April 19 – June 12, 2019


With the relocation of Lateral ArtSpace to a new venue – an almost perfect cube with a tiny skylight volume on top, on the premises of the Paintbrush Factory in Cluj – Apparatus 22 set their exhibition as an experiment.

On one hand there are works unfolding many nuances of the poetic, yet critical language Apparatus 22 employs in countless ways in their practice.

On the other hand, the process of reading the works is also on display. There are in fact readings, a necessary plural as numerous quirky old-school stationary papers in white, pink, baby blue, striped or plain, are printed with images or bare hand written texts and references sent by curators and artists.

The arrangement comes out as odd at a first glance: the works are installed in a vertical logic (i.e. following to the ceiling an invisible vertical line, with elements of installation spread around it), accompanied by the cloud of notes which functions not as labels explaining the works, but as an open system of reading that paradoxically expands both the understanding and the mystery of the pieces and becomes part of the artistic practice.

Works plus adjoining readings become something of an accelerator of thoughts, open to interpretation in directions the artists themselves never envisioned, highlighting intense subjectivities in experiencing and understanding art.

A group of twelve contributors – artists, curators, art historians: Sam Basu & Liz Murray, Marianne Derrien, Aurélien Le Genissel, Nadia Guerroui, Geir Haraldseth, Ewa Kozik, Mihai Lukács, Enzo Di Marino & Alberta Romano, Nicolas de Ribou, Martina Sabbadini generously sent readings and speculations about the ten Apparatus 22 works, clustered into four series.

ABOVE AND BEYOND series (2019), displays speculative still life arrangements about moments in various contexts when clubbing had embodied an impromptu socio-political agenda in opposition to the oppressive dominant perspectives: communist Romania in the ‘80s, Iran in the ‘70s, the raw parties in ‘80s & ‘90s, NY or London, underground scene.

M (2016), another series of the Apparatus 22 speculative still life paintings, is triggered by the compelling story of Maruca Cantacuzino Enescu – a hyper intelligent, histrionic princess that challenged Romanian society norms and imaginary in the first half of XXth century. Maruca becomes M – a transgressive symbol to think of the emancipatory power of desires.

Disco Punch I (dedicated to Ioana Nemes) (2014). Initially misleading because of its shinny happy look, the work is an introspection into deep, dark personal experiences and thoughts, in this case the loss of a friend, member of the collective and brilliant artist Ioana Nemeș.

Ghosts from Sky Naive | It Begs a Question (2017- ongoing), are remains of a performance in public space by Apparatus 22 in Eindhoven, commissioned by Onomatopee. Rain ponchos were offered as protective gifts to the citizens of Eindhoven with a hopeful message: let’s free ourselves from being targets of the seduction laid out by advertising’s misleading language and promises of future.

Apparatus 22 is a transdisciplinary art collective founded in January 2011 by current members Erika Olea, Maria Farcaș, Dragoș Olea together with Ioana Nemeș (1979 – 2011) in Bucharest, Romania. Beginning with 2015 they are working between Brussels and Bucharest.

A cultural project co-financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the project or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.