How to perform in a society of spectacle? And why? Postspectacle doesn't really have an answer, but by dealing with these questions some practices emerged. One is to dislocate the performance. For instance, Postspectacle invited the Romanian Army to host a dance workshop and perform a drill show in a contemporary performance black box. A reversed operation is to infiltrate the big stages of mass media, business and politics with the skills, knowledge and approaches from contemporary arts. The Presidential Candidate is one of the results of this operation. Another constant practice is to introduce strange feedback loops, altering, expanding or breaking some of the implicit conditions at work in the situations in which Postspectacle appears.

Esthetic Entities for Sale at Art Brussels
Dark Charity/ Grey Donors at MUMOK
End Pit at Depo Istanbul
Postspectacle Shelter at MNAC Bucharest
2012, The Ultimate Apocalypse, at OTV (Mirror TV)
Postspectacle at Mall
Military Performance
Presidential Candidate
The Inauguration of the People's Salvation Cathedral
We are all Romanians Now (in Oslo)
Romanian Presidential Candidacy in Vienna
The Extraordinary Congress of the Presidential Candidates in Cluj
Dorato Action - Pavilion Discredit
Postspectacle as Esthetic Entity
Neocatarsis


Florin Flueras
Ion Dumitrescu
@postspectacle

Esthetic Entities for Sale at Art Brussels

Postspectacle (represented by Florin Flueras and Ion Dumitrescu) proposes for the Black Market a workshop on esthetic entities and Postspectacle operations, and an auction of selling itself and other esthetic entities.

In the last 10 years entities with a complex esthetic operativity emerged in the zones of dance and visual arts of Bucharest. The names of the entities are often the symptom of a problem or a question: they may function as a reaction, as almost empty concepts in the beginning, triggering practices afterwards. They are esthetic compositions of people, processes, capacities, frames, concepts, behaviors, attitudes, affects. They are conceptual operations that function as platforms, as ecosystems, as wholes, that precede the details, as esthetic artificial organisms. They are art worlds. Esthetic Entities as Presidential Candidate, Unsorcery, The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, Black Hyperbox, Romanian Dance History, Postspectacle, are for sale in an auction at Art Brussels and through other sell strategies that will happen unscheduled.

In Postspectacle, a constant practice is to introduce strange feedback loops, altering, expanding or breaking some of the implicit conditions at work in the respective situations. Postspectacle strategies and an overview on operations of other esthetic entities will be approached during the workshop.


Esthetic Entities

Retroactive self-constitution 
In the past ten years entities with a complex esthetic operativity emerged in the zones of dance and visual arts of Bucharest. Attempts at understanding them are mostly made by insiders, as is the case of this text. Apart from the necessity of grasping what are you part of and to figure these entities out, self-reflection functions as an engine that self-constitutes them. The entities expand in the direction in which they conceptualize themselves, they shape themselves through self-reflection. Self-conceptualization is an internal dynamic for substantiating an esthetic entity, but once a dynamic of self-referentiality is in place, this often extends to the outside. In Postspectacle, one of the esthetic entities, a constant practice is to introduce strange feedback loops, altering, expanding or breaking some of the implicit conditions at work in the respective situations. In the case of Kunsthalle Batiștei, another esthetic entity, a self-referential intervention is made in the basic layer of identity formation, in the correspondence between the name and the project. There is an operation of forced association with a group of institutional practices that enters into a strange relation with its own behaviors, producing some institutional fog around its identity.

The entities’ names are often the symptom of a problem or a question. They may function as a reaction, as almost empty concepts in the beginning, triggering a practice afterward. Postspectacle started as a vague desire to move forward from the spectacle, without knowing what Postspectacle is or could be. It started from the question: what is the point of adding another spectacle to the art world when we are already living in a generalized spectacle? A practice emerged around this question, and consisted in bringing the "outside spectacle" to art spaces. For instance, Postspectacle invited the Romanian Army to host a dance workshop and perform a drill show in a contemporary performance black box. A second practice that Postspectacle developed was to use the performing skills and knowledge of performance on the big stages of mass media, business and politics. The Presidential Candidate, another conceptual entity, was born out of this practice.

In a similar way, Second Artworld started as a reaction to the type of reality and subjectivity produced in the contemporary world. It started as a desire to compose and explore new ways of worlding, through art. In the process, concepts and practices appeared: Second Body, Dead Thinking, Eternal Feeding, End Dream, Black Hyperbox. The esthetic entities and the concepts that they generate usually start from vague intuitions, and in time, thinking and practices coagulate around them, making them more substantial. They set in motion certain vectors of intention, orient practices and act as attractors to further thoughts. They are not oriented toward conceptualizing some sort of past experience, but to create conditions for new possibility of thought and practice. Actualizing themselves on their own path, the esthetic entities retro-act on themselves from the future.

