press release


Irina Gheorghe. Things Which Are Not Here, of Which We Cannot Say

We invite you on Wednesday, July 20, between 7-10 pm, to the opening event of Irina Gheorghe’s first solo show in Romania, “Things Which Are Not Here, of Which We Cannot Say.” At 8 pm the artist’s live performance “Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There” will take place inside the exhibition space.

Irina Gheorghe’s project is based on her PhD research concluded in 2021 at GradCAM / Technological University Dublin, “Treason of the Senses: Practices of Estrangement or How Art Speaks of What Is Not There.” Her study questions the connections between art, philosophy, and science in researching unobservable realities and the role that artistic techniques of estrangement – methods through which common experience becomes unfamiliar – can play inside this process. The project has been exhibited since 2018 in various international venues and contexts, in a series of exhibitions and performances that evolve and develop intertwined in time and space, each event generating the coordinates of the following one: 2018 “Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There,” Romanian Cultural Institute Berlin, 2019 “All the Things Which Are Not Here,” Swimming Pool Sofia, Bulgaria, 2020 “Betraying the Senses, or How to Speak of What Is Not There,” Project Arts Centre Dublin, Ireland, 2021 “Methods for the Study of What Is Not There,” Künstlerhaus Bremen, Germany.

For the project’s first Romanian presentation, Irina Gheorghe has created a site-specific installation that recollects and integrates past elements and previous occurrences in order to approach what is not present inside Ivan Gallery’s space. Each iteration of the artist’s intervention brigs forth an extra feature in regards to the previous one, thus besides the mural drawings in adhesive tape, the photographs, and the performance, the display showcases the new series of collages which give the title of the exhibition, “Things of Which We Cannot Say.”

“Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There” is a performance evolving since 2017 in accordance to each of its occurrences. In it, the artist traces through body language and voice an imaginary map, a guided tour among the things which are not present in space, which have appeared, or not, in its previous instances. Besides a certain amount of improvisation, the performance score is partially directed by the mural site-specific tape installation, “All the Things Which Are Not There” (2018-present), colourful drawings which sort out and place in space various degrees of the ‘unobservable’, including fragments of the shapes taken by these invisible maps in the project’s past instances. Their purpose is not to make present things which are absent, but rather to test the capacity of this personal language of signs and gestures to communicate, to broadcast an invisible dimension.

Some sequences of corporeal movements and gestures from previous performances are recorded in the series of photographs “Methods for the Study of What Is Not There” (2019-present), in which actions of measuring and classifying various degrees of ‘absence’ are confronted to the absence specific to the transient nature of the live event. In the audio piece “Routes to What Is Not There” (2020), the movement followed by the performance among unobservable entities is being transferred to the visitors, who are being invited to trace their own map by following a series of instructions. The exhibition space thus becomes the meeting point of multiple maps of absence, not only due to the works present in space, but also through the collective trajectories of invisible routes.

Irina Gheorghe (b. 1981, Romania) works primarily with performance, in combination with drawing, installation, photography or video, to address the tensions which appear in the attempt to speak about things beyond our possibilities of observation, from extraterrestrial life to hypothetical planets. Irina also works as part of the artist duo The Bureau of Melodramatic Research to investigate how passions shape contemporary society, as well as our affective relationship to a non-human universe. Her work was shown at Künstlerhaus Bremen, Grazer Kunstverein, Project Arts Centre Dublin, Swimming Pool Sofia, Changing Room Berlin, Romanian Cultural Institute Berlin, Zona Sztuki Aktualnej Szczecin, Centre Culturel Irlandais Paris, Centre for Contemporary Art Derry, Chapter Thirteen / Glasgow International, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, HOME Manchester, Salonul de Proiecte Bucharest, CAC Vilnius, TRAFO Budapest, Savvy Contemporary Berlin, Pratt Manhattan Gallery New York, Times Museum Guangzhou, MNAC Bucharest, Skolska 28 Prague, BAK Utrecht, DEPO Istanbul, Galeria Posibila Bucharest, etc. In 2021 Irina has concluded her PhD in practice at GradCAM, supported by the Technological University Dublin. She is based in Berlin.

The exhibition “Things Which Are Not Here, of Which We Cannot Say” can be visited in Ivan Gallery’s space inside Atelierele Malmaison on Calea Plevnei 137C, B side, 1st floor, until the 10th of September 2022, Thur-Sat 3-7 pm, or by appointment outside the visiting hours.

Special thanks to: Rafaela and Vera Malic, Declan Clarke, Jamie Lemoine, Nadja Quante, Ioana Gheorghiu and the Cabinet 44 team (Virginia Toma, Ramon Sadîc, Adelina Ivan), Cristina Vasilescu, Kristin Wenzel, Laurențiu Coțac, Larisa Crunțeanu, Elena and Ștefan Gheorghe, Adrian Gheorghe, Cristina Rădulescu and Eva.