Time, unfortunately, though it makes animals and vegetables bloom and fade with amazing punctuality, has no such simple effect upon the mind of man. The mind of man, moreover, works with equal strangeness upon the body of time. An hour, once it lodges in the queer element of the human spirit, may be stretched to fifty or a hundred times its clock length; on the other hand, an hour may be accurately represented on the timepiece of the mind by one second.
Art in General is pleased to present Times Colliding, a solo exhibition of new and recent works by Romanian artist Ioana Nemes. Having just completed a five-year project of self-evaluation and recording, Monthly Evaluations (2005-10), Nemes continues to use conceptual strategies to explore the nature of chronology. Times Colliding debuts a new sculpture created especially for Art in General; this is the first time that Nemes’ investigation of time has taken an architectural position in the gallery.
In writer Virginia Woolf’s novel, Orlando, the clock plays the part of the antagonist, constantly interrupting the flow of Orlando’s internal thought process to place the narrative in real time. Interested in highlighting the discrepancy between the clock and what Woolf termed “the timepiece of the mind,” Nemes began to investigate her own perception of the passage of time. She objectively recorded her daily thoughts and experiences, measuring each day against a specific set of parameters: physical, emotional, intellectual, financial, and chance. This personal methodology of day-to-day evaluation became the Monthly Evaluations project; each day was recorded, color coded, analyzed, and filed away. The database of personal experience can also be read as a “timescape,” a catalogue that Nemes constantly refers to, pulling out specific days and giving them physical form as wall drawings, paintings, and sculptures.
Times Colliding centers on a large-scale sculpture, the physical manifestation of a time collision. Saturday 22.09.2007 (1), a pale gray day inscribed with the words, FREEDOM AS ANOTHER FORM OF TRYANNY, AS ANOTHER WONDERFUL CAGE, cuts into and disrupts Monday 12.04.2010 (=), a bright red day that states IN SORROW ALL THE FACIAL MUSCLES RELAX. The intersection of days emphasizes Nemes’ use of time as a malleable form, defying the linear narrative conventionally measured as past, present, and future. By giving materiality to her days, Nemes challenges viewers to think about their physical relationship to time and space. Times Colliding is a grouping of works that build on one another to create a parallel time, a capsule that is never static, but always accumulating.
Ioana Nemes’ exhibition and residency are part of Art in General’s Eastern European Residency Exchange (EERE). Nemes is the first Romanian artist to come to New York following Art in General’s newest EERE partnership with Pavilion Unicredit in Bucharest, Romania. The EERE program gives artists an opportunity to create new work in a new context, and to interact with art communities in Eastern Europe and New York City.
About the Artist
Ioana Nemes (1979-2011) was one of the most acknowledged and exhibited Romanian artists of her generation. She studied photography with Iosif Kiraly at the University of Art Bucharest. She was also known as a former professional handball player, who turned artist at the age of 21 after a serious knee accident. Nemes’ drive was fueled by the necessity to visualize and communicate as clearly as possible the hidden mechanism behind linguistic, visual, and psychological systems.
Nemes participated in Istanbul Biennial, (2009), UTurn Copenhagen (2008), Prague Biennial (2007) and Bucharest Bienniale 2 (2006). Her works have been shown in Secession Vienna (2010), Smart Project Space Amsterdam (2009) and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2006). She was a resident at Art in General NY (2011), IASPIS Stockholm (2010) and Kulturkontakt Vienna (2004). She received the Future of Europe Art Prize from Galerie Für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig (2007).
In addition to her work as a visual artist, Nemes’ diverse practice also included cross-disciplinary collaborative projects that allowed her to work cohesively across fashion, design, scenography and visual art; most notably her work with the fashion collective, Rozalb De Mura, and the interior design collaborative, Liste Noire.
The Eastern European Residency Exchange Program is made possible by the Trust for Mutual Understanding and The Pollock-Krasner Foundation.