Their functioning is the content 


Dreaming is one of Second Artworld's preoccupations, not so much the content of dreams as the activity of dreaming in an expanded sense, including the simulational character of consciousness and world creation. There is an operation of self-referentiality at work in this process: a type of simulation, the awake state, is focused on the mechanism of simulation itself, the dreaming. Usually the reflection upon the simulation does not unfold at the same time with the content of the simulation, but sometimes the self-referential dynamic accelerates and the timing of the reflective operation coincides with the timing of the simulation itself. This is the case in the dreams in which the focus of dreaming, besides the content of the dream, becomes the operation of dreaming itself, and this is somehow the case for many esthetic entities as mediums in which the focus becomes the processes that are conditioning their own existence. The Romanian Dance History is an esthetic entity that enters uninvited on stages of important performances, in important festivals, after the applause, when the audience is ready to leave, saying with a humble attitude something like: "Hello, we are the Romanian Dance History, we are very happy to be here, it is very nice. We would like to present you the Romanian Dance History, it would be short because The Romanian Dance History is weak." After that, some excerpts from Romanian Dance History are presented, but the content doesn't matter too much. The implicit activity, the conceptual operation that matters is the unsolicited and alien way of appearing in front of the audience, the forced insertion in the program, skipping and overriding the structures of validation, going around the gates of access, the esthetic content becoming a type of self-referential functioning in its own medium.

In an act of last moment censorship, The Presidential Candidate was eliminated from the Just do it. Branding Biopolitics exhibition at Pavilion Unicredit. The Candidate continued to behave as if nothing had happened, and a promotion campaign was launched. People were invited to celebrate the opening with the Candidate, and with a glass of Dorato champagne (a good-looking bottle with a very cheap and dubious content). The exhibition was announced everywhere as a Presidential Candidate's event, and the opening as a performance. It turned out to be a very strange scandal as a result of Pavilion staff’s violent reaction. But, again, no matter how interesting the evening as a performance was, the actual work, the main esthetic operation, was the activity of reframing – as a reversal of the usual situation of artists acting under the institutional umbrella, in this case the artists were framing the institution – pointing to the activities of framing in themselves, focusing on their own operativity in their implicit mediums. The same with Kunsthalle Batiștei actions of emulating the art functioning of important art institutions, with an attitude of seriosity and importance in the name, in the public communication, in the type of actions that were launched. It was an imitation of success, in a small precarious garage, without money or any legal status. Because of these inadequacies, the usual smoothness and normalcy of the institutional operations have a second intention, a second effect, a looping dynamic that points to its own operativity more than to the content of its artistic activities.

The accent on their own positions in the structures of the respective event creates a self-referential dynamic that makes the esthetic entities interfere with their determinations, with the implicit atmosphere in their mediums. Self-referentiality affects the overall conditions in which the entity is immersed and, like in dreaming about dreaming, structural effects in the implicit worlding or an exit can be the result. The art world has its clues and pointers that implicitly orient the behaviors, acting as a loose and transparent frame for what is possible to perceive, imagine, think, and do. But an ambiental, or esthetic power is at work everywhere not only in the art world, every world has its orientative ambience. The esthetic entities experiment on a small scale with models that are no longer based on critique, denunciation, exposure or acts of resistance from inside, but based on directly changing the structural ambience of their respective worlds. They seem to say that new environments are needed, rather than critique and resistance in the implicit ones.

Transversal

To be part of an esthetic entity usually means a constant rethinking of your position in the fields of different mediums, formats, and disciplines. All these domains have their constraints, silent prescriptions and expectations, dragging along their social pressures with their implicit orientations and frames for action. For many conceptual entities the question is not so much how to move outside of these constraints to be free, but what kind of dynamic could emerge between collisions of formats and constraints. Acknowledging dependency and the potential of constraints, The Bureau of Melodramatic Research sees itself as a "dependent institution." Oscillating between pseudo-academic frames and formats and pseudo-melodramatic ones, the Bureau often overlaps or collides cheesy and exaggerated feminine emotionality with urgent global issues and abstract theory. Sometimes a new genre emerges where everything is at the mercy of abstract passions, philosophically speculative dramas and powerfully rational emotions.

