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texte critice

“JOCURI SERIOASE”, DRUMUL DE LA GRAVURA LA SCULPTURA

            Biografia artistica a Ancai Boeriu sta sub semnul incitant al unei surprize aşteptate. Formata ca graficiana, ea a ales, de-a lungul timpului, calea mai dificila a gravurii, devnind (re)cunoscuta pentru stradaniile de a o revigora in peisajul contemporan. Privita din aceasta perspectiva, toata activitatea ei artistica pare a fi un parcurs previzibil de acumulari şi performanţe, fericit dublat de neobosita activitate pedagogica cu studenţii de la UNA. Conştienta deopotriva de demnitatea “liberala” a desenului (inţeles şi ca disegno) şi de semnificaţia tehnicilor in practica artistica, Anca işi asuma – conştient sau nu – tradiţia venerabila inceputa odata cu Theodor Aman – primul artist roman care a inţeles importanţa gravurii - şi, mai ales, de Gabriel Popescu, cel dintai artist roman dedicat exclusiv gravurii. Asemeni celui din urma, şi ea s-a dedicat studiului tehnicilor gravurii, (re)descoperind valenţele nebanuite (inca) ale travaliului aplecat cu migala pe placa de metal.
Pe de alta parte, Anca Boeriu nu se mulţumeşte cu destinul confortabil al unui “maestru al stampei”, cum il consacra odinioara Henri Focillon. Reconvertind gravura, ea mizeaza pe un efect de surpriza, deturnand-o – in cele din urma – de la funcţia ei primordiala, de reproducere cu mijloace tradiţionale. Citesc aici o dubla indrazneala, descifrabila ca repunere in drepturi a “aurei” benjaminiene: demersul artistei redimensioneaza placa de gravura, privita nu doar ca mijloc ascuns ochiului spectatorului, ci ca obiect in sine, spectaculos şi misterios totodata. In acelaşi timp, aşa cum singura masturiseşte, artista refuza cu obstinaţie tirajul, in favoarea “exemplarului de autor/de artist”; seria pare sa o “plictiseasca”, ceea ce o  intereseaza este fiecare lucrare in parte, mereu alta, diferita in singularitatea ei. Privilegiind exemplarul original unic, gravura capata astfel o preţiozitate plina de “aura”. Intr-o epoca dominata de “serie” ca simptom al modernitaţii, refuzul ei explicit de a se “alinia” serializarii de orice fel poate fi inţeles ca intoarcere la o virtuozitate “pre” sau “post” moderna.
Totodata, fructificarea neaşteptata a elementului nevazut din atelierul de gravura – placa – constituie inovaţia şi tehnica, şi de concept a autoarei. Placa “atacata” şi expusa ca obiect independent constituie elementul de surpriza aşteptata in expoziţia “Punct de sprijin”. Placa este, de fapt, punctul central, miezul pe care se sprijina ultimul discurs artistic al Ancai Boeriu. De fier (placile mari) sau de cupru (cele de dimensiuni mici) placa atacata cu acizi (pentru realizarea acvafotelor) este decupata, creind figurile tipice, aşteptate, ale universului imagistic boeresc, dominat de personajul uman in postura de cuplu. Se nasc astfel figuri suspendate in spaţiu, plutind libere sau inramate in cadre de lemn. Tranziţia de la gravura la sculptura creeaza efectul de surpriza al unor “jocuri serioase” in care materia – placa de metal – se metamorfozeaza devenind forma in spaţiu. Rezultatul lucrului cu placa, gravura propriuzisa, este imprimata pe panza - nu pe hartie – peste care artista a aplicat reveniri in ulei. Obiectul creat astfel  - monotip/tehnica mixta - pe panza intinsa pe şasiu creeaza – cu buna ştiinţa, cred – efectul unui “tabou” (re)instaurat.
Ambiguitatea tehnica e voita, din nou o joaca serioasa cu materia şi tehnica.
Descifrandu-i cu oarecare indiscreţie biografia artistica, aflam ca graficiana dorea, de fapt, sa fie sculptor(iţa). Destinul nu a ajutat-o in aceasta privinţa, dar aparenta neşansa s-a transformat in provocarea de a impinge graniţele tradiţionale ale gravurii şi sculpturii, imbinandu-le intr-o noua ipostaza. Astfel. şansa Ancai Boeriu sta in fructificarea propriilor abilitaţi şi in talentul de a le transforma in ceea ce doreşte in fond sa exprime: gestul artistic intrupat in forma umana “aruncata” in spaţiu. Bi- şi tridimensionalul se impletesc astfel intr-un univers vizual ce sfideaza delimitarile tradiţionale.
Practicand cu studenţii ei “lecţia de gravura”, Anca Boeriu realizeaza, in propria ei expoziţie, performanţa neaşteptata a construcţiei – in pledoaria pentru gravura - şi a deconstrucţiei – in metamorfozarea gravurii in sculptura. Acesta este efectul neaşteptat al unei surprize aşteptate in punctul de sprijin vizual creat de Anca Boeriu in ultima ei expoziţie.

