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Mircea Cantor: The Need for Uncertainty

de (1-2-2009)

20 February – 19 April 2009
Galleries 2 & 3, Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road (see map here)
London NW3 6DG; Tel. 020 7472 5500. www.camdenartscentre.org
Admission free. Gallery opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00-18.00; Wednesdays late 10.00-21.00. Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays.

20 February – 19 April 2009
Galleries 2 & 3, Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road (see map here)
London NW3 6DG; Tel. 020 7472 5500. www.camdenartscentre.org
Admission free. Gallery opening hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10.00-18.00; Wednesdays late 10.00-21.00. Closed Mondays and Bank Holidays.

Camden Arts Centre presents an astonishing installation by Romanian artist Mircea Cantor. In ‘The Need for Uncertainty’ (2008), two peacocks inhabit a series of large golden cages. As in his film ‘Deeparture’, shown at the Berlin Biennial in 2005, which depicted a wolf and a deer circling each other, Cantor sets up a physically and psychologically unsettling situation for the viewer. Here the birds’ muted steps demand that distance be kept by the viewer, as these elegant birds – the symbol of love, luck and watchfulness from Christianity to Hinduism, transfix and silence us.

Cantor elaborates on the theme of uncertainty, prompting reflections on worlds within worlds, and on freedom and its limitation. Cantor’s video and mixed media installations address the notion of displacement and co-existent worlds. Beyond the suspense, Cantor discreetly evokes the uneasy confrontation of ideology, people and culture. In ‘Airplanes and Angels’ (2008), a flying carpet, woven using a traditional Romanian technique, shows motifs of angels and aeroplanes; in Hiatus (2008) a mysterious, geometric lattice of carved wood is wrapped around a tree in the middle of a forest.

Cantor’s sculptural and installation work reveals the power of the simple gesture to prompt reflection on the fragility of our convictions. In the UK premiere of Chaplet (2007), he uses the imprint of his ink-soaked fingerprints pressed directly onto a wall, creating a poignant rosary of barbed wire, both imaginary yet very real in its enclosure.

“Cantor’s poetic use of materials, images, animals and places offers an eloquent meditation on the contradictions of our contemporary world and the human condition. His work has a beauty and immediacy that resonates long after the encounter.” – Suzanne Cotter, Curator

This is the first of three artists’ commissions in this ambitious series produced in collaboration with Arnolfini, Bristol and Modern Art Oxford. The next commission in the series is by Johanna Billing, showing at Camden Arts Centre 10 July – 13 September 2009.
Camden Arts Centre is a venue for contemporary visual art and education, where ideas are made visible and people of all ages and abilities can engage in the creative process of making art. Our pioneering and varied programme of artist-led courses and other education activities has gained an international reputation as a model of good practice. We are known as a forward-thinking organisation where artists and others can see, make and talk about art.

Mircea Cantor was born in 1977 in Oradea, Romania. He lives and works in Paris and Cluj, Romania. Mircea has had a recent solo exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C. (2007) and the Museum Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo, Panoramica, Mexico, D.F. (2007). He has exhibited widely in Europe and the USA. In 2004 Mircea Cantor was awarded the Prix Paul Ricard S.A. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the cultural review Version (www.versionmagazine.com) founded in 2001 in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

‘The Need for Uncertainty’ was seen previously at Modern Art Oxford (2 April – 1 June 2008), Arnolfini Bristol (13 September – 9 November 2008), as part of the ‘3: 3 artists/3 spaces/3 years’ series, a collaboration between Modern Art Oxford, Arnolfini, and Camden Arts Centre, funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

source: http://www.romanianculturalcentre.org.uk/

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