An inadequacy is assumed by many of the esthetic entities. The Presidential Candidate sometimes appears as an artist in political contexts, and often as politician in artistic ones, gaining advantages such as the possibility of entering political campaigns before the legal terms because "it is just art." The Robin Hood Fund, another esthetic entity, operates within the financial markets and in contemporary arts, parasitizing, transferring knowledge and opening possibilities for access to sophisticated financial instruments otherwise accessible just for very rich people and companies. Many art venues were transformed into temporary Robin Hood financial offices. And many times we had the pleasure of saying, in art environments, that we are bankers. There is a perverse desire to dislocate and transport an entire apparatus from one field to another, to push toward non-art territories, and to bring something alien into the art frames, such as real financial operations, presidential candidate campaigns and abstract philosophy.

The collision of mediums and disciplines can be messy, destabilizing and, for many entities, desirable. In Second Artworld, instability is by design. The stated desired dynamic is a productive alienation from concepts through experience and from experience through thinking. The Postspectacle Shelter was another environment programmed for all sorts of collisions. This was an event of the Presidential Candidate in the House of the People, which houses the Romanian Parliament and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. In the same space coexisted: a tribune for presidential candidates, a spot for philosophical workshops, a corner for medical assistance, and a canteen where food was cooked and served for homeless people, artists, and philosophers. It was an overlapping of a charity event, a presidential campaign, a philosophical conference, a day shelter, a canteen and an art show. The event marked a rupture of the entities both from the art scene and the activist world. There was criticism and some frustration about the unclear nature of Postspectacle Shelter. Is it art, activism, charity, political event, or what? It was indeed a controversial, monstrous project and, unsurprisingly, the only support for it came from other esthetic entities.

Alienating

The esthetic entities are often inadequate, long-term, complicated, playing with improper formats, pushing toward all kinds of not-yet-art zones, difficult to frame and present. Entities like Second Artworld, Cooperativa Performativa, Black Hyperbox and the Presidential Candidate experiment with ways of collaborating beyond consensus, replacing the necessity of a common agreement and common product, which are somehow implicit in collaborations, with an amplification of alienation, where each individual has the space to pursue a different direction in the proximity of the others. These forms of collaboration are not represented but enacted in the usually hidden and problematic aspects of art projects, in the inside relations and implicit dynamics. But even if these forms of collaboration are not on display, they leave traces in any form of presentation, and attention for them expands a sensibility for the forms of organization and governance present behind any artwork in general, the individual work included.

But sometimes there are no art products at all that are recognizable as such. In Blank Mountain College some of us met in a place for a while, without any special agenda or aim and, after some time, we met again and continued somewhere else, and again elsewhere. Blank Mountain College seems suspiciously unambitious. It's atypical because the implicit impulse is to exploit a situation to the maximum, to use the opportunity of having some resources at one’s disposal, to convert any occasion, to be maximally productive, always on a way to success. In the desperate art world, Blank Mountain College, like other esthetic entities, feels like a lost opportunity. But the apparent poverty or emptiness actually unlocks potential. From the inside, the ambition void felt like a relief, because you are suddenly disconnected from implicit orientations and have the luxury of a less instrumentalized time. And the lack of pre-determination and instrumentalization produced a different quality of interactions and a special environment.

When the requirement is to fill a niche, to be clearly identifiable and assigned to a type of art, the complexity and unpredictability of the entities, with their distance from the implicit approaches and formats, seems alienating. While artists are expected to manage themselves and more or less consciously adjust their attitudes and behaviors to implicit art world demands, performing in the sphere of success' requirements, the entities often push their artists toward "unsuccessful" attitudes and behaviors. As an entities' artist, you can expect to remain under the radar of mainstream institutions, hidden in a pre-career stage. “Being no-one," "losership," "give up hope," "dead thinking", are some of the ideas and situations in which the para-art presence becomes self-reflexive – the implicit success desires and the insucces anxieties are explored in their dramatic and funny implications. What from the art world can be seen as a persistent defiance toward the requirements of success, and self-sabotage, is neutral or even positive from the entities’ perspectives.

Besides the esthetic entities’ alienation in the art fields there is a second, subjective alienation. The esthetic entities function as environments that shape the artistic visions and options of the people involved. After a while, it's not only that artists work and develop the entities, but more and more the entities shape and work upon their artists. In the process, they recode and override some of the structures and implicit commands that shape what is possible and desirable to perform and imagine in the art world. For entities' artists, it becomes difficult to be totally embedded in the art world’s implicit suggestions and habits. This exteriorization of personal artistic agency could feel like alienation for the people involved, but mostly a necessary and desired one, and with larger implications. Like any other world, the contemporary world formats subjectivities with some implicit thoughts, patterns of behavior, and perceptions. To have a perspective and an influence on these layers, it is important to create ways of acting from exterior ways of alienating oneself. Some external devices are needed to trigger us out of our own inscribed patterns and regularities. The esthetic entities can function as exit devices from the particular type of subjectivity encouraged by the art environments, and maybe even from the usual production of subjectivity in the society.