Conf. univ. dr. Ruxandra Demetrescu
Rector, Universitatea Naţionala de Arte din Bucureşti

                              
“Serious Games”, the Road from Engraving to Sculpture”

                Anca Boeriu’s artistic biography has unfolded under the exciting auspices of an expected surprise. Trained as a sketcher, she has chosen over time the more difficult path of engraving, becoming (re)known for her endeavor to revitalize it in the contemporary artistic climate. Regarded from this perspective, her entire artistic activity appears as a predictable road of accumulations and performances, successfully accompanied by her tireless pedagogical activity with the UNA students. Equally aware of the “liberal” dignity of the drawing (also understood as disegno) and of the meaning of techniques in artistic practice, Anca is pursuing – consciously or not – a respectable tradition which began with Theodor Aman, the first Romanian artist who understood the importance of engraving, and particularly with Gabriel Popescu, the first Romanian artist exclusively dedicated to the art of engraving. Like the latter, she has also dedicated to the study of engraving techniques, (re)discovering the (yet) unsuspected facets of the painstaking labor over the engraved plate. 
On the other hand, Anca Boeriu does not settle for the comfortable destiny of a “master of stamp”, as established at some point by Henri Focillon. Reconverting engraving, she places her bets on the surprise effect, causing it to ultimately depart from its primordial function, i.e. reproduction by means of traditional methods. I can see a double audacity in that, which may be deciphered as reinstatement of the Benjaminian “aura”: the artist’s effort lends a new dimension to the engraving plate, seen not only as a tool hidden away from the spectator’s eye, but also as an object in itself, spectacular and mysterious at once. At the same time, as the artist confesses, she obstinately refuses circulation in favor of the “author/artist copy”; she appears to find serialization wearisome, what interests her is each work in its own right, always different in its singularity. Thus, by this privilege of the unique original copy, engraving acquires a kind of preciousness with an “aura”. In a time dominated by the “series” as a symbol of modernity, her explicit refusal to “obey” serialization of any kind may be read as a return to a “pre” or “post” modern virtuosity.
Also, the unexpected use made of the unseen element in an engraving workshop – the plate – represents the author’s technical and conceptual innovation. The plate “attacked” and exhibited as an independent object constitutes the surprise element expected at the exhibition entitled “Point of Support”. The plate is in fact the central aspect, the core supporting Anca Boeriu’s latest artistic discourse. Plates made of either iron (the large ones) or copper (the small ones), plates attacked by acids (for the aqua fortis) are cut out, creating the typical, expected figures of her imagistic universe, dominated by humans represented as couples. Thus, figures suspended in space are born, floating freely or set in wooden frames. The transition from engraving to sculpture creates the effect of surprise, of “serious” games in which the matter – the metal plate – undergoes a metamorphosis, becoming a shape in space. The outcome of the work on the plate, the engraving as such, is imprinted on cloth, not on paper, and subsequently adjusted in oil by the artist. The object thus created – mono-type/mixed technique – on the spread out cloth or on the frame – creates, willingly, in my opinion, the effect of a (re)installed painting. Technical ambiguity is intentional; it is, again, a serious game with matter and technique.
After a somewhat indiscrete examination of her biography, we discover that the artist sketcher actually wanted to become a sculptor. Destiny has not cooperated with her in that respect, but the apparent lack of chance has become a challenge to push the traditional borders of engraving and sculpture, and to join them in a new hypostasis. Thus, Anca Boeriu’s chance resides in the exploitation of her own skills and in a talent of turning them into what she actually wants to convey: the artistic gesture assuming a human form “thrown” into space. Two- and three-dimensionality are thus intertwined in a visual universe which defies traditional delimitations.
Practicing the “lesson in engraving” with her students, Anca Boeriu achieves, in her own exhibition, the unexpected performance of construction – in her plea for engraving – and of deconstruction, by the metamorphosis of engraving into sculpture. This is the unexpected effect of an expected surprise in the visual point of support created by Anca Boeriu in her last exhibition.

