Irina Botea’s SOLO exhibition It is now a matter of learning hope foregrounds how hope as an emotion is connected to imagination and the possibility of social change.
Through four filmic investigations, this exhibition proposes a performative approach to learning, rehearsing and debating theoretical models that historically embedded “politics of hope”; potentially energizing a contemporary praxis of transformation. These films investigate a diversity of avenues, including political history, enlightenment methodologies, contemporary socio-political action and a range of theoretical utopian models.
These four works include:
“Impersonation,” a reenactment of Charles A Leale’s book Lincoln’s Last Hours featuring Abraham Lincoln presenters. Each dressed as Abraham Lincoln, the presenters audition, negotiate and interpret several roles: Charles A Leale reading his manuscript, Charles A Leale performing medical interventions to prolong Lincoln’s life, associate doctors and the dying Abraham Lincoln himself.
“Art historians,” a conversation presents three art historians Gabriela Zsigmond, Valentin Muresan and Sanda Marta expressing their emotional engagement with the artworks at the Bruckenthal Museum in Sibiu, Romania. This collection was established prior to the Enlightenment by Baron Samuel von Brukenthal (1721- 1803) when he was the governor of Transylvania, Romania (HD 2014).
“Photocopy/Fotocópia,” is a performance stimulated through reprocessing experiences acquired during the 15 May protests in Spain – in a space outside of the public realm of social action – the studio. The film features Anita Serrano and Merce Ortega.
“It is now a matter of learning hope” presents artist Ileana Faur learning and rehearsing fragments of written utopian theories, including Ernst Bloch, Constant Nieuwenhuys, Thomas More, Karl Marx and Vilem Flusser, set against the backdrop of Morii Island, one of many failed utopian architectural projects that were never finished by Nicolae Ceausescu, ex- dictator of Romania (HD, 2013/14).
Botea’s artistic methodology combines reenactment strategies, simulated auditions, elements of direct cinema and cinéma vérité. She develops her works through a process of collaboration in which the performers are active participants in the process, and as a filmmaker her role is in constant flux, shifting from an observational to a reflective, participatory and performative mode. The exhibition takes its title from Ernst Bloch’s The Principle of Hope.
Irina Botea‘s art practice that uses multiple media to inspect socio-political dynamics and the possibility of transformation. Currently, her focus is on the de-centralization of cultural discourses and the possibility of sustaining creative differentiation that arguably exists outside of a dominant hegemonic system of values and critique.