Art worlds

The esthetic entities are not objects to be exhibited, nor performances to be seen or texts to be read. They are not research or experiments nor immaterial art, but they can be all of these and more. They don't have a sharp and clear presence. They cannot be presented as events or finalized and condensed as products. They include artistic processes and products but their esthetic capacities are somehow always beyond their appearances. Their esthetic emerges from an amalgam of elements, from their complexity. They are esthetic compositions of people, processes, capacities, frames, concepts, behaviors, attitudes, affects. They are conceptual operations that function as platforms, as ecosystems, as wholes, that precede the details, as esthetic artificial organisms. They work as worlds, in the sense of complete behavioral spaces that affect the transcendental implicit conditions of their own existence, as the physical worlds curve the time and space around them.

They are small experimental worlds, like spaceships that have to be self-sufficient and to endure extremely hostile environments. Like the explorers who leave behind the long tuned structures functional at home, the esthetic entities have to rethink all the vital components, to mess with the foundations. The homely safety net is missing and all kind of things have to be improvised. An esthetic entity has to reinvent esthetic operations, forms of collaborations, and of presentation, to mess with its own determinations, and implicitly be at risk with its environment. Failures happen, premature disparitions or monstrosities could appear. Because they are messing with the consensual realities, they are unpleasant. In the beginning nobody likes new esthetic entities, but in time they can be absorbed and become cultural goods, and function as zombie-entities, or they can expire when their time has passed. Eventually, if they don't have a good death, they may haunt the living as ghosts or just disappear as if they had never occurred.


1. Robin Hood Fund is an international entity that has as founder members many artists who are active in the other esthetic entities mentioned.

2. Blank Mountain College was born in Oslo and the initiators are in contact or active in other esthetic entities mentioned.

The esthetic entities were for sale at Art Brussels 2016. 

Losership & Dead Thinking

a discussion between Ion Dumitrescu and Florin Flueraș, at MNAC, 15 Oct, 19:00:


He has no power. He achieves nothing. He has no reputation - The Perfect Man, Chuang Tzu

In the wake of the elections, in the aftermath of losing the elections, the presidential candidate goes further, entering post-hope territory, where one should be prepared to confidently join a losing majority rather than a winning minority.

The two experts will make brief introductions into the concepts stated in the title followed by a discussion regarding the pros and cons of success hunting in the light of today’s losership horizon. Particular case study: achievements and underachievements in art and creative industries. We will see in which situations healthy thinking is applicable and in which situations dead thinking could be more counterproductive and helpful.

Follow #losership and #deadthinking

2012, The Ultimate Apocalypse, at OTV (Mirror TV)

Iuliana Stoianescu, Ion Dumitrescu and Florin Flueras appeared on Romanian national television OTV (Mirror Television) on December 21, 2009 posing as researchers of the 2012 phenomena. At that time the interest for the subject was high, the movie 2012 was in cinemas and speculations about the Mayan calendar were at their peak. OTV station, true to its name, was functioning as a mirror for what was happening in the country.

How to perform in a society of spectacle? And why? Postspectacle doesn't really have an answer, but by dealing with these questions some practices emerged. One is to infiltrate the big stages of mass media, business and politics with the skills, knowledge and approaches from contemporary arts. Another constant practice is to introduce strange feedback loops, altering, expanding or breaking some of the implicit conditions at work in the situations in which Postspectacle appears.

Is this the End of Postspectacle?

What happens with a concept after its time has passed? A concept appears when it is necessary and it’s totally unpleasant in the beginning, nobody likes a new concept. Then, usually with time, it expires. After a certain period it might eventually attain acceptance and recognition, because it becomes accessible and inoffensive. It becomes a cultural good and continue as zombie-concept. Some concepts and practices die or are absorbed. Eventually, if they don't have a good death, they may haunt the living as ghosts while others just disappear as if they never occurred. One of these endings probably stroke Postspectacle too. Or maybe now when we make a spectacle of ourselves everyday on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, the Postspectacle concept is still necessary and it is we who are exhausted, and Postspectacle must go on through somebody else. An important omen is the fact that until now we refused the invitations to participate in exhibitions and display videos of the Postspectacle actions. What is happening, is this the end of Postspectacle? Or finally we came to embody our slogans, we gave up hope and we are riding the “proud to be grey” wave.