 

Professor Ph.D. Ruxandra Demetrescu
Rector, National University of Arts, Bucharest

IN CAUTAREA PUNCTELOR DE SPRIJIN

                Un spectacol expoziţional insolit, monteaza la Galeria “Simeza” Anca Boeriu, cunoscuta ca desenatoare şi gravoare, cu o personalitate aparte, ce aduce la viaţa o lume halucinanta, centrata pe configurarea unei umanitaţi fragile, parelnica, dar şi extrem de vitala, intr-o punere in scena sui generis construita teatral, din siluetele decupate ale personajelor, desprinse din placa de gravura şi lansate in spaţiu, odata cu dialogul stabilit cu procesul de gravare şi imprimare, atent prelucrate cromatic şi contextual. Avem pe de o parte o serie de pictogravuri (gravuri redefinite pictural) de mari dimensiuni, ce aduc in campul imaginii aceleaşi personaje, antrenate intr-o gimnastica contorsionata, prinse in trapezul etern al vieţii şi justificand genericul, focalizat pe cautarea unui punct de sprijin.
Nu lipsesc in acelaşi timp momentele de comunicare şi dialog, menite sa accentueze ideea de solidaritate umana, ce coaguleaza societatea şi personalitaţile alienate. O permanenta pendulare, intre destinul individual şi inserţia in colectivitate ne sugereaza cu obstinaţie aceste compoziţii, dimensionate tragic, instaurand o veşnica cautare a propriei esenţe, a unei comuniuni şi armonii pierdute.
De la o etapa bidimensionala, artista trece curajos la cucerirea spaţiului, decupand siluetele monumentale din placa de gravura, siluete carora le asigura astfel o condiţie existenţiala solida şi efemera in acelaşi timp. Aceasta deschidere spre un spaţiu practic nelimitat, ce inconjoara ca o matrice generatoare personajele aduse la viaţa de artista, conferind o anume cosmicitate de natura metafizica ansamblurilor ei simili-sculpturale, ce redimensioneaza etic şi estetic un spaţiu inert şi cenuşiu, greu de insolitat şi animat, dar care iata, prin invazia de umanoizi, imaginata de Anca Boeriu caştiga o noua existenţa şi dinamica.
Cautarea dialogului şi a unei armonii visate, definesc fundamental mişcarea acestor corpuri contorsionate, ce aduc aminte intr-o prima incercare de lectura interpretativa şi de jocurile cu umbre din perioada romantica, umbre personalizate şi aflate intr-o permanenta metamorfoza.
De la aceste preocupari primare, se trece apoi la referinţe din zona sculpturii  (ne gandim aici la Germaine Richier sau la Niki de Saint Phalle), cu mesaje ideatice şi formale atent dirijate pentru o potenţare dramatica şi contrapunctica, data de asocirea ritmata a acestor siluete monumentale, cu un statut individual bine definit,  dar şi legate printr-un cordon ombilical de celelalte personaje cu care alcatuiesc o colectivitate structurala, cu mare impact asupra privitorului, captat nu numai ca spectator, dar şi ca participant activ şi de neanlocuit.
Reprezentaţia regizata de Anca Boeriu redefineşte intr-un fel, relaţia dintre receptor şi opera de arta, aflata in genere intr-o izolare aristocratica, dinamitandu-se condiţiile spaţiale şi limitele artefactului, considerate odinioara imuabile. Un cuvant trebuie spus şi despre componentele stilistice ale acestor elemente lansate intru dobandirea unei noi condiţii existenţiale, ele definindu-se ca facand parte din sfera expresionismului, un expresionism extrem de epurat de orice fel de conotaţii perturbante, date de insuşiri particulare, regionale sau de un pitoresc minor. Este vorba de o denudare de orice atribute neesenţiale şi o reducţie la semn spaţial, semne propulsate de o mişcare incremenita, ce promoveaza o vitalitate aparte.    
O expoziţie aflata la graniţa dintre happening (fara animare)  şi  redefinirea gravurii, odata cu reexaminarea condiţiei sculpturii ca silueta, integrata intr-un ansamblu teatral, vazut ca o pantomima nemişcata.

