Memory – deconstruction
"Painting for me is a daily routine that enables me to avoid falling into boredom and inactivity. I need to 'do' things every day." The objects and images used by Victor Man hark back to a more or less recent past and focus precisely on the actions of passing time. Certain objects out of context suggest new stories. By voiding the images of their initial contents and extirpating their original meaning, Victor Man allows for possible new readings. Only a part of the original remains intact: stealing their soul is the last action that the artist performs before he reintroduces them in a new context.
What is important in the images is the impression of déjà-vu that they inspire, the innuendo-filled story they imply as if they were ghosts of something that they used to be. In his paintings and in certain drawings, the artist demonstrates particular attention to the past and a will to reconstruct a personal memory.
- Victor Man
Man’s work brings together disparate references to his birthplace with its ‘folk’ traditional and myths, as well as allusions to more recent Eastern European history.
Richly evocative, dark in both palette and imagery, to suggest a voyeuristic gaze, Man’s works signify an alternative world beyond familiar experience. This is enhanced by the artist’s technique of using a ‘black’ mirror, a device which distances the act of visualisation for both himself and us. Images of women, wolves and gloves recur across several pieces, sometimes eroticised; notions of the unconscious, a surreal nether-world where new codes exist are conveyed.
Motifs repeatedly hint at acts of subversion, fictions half-uttered as if time had momentarily stopped, the present dissolving. Here, Man’s work considers notions of desire and its various manifestations along with fragmentation – geographical and ideological – coming together to create new narratives. Images and objects used by the artist are captured and recycled from a wide range of sources, found near his studio and home, then juxtaposed in a representation of his changing world and the Romania of previous generations. The transformation occurring within Eastern Europe, refected in the re-contextualised diversity of Man’s work, is obliquely examined, ensuring that a history is not lost but reconstituted with new meaning.
Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
Centre international d'art et du paysage Ile de Vassivière, France
Ikon Gallery, Birmingham
Johnen Galerie, Koln
Galeria Plan B, Berlin, Cluj
Gladstone Gallery, New York
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam
Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Bergamo. Italy
Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam
Venice Biennale 2007