Discussion between Florin Flueras and Ion Dumitrescu at Salonul de Proiecte. Thursday, March 5, 18h00, right before the opening of Heroism Rises in a Warehouse exhibition, in which the video of Postspectacle at Mall will be presented for the first time.


Military Performance

Watching a choreographed army parade, a real one, on the dance carpet of the National Dance Center in Bucharest in 2010, one was not invited to criticism but to a shift of horizon: to watch this show as one would watch a dance piece. No comment, just believing it, and watching yourself believing, indifferently (not with irony). The dance, the performativity, was the movement of the context, the movement of it becoming meta-context, because of the contingency inflicted within its structure (the outside of the theater, the military reality, was injected into the “autonomous” theater field). This was the Military Performance, a Postspectacle work. In Postspectacle, a trade was being made: the rolling further of the performance carpet outside of the theatre provoked the unrolling of the reality from outside the theatre onto the formal stage. And we were sitting in-between.
Alina Popa, The Artworld and the Artworld


Military Performance, CNDB, 2010


Military Workshop, CNDB, 2010

Postspectacle Shelter


The Postspectacle Shelter was an environment programmed for all sorts of collisions. It was an event of the Presidential Candidate in the House of the People, which houses the Romanian Parliament and the National Museum of Contemporary Art. In the same space coexisted: a tribune for presidential candidates, a spot for philosophical workshops, a corner for medical assistance, and a canteen where food was cooked and served for homeless people, artists, and philosophers. It was an overlapping of a charity event, a presidential campaign, a philosophical conference, a day shelter, a canteen and an art show. There was criticism and some frustration about the unclear nature of Postspectacle Shelter. Is it art, activism, charity, political event, or what?

Text by Alina Popa on Postspectacle Shelter.





The Extraordinary Congress of the Presidential Candidates in Cluj

A presidential candidate is primarily an interface between the economic interests of the important people and the needs of the common people. She has to have the ability to make the latter believe that their exploitation and the capturing of value from them is for their own good. In Cluj we will start the process of acquiring these basic skills, and we will learn how to deflate and annihilate important political and environmental problems like Save Roșia Montana, fracking shale gas extraction, GMO agriculture, etc. Come to our workshop for improving and professionalizing the presidential candidates. You never know when the time will come for you to candidate. Somewhere deep in your heart you know that you have what it gets to be a president. At the end of the workshop you have the chance to meet the electorate for the first time during the Extraordinary Congress of the Presidential Candidates.

Candidacy Training, 12 Nov, 18h30, Fabrica de Pensule;
The Candidates Convention, 13 Nov, 18h00, Casa Tranzit.
The Candidates announced till now: Veda Popovici, Mihai Lukacs, Ion Dumitrescu, Florin Flueras, the list is open.


Why artists?

Why artists? - Franco Berardi Bifo's article ends under the influence of Postspectacle Shelter opening that he so movingly officiated:

Invited by a group of artists and activists, in April 2012 I spent some days in Bucharest and delivered a speech at the Museum of Contemporary Art. When I entered the space where a small crowd of listeners were gathering I saw two words written on the wall: No hope.

According to a recent survey it seems that 58% of Rumanians declare they are nostalgic for Ceausescu. Can you imagine someone longing for Ceausescu? My hosts told me: we have been the victims of two opposing nightmares: the communist nightmare of the past and the capitalist nightmare we are suffering now. Hope is over, for us, but the same can be said for our fellow humans all over the planet. "Give up hope, therefore, is our contribution to the emergence of a new consciousness" told me Florin Flueras, a dancer and activist who practices dystopic irony. Hope and growth are traps and our life is taken in these traps.

Dystopic irony (dyst-irony) is the language of those who understand without cynicism that the modern promise has been trashed because of the identification of Modernity and the capitalist dogma. Dystopia is the current imagination of future and irony is the rhetorical distance from the hypocritical discourse of power based on fake concepts such as competition, austerity, recovery and growth.

"Give up hope" is a dyst-ironic provocation meaning: don't trust the promises of power, don't expect growth, capitalism is agonizing, if we don't change the expectations that capitalism has produced we'll fall into depression and fascism.


Read the article


Dark Charity/ Grey Donors at MUMOK Vienna

Performance by the Presidential Candidate and the Bureau of Melodramatic Research at MUMOK.


The common charity is done to improve a bit the situation, materially or financially, it is a ‘white’ charity with the aim to clean, stabilize, enlighten, secure. Dark charity is a reversed charity which will unground, destabilize, unsecure, metamorphose. This is the charity in which the Presidential Candidate and the Bureau of Melodramatic Research are involved.

