TRIUMF AMIRIA: MUSEUM WORKINGS
Apparatus 22
Jasmina Al-Qaisi
Irina Bujor
Georgiana Dobre & Kjersti Vetterstad
Mihai Mihalcea
Veda Popovici

& Alex Bodea
KILOBASE BUCHAREST A-Z
TRIUMF AMIRIA MANIFESTO
May 14th - June 27 2021
A polymuseum fluent in multiple artistic languages, TRIUMF AMIRIA is researching, disseminating and putting in the spotlights queer culture and queer artistic production in Romania. Its practice involves love and empathy heightened at a hyperbolic power, so it is no wonder that this embrace of hyperboles and a complex process of queering ~ critical thinking ~ queerification about what a museum could be made possible a generous and expansive grouping of four exhibitions and a PS in a super concentrated space of about 40 m2.
After an in-depth research conducted for TRIUMF AMIRIA about artistic practices in the visual arts (and not only) that have covered queer topics in the last 20 years, KILOBASE BUCHAREST decided to produce the first solo exhibitions of artists such as Mihai Mihalcea, a major figure for the dance and performance scene after 1989; Veda Popovici, artist, researcher, activist with a significant influence in the reflection on feminist, queer and decolonial theories; and Irina Bujor, an elusive artist with a very peculiar practice about minorities and seemingly minor phenomena. The responsibility of the legitimacy that a museum carries is transformed, on this occasion, into the gesture of imagining solo exhibitions as love letters sent to artists

TRIUMF AMIRIA LOVE LETTER TO VEDA POPOVICI

Veda Popovici,
Enchainment, 2020-2021
drawing and text (watercolor, ink, graphite) on paper
set of 20 pieces; 21,5 x 14 cm (each)
Two types of works could be identified in the exhibition TRIUMF AMIRIA LOVE LETTER TO VEDA POPOVICI: on the one hand, those immediately inspired by her activist work and collaborative practices, offering a backwards-forwards outlook, like the poem-installations The March [Watch our bodies], and In the Name of the Father; on the other hand, the series of drawings and texts revolving around confinement / shackling [Încătușare], as well as the installation Who died? (a bridge between the two groupings of works) stem from an intimate experience—of solitude, claustration and powerlessness—in the pandemic context, only to develop further on into broad questionings of oppressive systems.
𝗧𝗥𝗜𝗨𝗠𝗙𝗔𝗠𝗜𝗥𝗜𝗔.𝗠𝗨𝗦𝗘𝗨𝗠𝗪𝗢𝗥𝗞𝗜𝗡𝗚𝗦(exhibitionspaces)-107
Veda Popovici
Now-Fall Handbook, 2013
print on paper (drawings, instructions)
21 x 15 cm, 4 pages
*dedicated to Ionuț Cioană aka Mircea Nicolae (1980-2020)
Veda Popovici
Who died?, 2021
flag: print on textile after gouache drawing, wood
90 x 135 cm, h: 2 m
Veda Popovici
The Story of the Fall (fragment), 2013/2020
sound performance
22’16’’
In the Name of the Father [an anti-prayer], 2013
poem (sound performance, 07’45’’)
Veda Popovici
In the Name of the Father, 2013
drawing
The Series Încătușare [Confinement / Shackling] (2020-2021), the two poem-installations The March [Watch our bodies] (2020-2021) and In the Name of the Father (2013), alongside the flag Who Died? (2021) function as a grouping of works speaking about the necessity of a culture of protest and, equally, about the internal displacements in a realm which is oftentimes leaving room for a feeling of powerlessness.
Veda Popovici
The March [Watch our Bodies], 2020-2021
poem, site-specific installation
108 x 125 cm

TRIUMF AMIRIA LOVE LETTER TO MIHAI MIHALCEA

Farid Fairuz, Leap into the work [series]
performance / photography:
[left]Leap into the work (Casablanca)], 2015
90 x 60 cm
[lower-right]Leap into the work (Milos), 2018
67 x 50 cm
[upper-right]Leap into the work (Bucharest) 2016
50 x 40,5 cm
Leap into the work (Coimbra), 2019
36 x 27 cm
Leap into the work (Madrid), 2018
36 x 27 cm
Leap into the work (Cluj), 2016
36 x 26 cm
Mihalcea is interested in the aesthetics and experiences of the body lying on the ground. His take involved a reflection on several simultaneous aspects, each acting like a facet of a dense pleated form: (*) a way to extract information about a space one is visiting for the first time, a kind of connection with the local spirit, with a vernacular non-human knowledge, (*) drawing with the body a pause line (-), the gesture becomes an act of rebellion against the neoliberal mechanisms and pressures to exploit and self-exploit the body, (*) a spontaneous test of cultural and political boundaries, but also those related to affects, empathy and care for a body that at first sight lies inert.
Farid Fairuz, Lament (Not Mecca, Not Rome), 2016
video performance
10’42’’
Farid Fairuz, Afifarid, 2011
video performance
07’16’’
As two concentric circles in an never-ending organic relationship of reformulation, both the works from the series LEAP INTO THE WORK and those from the Farid Fairuz period present
the artist not only as a skilled provocateur and negotiator in a tour de force of mental, physically and emotionally strength of the body, but also as a shaman who for over two decades did a major groundwork in disenchanting us from the seductive grip of capitalism, from the manipulative charms coming from political spheres and media, from the conspiracy of
dominant and oppressive mentalities.
Documenting Farid Fairuz, 2010-2019
site-specific installation: print on paper (press articles, Adevărul, România Liberă, Glamour Magazine)
variable dimensions

