where the Institute is located, carrying the people along the rooms and hallways, mixing historical elements with the presentation of its contemporary inhabitants. The bear costume did not produce any confusion, its function and relation to Gustav von Aschenbach being well understood, except for a disagreement with one of the persons participating in the performance, who supported the idea that the horse is a better embodiment of the instincts than the bear... Last but not least, friendships were born, and promises of future collaborations.

Public Performances by the first Zurich Complaints Choir

posted Jan 31, 2010, 1:21 PM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Mar 27, 2010, 4:47 AM ]

The first Zurich Complaints Choir performed on the 30th of January in six different locations in Zurich, with the musical support from alphorn player Regina Steiner and pianist Niels van der Waerden, conducted by composer Stefanie Ressin. I was involved in the production work, as well as being a member of the choir. 

Press coverage:


The Complaints Choirs was initiated 2005 by the Finish-German artist couple Tellervo Kalleinen und Oliver Kochta-Kalleinen. Since then it has become a worldwide international DIY-community-artproject with 80 choires to date. For more see the project website: www.complaintschoir.org.

The event was produced by the Shedhalle Zurich and the Fabriktheater Rote Fabrik. (www.shedhalle.ch)

I Am Gustav von Aschenbach

posted Jan 25, 2010, 3:08 PM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Jan 26, 2010, 3:00 PM ]

Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice and the New Gallery presents: 

I am Gustav von Aschenbach or How to Live Your Eternity in Venice

A project by Delia Popa
Curated by Anca Sinpalean

February 10th - February 28th 2010
Opening: February 9th, 18.30 pm

The project at the RCI/IRCCU in Venice wants to be a questioning of the present conditions under which artists are working today. It is at the same time a critique and an acceptance of these pressures from time and space inside of the art system and explores the advantages and limitations of site-specific projects and the often almost instantaneous production of artistic works related to them. The format chosen is the "real time" broadcasting of the artist's activities and work in the space of the gallery, using a monitor in the window. 
The intention though is not only to have the artist looked at while she is at work, thus maintaining this separation between the artist and the audience, between producer and spectator, but also to "attract" and engage people into her work process, to have them in the gallery for discussions, screenings and other kinds of collaboration.

Anywhere at Home

posted Jan 25, 2010, 3:06 PM by Anca Sinpalean   [ updated Jan 25, 2010, 9:42 PM ]

My ongoing curatorial project entitled Anywhere at Home, consists of a series of events investigating different perceptions of "home" in our migrant and globalized age; the project will take place in different locations in Zurich - from art galleries to public spaces - using different media, involving artists Lamia Moghazy, Lada Nakonechna, Delia Popa and others.

In a quintessentially migrant age, the idea of home underwent dramatic changes. The traditional home was "the stable physical center of one's universe -- a safe and still place to leave and return to, and a principal focus of one's concern and control." (Nigel Rapport, Andrew Dawson (Eds), Migrants of Identity,1998). Population movement, travel, economy and communication make the globe a unified place so that no place is completely itself and separate, and no place is completely other. People are always and yet never "at home": always and never "at ease with the rhetoric of those with whom they share their lives". (M. Auge, 1995, Non-Places, 1995). 

There is also the paradox that often only by way of transience and displacement one achieves an ultimate sense of belonging. In order to be at home, it is necessary to become alienated and estranged to some degree, mentally or spiritually. Exile is a resource inasmuch as it gives on to that vantage point from which one is best able to come to know oneself best. It is for this reason too that home "moves" us most powerfully as absence or negation.

Movement has become fundamental to modern identity, and an experience of non-place (beyond "territory" and "society"), an essential component of everyday existence. The attainment of home itself, as an individual search, involves either or both physical and cognitive movement. What does home mean, in a world of transit points and temporary dwellings (waiting-rooms, stations, refugee camps, malls, hotels) where individual itineraries momentarily converge? 

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