The Charity gala was organized for the Viennese people and all our sponsors in MUMOK Kino for the Changer D'Image program. Our contribution was curated by Raluca Voinea.

Charity hostesses making their appearance on uplifting jodler-tune
Charity Gala auf Deutsch für unsere Sponsoren
The Charity team singing We are the World (Karaoke)
With the audience together
The start of the acts of giving
Florin Flueras offering darkness to Vienna
Alina Popa offering freedom to talk-alone
 Ion Dumitrescu offering Bulgarian time signature
Claude Karnoouh live from Bucharest for the Viennese people
Finally the charity team with the Viennese receivers and the gifts

End Pit

This was our press release for End Pit at Depo Istanbul written before the events took over in late May 2013. We don't know if and how it makes sense to do what we wanted to do after these charged chemical days but we can find out about that together:

I don't approve of vertical structures; I rather favor horizontal ones. Four stories should be above the ground, while the other four should be built underground - Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

If gold is the material associated with the sun, brightness, stability, enlightenment, highest value, peak of visibility and light of knowledge, what could be the anti-gold, the ungold of darkness, unknowing, holes, unvisual? What is the relation between abysmal pits and soaring pillars, between forms of life of the heights and forms of life of the depths? When you turn the ceiling into a pit and the pit into a ceiling verticality and horizontality lose their meaning, confusion occurs, you lose the ground of the known while the pits of unknowing are opening "under" you.

The ethical distribution of verticality and horizontality is a strict anthropocentric process - what happens if we de-link hierarchy from altitude and de-humanize verticality? In a time of flat ontologies and smooth planes of emergence, the prominences and high-deep striations hold something oddly radical. Today's imperative of horizontality is shared by the occupy movements, with their resistance rhetoric, as well as the neo-liberal think-tanks, caught in the neural drive of focus groups and brainstorming sessions. Horizontalism at this stage shows already signs of conformity setting in motion all too familiar normative dynamics. Mining proliferates in these well-meaning horizontalities as verticality has disguised itself in a plane. Affective mining and toxic digging employ the same procedures of the extractive economy.

The end pit is conceived as the terminus point of all leaks, the final lake of leaks, impermeable basins that supposedly wipe out the memory of extracted gold. But in the vicinity of waste pounds - apart from inevitable soil contaminations - nether spheres emerge that enforce new spaces of unpredictability. From there no certainty whatsoever can direct the sense and composition of further deposits.

Dark markets, grey border areas, pressure zones, insufficient light exposure and the consequent deformities are generating uncharted fields of destruction and potentiality. The end pit is a point from where the free fall becomes impossible, it is the start of a convoluted, tortuous movement of live and poisoning sediments through the veins of the earth. End Pit is not an end in itself but a sprawling regression, a contagious closure of voids.

Alina Popa, Irina Gheorghe, Ștefan Tiron, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Florin Flueraș, Ion Dumitrescu
(The Bureau of Melodramatic Research, ParadisGaraj, Presidential Candidate)


film still from Luis Bunuel's 1965 film Simon of the Desert




















DOWNLOAD END PIT PUBLICATION:DOWNLOAD PDF   DOWNLOAD EPUB




The performance took place on the 6th of June at 19:30 in DEPO Istanbul.






















Later in June 2013, during the anti-government and anti-capitalist protests in Istanbul a forum was held in the exhibition space to discuss the recent events and ways of social action. Thanks Ali Taptik for sending us the photo.

Photo: Ali Taptik

Presidential Candidacy in Sao Paulo

If in Europe the slogan of the Candidate is "Give up Hope" in Brazil it had to be "Paraiso Agora!"

The Romanian Presidential Candidacy Fundraiser @ Documenta 13



"Hey, do you want some Romanian radical art? 
 No thanks, I'm ok."

On the 10th of September the Romanian Presidential Candidacy landed in Kassel with great expectations for a fundraiser at Documenta 13 and for a meeting with our accomplices, The Robin Hood Minor Asset Management, during the final SCEPSI installment hosted there by Franco Bifo Berardi.

As our affection for the first world has grown our addiction is getting even more serious. We need the money and the good spirit of the north but we have no more time for applying or negotiating with curators and programmers, our patience has run out and the elections are approaching. The periphery needs cash, now!

This time we came from the splendid fiords of Norway to the frictionless trams of Kassel. At Documenta 13 it seemed that nothing could go wrong, wellness was floating in the air. We encountered smooth and unstriated spaces through which contemporary art consumers were drifting without obstacles from Fridericianum to Neue Galerie, sliding effortlessly from Hauptbahnhof exhibitions to Karlsaue Park and beyond, so that one could say that the whole city, indoors and outdoors, was nicely lubricated in order for the contemporary art-goers to enjoy the big event.

