About


The works of the Romanian artist couple Silvia Amancei & Bogdan Armanu, on view in the exhibition IF THEN WHAT AFTER at Kunstverein Baden, evince a subtle aesthetic similarity. Viewers of both the drawings and videos by Amancei & Armanu are deliberately introduced to the respective works in a very physically proximate manner. The scenic aspect of the “close-up” and the associated intimacy of the view is a result of various aesthetic strategies and thematic concepts. While the small-format drawings confront the viewer with a kind of reading, an observing while reading at the same time, the very personal film portraits of the artist couple's parents seem in a certain way almost immersive. In so doing, the films open up a complex semantic field comprising the biographical, the historical, the political—and their representations.

Silvia Amancei and Bogdan Armanu have been working together as an artist couple since 2012 and operate at the interface of the mediums of drawing, painting, video, and installation. Their works examine, often in an ironic and simultaneously deliberately deconstructive manner, complex contexts including those of design, economics, and speculation or also of work and immaterial work. They question the relationships between such ostensibly distinct conceptual fields, always with a critical view of economic constraints, that is, in their words, capitalist society and its evident social conflicts. Amancei and Armanu’s reflections often focus on the stories behind Romania’s economic and political history, but they always seek to make their work universally applicable and legible. They examine the conflicting tension between history and the future from ideological standpoints, always with a view toward the relationship of the individual to society, or in other words, from the subject to the prevailing economic and political system.

David Komery

In co-operation with Kunstverein Baden

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