Gheorghe Vida

In Search of the Points of Support

                An unusual exhibition is put together at Simeza Gallery by Anca Boeriu, a well-known sketcher and engraver with a distinct personality, who brings to life a hallucinating world, centered on the creation of a fragile, ethereal but also extremely vital humanity, by means of a mise en scene sui generis, staged theatrically from the silhouettes of the characters, cut out of the engraved plate and launched into space, while also engaging an interaction with the engraving and imprinting process, carefully elaborated in terms of color and context. We are dealing with a series of large painted engravings (engravings redefined graphically) which bring to the foreground the same characters, engaged in a distorted gymnastics, caught in the eternal trapeze of life and justifying the slogan, focused on the search for a point of support.
At the same time, the instances of communication and dialogue are not absent as they are meant to emphasize the idea of human solidarity, which coagulates society and alienated personalities. These tragically conceived compositions obstinately suggest a permanent swing between the individual destiny and the insertion in collectivity, initiating a perpetual search for one’s own essence, for that communion and harmony that has been lost.
The artist is courageously evolving from a two-dimensional phase to a phase dedicated to conquering the space, cutting the monumental silhouettes out of the engraving plate, silhouettes which are thus endowed with an existential condition that is simultaneously solid and ephemeral. This opening towards a practically unlimited space, which surrounds like a generating matrix the characters brought to life by the artist, lends cosmic metaphysical spatiality to its sculpture-like creations, reshapes ethically and aesthetically a lifeless, dull space, difficult to animate, but which, nevertheless, further to the invasion of the humanoids invented by Anca Boeriu, gains a new existence and new dynamics.
The search for dialogue and for a harmony much dreamed about fundamentally defines the movement of these distorted bodies, which recall, upon a first attempt at interpretation, the game with shadows in the Romantic period, personalized shadows in a constant metamorphosis.
Then, a transition is made from these initial concerns to sculptural references (we are thinking of Germaine Richier or Niki de Saint Phalle), possessing carefully conducted theoretical and formal messages, aiming for a dramatic and counteractive emphasis, given by the rhythmical association of these monumental silhouettes with a clearly defined individual status, while also connected through the umbilical cord to the other characters with whom they form a structural collectivity with a strong impact on the viewer, construed not only as a spectator, but also as an active and irreplaceable participant.
The representation staged by Anca Boeriu redefines, in a way, the relation between the receiver and the work of art, which is usually to be found in an aristocratic aloofness, blowing up spatial conditions and the limitations of the artifact, once considered inflexible. Something must also be said about the stylistic components of such elements employed for the purpose of acquiring a new existential condition; they are defined by their affiliation to expressionism, an expressionism purified of any disturbing connotations that may be conveyed by particular, regional or vaguely picturesque traits. We are referring to the divestment of any unnecessary attributes and to a reduction to the spatial sign, signs prompted by a stiffened movement which promotes an outstanding vitality.
An exhibition at the border between happening (without animation) and a redefinition of engraving, which equally invites to a re-examination of the sculpture as silhouette, integrated in a theatrical setting, seen as an immovable pantomime.
Gheorghe Vida