Coming from a campaign event in Oslo, The Romanian Presidential Candidacy felt again the happiness of the west/north all around, this time in Kassel, manifesting through every pore of most of the curator's (and her sub-curators) selections, a glee visible also in the abundant crowd of joyful visitors marching through this well thought exhibition multiplex where diversity and accessibility were the main assets. A shopping center without the shopping, or even better, we named it, Kassel Stock Un-Exchange. A perfect mix of all the tendencies and art streams of today, for those who wanted to bid on object oriented art there were plenty of occasions, for immaterial fetishism dozens of books, lectures and Neue Galerie. During the three months one could have found also occupiers and politically engaged performances, theoretical insights and retro excavation. Just place your cognitive shares and may the best stock win!

But the most disturbing phenomenon discovered by us, as we attended the SCEPSI event, was that Documenta was also a place for politically correct new-ageists dreaming of communal values within a frame (Documenta 13 itself) that harvested 29 million for its budget. They pretended that all was constructed in the name of love and solidarity. A sort of schizophrenia that is typical for the contemporary art operators of today (one can check the Artleaks cases).

As soon as the Robin Hood crew, in its presentation, talked about money and imitating Wall Street Stock Exchange anger exploded in the room of Ständehaus, the mentioning of "touching money" triggered instant irritation, suddenly the civil war that Bifo was prophesying for Europe in the opening of the evening, was right there, indoors, between ideologically correct artists endorsing back-to-the-nature rhetoric, curators, pure activists and the parasites of the Robin Hood and The Romanian Presidential Candidacy, or let's say between a Bane/Bruce Wayne hybrid and Catwoman, if we look at it through the perspective of the last Batman movie.

ATP, Walid Raad's performance, the missing link

In the first part of his performance "Scratching on things I could disavow", Walid Raad displayed a sort of map - a very wide and playful one - that was tracing different and specific connections between the art world, capital and the army. Everything on that chart, starting with APT (Artist Pension Trust) continuing with a world-class team of art professionals and leading to Israel intelligence army elite seemed intertwined. A twisted interplay appeared between young ferocious business entrepreneurs, well motivated curators and known or less known visual artists scared of a future without a safety net.

We witnessed how Walid Raad was very vividly describing the rules and conditions of ATP as well as showing us the competition in the creation of algorithms that are meant as compasses in this ever more complex and vast domain of contemporary art market.

When we stepped outside the venue we felt like walking on that map, but something was unsatisfactory. A missing link was somehow eluding our view. We also thought a lot of Robin's Hood own algorithm, that one that allegedly is nosing in the trade temple, desacralizing and detouring money, the type of procedure that disturbed the Documenta Feng-Shui at Scepsi event.

What kind of puzzle-piece was missing from Walid's Raad map? What if another map-board would be added to the Walid's original and insightful one, one left unfinished on which some other ramifications would be drawn? A piece that would also tie the author himself to Documenta and its curators (some of them already APT members), a virtual add-on to the initial map that reveals its tentacles and continues to expand tridimensional in all directions only to come together in the end at Documenta.

Although this intricate web was still difficult to unfurl, one thing was sure, we were nowhere on that cartography. Apparently there were no links to Romanian artists, Bucharest or other Romanian cities because this is another planet, orbiting in the Outernational system. Arabian wealthy cities may be in the interest of APT, but not Europe's periphery. We watched with envy, we would have wanted to be in that map. We felt outcast, no curators called any of us to join in. Romanian performance art is mostly obscure to the global market because apparently it has nothing to sell. There was nothing we could've contributed to the collection of the ATP. I forgot to mention that in order to be a member one has to give to the Artists Pension Trust one work per year for a period of twenty years. So in this give-up-hope situation we felt even more motivated for our fundraiser.

Fundraiser, black-dealing romanian performance art

The Romanian Presidential Candidacy was at first intimidated by the grandeur and dimensions of Documenta 13, but as soon as we woke up from the western awe we decided that is time to get some direct cash from anyone interested in buying Romanian contemporary and avant-garde art. During our dealing procedures we met very often the precariat, artists on a budget, people that were unable to spend 5 euros on a CD with rare Romanian radical performance art but most of them carrying the sixty-eight euro catalogue "Book of Books" in their back pack. Documenta was unwarned, as we were dealing art on the halls and corridors of the Fridericianum we met no resistance.
The volunteers and guards were not trained for this, the frame was unsecured in front of this type of activity. We were spotting potential clients everywhere, they seemed hungry for new experiences although in the same old format of a museum/gallery. We became traders of experience economy; we upgraded the customary practice inside a biennale-documenta-manifesta from passive spectatorship to toxic interactive black-market. We mostly approached them while they were standing at long cues outside or inside the Fridericianum.

