Michele Bressan & Bogdan Girbovan [RO]
Art Encounters 2017 Exhibitions:
The Second Nature
Michele Bressan (b. 1980) is publicly known for his work in photography, for which he won the Essl award and was nominated for the Henkel award for art in 2009. In recent years, he has solidified the themes he explores in photography, objects or installations. Michele’s interest in visual perception and the methods of constructing the collective imaginary begins from a view of images as matrices of social and historical consciousness. The quest is then matched by the desire to spontaneously or accidentally break away poetic spaces from day-to-day reality.
Selected exhibitions: Latitudes – Humanscapes, L. Kanellopoulos Art Centre, Eleusis (2016); WHAT ABOUT Y[OUR] MEMORY, National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest (2015); PASAJ, MNAC – Annex, Bucharest (2014); The Source Collage Open Call, Tate Britain, London (2014); Drama, H’art Gallery, Bucharest (2012, solo); Vita, Morte e Miracoli, LC Foundation for Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2011, solo); Memories for my Children, Rue de l’Exposition Gallery, Paris (2010, solo); As far as i can tape, Performance Art Institute, San Francisco (2010).
He also participated in exhibitions at the 56th edition of the Venice Biennale (the New Gallery of the Romanian Cultural Institute of Venice New Gallery, 2015) and at Les Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, La Gaîté Lyrique and Palace of Tokyo (video projection, 2014).
Bogdan Gîrbovan (b. 1981) became known for his photography series, created over time, following a relevant study subject for Romania’s recent history and social hierarchy. The relationships of power are revealed through images capturing, for example, the hierarchy of the Romanian Police and the hierarchy of the Romanian Orthodox Church, but also the differences in social status within urban communities (series 10/1, a study of residents in a block of flats, as it was designed in the communist period).
Selected exhibitions: Few Were Happy with their Condition, Gallery 400, Chicago (2016); ESPY Photography Award, Elysium Gallery, Swansea (2014); Bucharest. A Paradoxical City, PHotoEspaña, Museo de la Ciudad, Madrid (2011); Hierarchy of the Romanian Police, Galeria Posibilă, Bucharest (2011, solo); Ne tourne pas la tête!, Romanian Cultural Institute in Paris (2010); 10/1, Atelier 35, Bucharest (2010, solo); 5@14, Draft One Galeria de Proiecte, Bucharest (2009, solo); RO Archive, Futura Gallery / Karlin Studios, Prague (2008).
His photography was also displayed at the Łódź International Design Festival (2016), at the NEU NOW Festival in Vilnius (2009), and was published in photography journals: The Postbox, Punctum, NYArts Magazine, and Fotografija.”
The Romanian Archaeological Photography Index project by the artists Michele Bressan and Bogdan Gîrbovan is based on historical research transposed into photography, and follows several stages: field research using a metal detector in areas of military conflict chosen by the artists – the Eastern Front and the Western Front of World War II, and the Sub Carpathian Curvature of World War I; shooting on film stock where objects like bullets, grenades, helmets, villagers’ slippers, dentures, dog tags, etc. were found; in-studio digital photography of excavated objects; and the precise indexing of the objects. In 2017, they published an artist’s book dedicated to this project, together with Matei Câlția at Galeria Posibilă.
The site where the artists dug does not allow the bloody past to be seen, but as the evidence is unearthed, the layers of history become more and more transparent. During the biennale, a decoupage from this substantial project is presented, including images with the “container sites” and with the objects brought to light.
1. [left] Bogdan Girbovan, Portrait, photo credits: Florin Ghenade; [right] Michele Bressan, Portrait
2. Michele Bressan & Bogdan Gîrbovan, Borta Dracului (2014- 2017), RAPI series / Romanian Archaeological Photography Index, photo credits: Michele Bressan, Bogdan Girbovan