The fundraiser took us also in front of curators-customers, we tried to sell our merchandise also to baby curators and mature art consumers, journalists, art pilgrims - and many reacted with great scare and suspicion. They made us feel like rough art pushers from the Wild East. But some of them greeted us with smiles while others gave in and emptied their pockets. They risked a crumpled euro investment in romanian performance art without knowing that they actually have invested in the future to come, the best 10 euros they've ever spent. Yet others were inspired, some of the precarious artists we encountered during the proceedings even told us that they would employ our blackmarket strategy!

Cohabitant pests, parasites and pushers

"So nat'ralists observe, a flea
 Hath smaller fleas that on him prey,
 And these have smaller fleas that bite 'em,
 And so proceed ad infinitum.”
 --Jonathan Swift

Parasitism allows for and enhances all the advantages and proclivities of ad infinitum progression. Characterized by mathematical non-trivial self-similarity, it permits a much finer mesh of nooks and crannies where numeric leftovers, energy crumbs and financial quanta escape, spill over and get stuck. This is why sifting, sliding automated algorithmic “internalizers” have been more and more adept at pearl diving through financial “dark pools”.
On the other hand Eastern block corruption, petty crime, parasitism and shadiness have been a mainstay anti-hero of the Western narrative of sanitation, transparency and punitive action. So now, in the era of algo trading, there is also high time for rescuing non-machine readable methods, basic tactics and skills associated with blunt hide&sell economy, art market pickpocketing and under-the-counter praxis.

Postspectacle has arrived in Norway


 The way we experience ourselves is through the collective perceptions constantly reinforced by the generalized spectacle. The affective component of perception is more and more missing, the environment is perceived as mere exteriority. The world is a screen and we are becoming screens on which the spectacle is projected on and on. Postspectacle is when the screen becomes visible and a bit of reflection occurs, when a certain degree of some sort of different reality might enter our bodies.
 Postspectacle started in 2008 from a simple question: what’s the point in adding another spectacle to the theatre in a world of generalized spectacle? Postspectacle stands for the platforms, practices, gestures and attitudes that appeared since and were generated by the crisis of spectacle and representation we outlined in those days of 2008.

Postspectacle has arrived in Norway

How can thought collect Debord’s inheritance today, in the age of the complete triumph of the spectacle? It is evident, after all, that the spectacle is language, the very communicability and linguistic being of humans. […] The extreme form of the expropriation of the Common is the spectacle, in other words, the politics in which we live. But this also means that what we encounter in the spectacle is our very linguistic nature inverted. For this reason (precisely because what is being expropriated is the possibility itself of a common good), the spectacle’s violence is so destructive; but, for the same reason, the spectacle still contains something like a positive possibility - and it is our task to use this possibility against it. (From Giorgio Agamben - Marginal Notes on Comments on the Society of the Spectacle. 1990)
 
Postspectacle has arrived in Norway. This is a truly socialist country, a more egalitarian society than any other. Despite a few problems, the common good is served and the general atmosphere seems much less charged than in the south, where frustration and financial desperation has taken over. For the past three years we have declared “abandon all spectacle now”, but here in Oslo we feel almost paralyzed, in this environment the spectacle and the good life have to be celebrated.
So give up hope and join the party!

Postspectacle at Drama House Oslo

4 September
19h00 - Postspectacle Trilogy part I with Florin Flueras and Ion Dumitrescu
21h00 - Postspectacle: an Introduction with Florin Flueras and Ion Dumitrescu

5 September
18h00 - Postspectacle Workshop with
Brynjar Åbel Bandlien and Valentina Desideri
20:30 - Biosorcery (premiere) with Florin Flueras and Alina Popa

6 September
19h00 - Neocatharsis with Florin Flueras and Ion Dumitrescu
20h00 - So what (premiere) by Valentina Desideri and Zoe Poluch

7 September
19h00 - Preview, Manuel Pelmus
20h00 - Debate: Postspectacle is not enough! with Ine Therese Berg, Valentina Desideri, Florin Flueras, Ion Dumitrescu, Manuel Pelmus and Brynjar Åbel Bandlien

8 September
18h00 - Romanian Presidential Candidacy with The Romanian Presidential Candidate
20h00 - Postspectacle Join the party