TRIUMF AMIRIA LOVE LETTER TO IRINA BUJOR

Flaviu Rogojan
Octopon Symmetriad, 2021
dye transfer on paper
25 x 21 cm
Recorded in 2019 with the voice of soprano Nadia Hidali, TO TEACH GENDER OPENNESS IN SCHOOLS, the desire for SHIELD no 2, emerged as a reaction to interviews with friends from a transgender community in Johannesburg. But in an odd turn, in the context of recent discussions about sex education in Romanian schools that have revealed a multitude of retrograde perspectives, the work also becomes extremely topical in the local context too. A critical appeal to empathy, to openness and knowledge of all things sexuality fluid, for what multiple, nuanced identities mean beyond a reductionist binary construction.
Charmer Costel, ISGODB (IStrikeGoldOnDailyBasis), Diamond Diamond Damian, Seksi Adriana de România, 2019-ongoing
installation with four characters from TV ON ACID series
textiles, mannequins, boxes, accessories variable dimensions
Through these characters taken from the larger series TV ON ACID, the installation turns for the visitor into an awkward moment of brutal clash with a grotesque show. A pseudo- psychedelic experience—a bad trip, as what is delivered is a nightmarish perception altered directly by the producer of the image (television)—then packaged and distributed en-masse through late-night trash shows, but most often in daylight, in morning shows or in the afternoon tabloids.

CHANGE - EXCHANGE

Approaching themes such as diversity and the revolutionary potential revealed in vernacular language, queer(ing) or recognition of artistic and curatorial work, the works included in the
group show CHANGE-EXCHANGE stand out because of their capacity of storing and further on producing encounters and affective solidarities. 
 
Past the seductive layer of visual representations in which the three works by Jasmina Al-Qaisi, Apparatus 22 and Georgiana Dobre & Kjersti Vetterstad gain shape, through the major
interactive component, alongside the proposals for change and exchange, the exhibition becomes an affirmation of art which is essentially process-based, relying on mechanisms
empowering all participants to become agents of change.
Apparatus 22
“ART IS WORK” Voices of a Community, 2011
ongoing installation: 2 uniforms unfolded (artist version & curator version) and proposal for exchange in Cluj
 
 
 
ART IS WORK – Voices of a Community is a tool for calling into discussion the working dynamics from the art sphere in contemporary society, oftentimes defined by a precariousness that escapes sight, by exploitation and self-exploitation. The recognition and monetary pay for the work of artists and curators—or, more often than not, the lack of this recognition and its quantification—becomes the central theme in two sets of statement-uniforms to be used at openings, the most celebratory moment for artistic / curatorial work. In the frame of the exhibition, the Apparatus 22 uniforms and their activist ethos become the currency for developing a video archive of the community, and a pretext for dialogue. The trade-off is simple: in exchange for a uniform, those who enter this relationship have to answer one of the questions aimed at artistic work: *Why do you think art / curating is work? / *Why is contemporary art vital for society? / *Do you have a dream relating to / do you imagine new support structures for art? (maybe beyond money)
Single Image
Georgiana Dobre & Kjersti Vetterstad
BOOK OF CHANGE (preview), 2021 – ongoing set of scores (collaborative & participatory work)
print on A4 coloured paper, RO & EN
contributors in this iteration Jakub Jan Ceglarz, Georgiana Dobre, Pernille Mercury Lindstad, Koyote Millar, Kjersti Vetterstad, Synnøve Sizou G. Wetten.
“The Book of Change” invites visitors to dismantle heteronormative thinking models, to twist binary social codes and stereotypes and, foremost, to try out some of the proposals in order to relate, from queer perspectives, to both other people and to the own body. The work might thus function as direct action, as well as an experiment of thinking and empathy.
Single Image
Jasmina Al-Qaisi
LIMBA SEMNELOR DE ÎNTREBARE [The Language of Question Marks] , 2021
sound installation (textile, pillows, text, current version 53 min audio, instructions for future contributions)
Text, composition and voice: Jasmina Al-Qaisi
Performance, co-writing and voice: Raj Alexandru Udrea
Narrative contributions: Adi Șchiop, Apparatus 22, Brynjar Bandlien, Despina Maria Ilinca Iorga, Edith Lázár, Ioana Cotinghiu, Irina Bujor, Iris Ordean, Liviu Bulea, Manuel Pelmuș, Vasile Mureșan Murivale, Otilia Fiastru, Paula Dunker cu fundal muzical #Fluid, Raj Alexandru Udrea, Raluca Croitoru, Raluca Ilaria Demetrescu, Smaranda Ursuleanu, Ștefan Botez and several anonymous participants. Artwork ~ Triumf Amiria hybrid ~ Otilia Fiastru
 
 
Assuming the history of the term such as it was coined in the West (the programmatic ingraining / absorption of the notion in the queer community and, afterwards, the theories that brought forth diverse strategies of queering, of re-examining the gender binary), and inviting us to consider the way in which it was borrowed, as such, in Romanian (foremost in specialized literature and language), Jasmina’s endeavor operates a certain opening. In doing so, the lack of a proper correspondent for the term queer in Romanian is overturned, transformed and becomes the driving force for a participative process which could be able to reformulate the toolkit—so—necessary for queer perspectives and readings of manifold phenomena from the visual, social and political spheres.

TO CARVE A QUEER HOME

Like any well-drafted postscript, TO CARVE A QUEER HOME is an echo—necessary, precise—of the discursive construction behind TRIUMF AMIRIA: MUSEUM WORKINGS. In the
context of the exhibition, this selection of three recent publications works as an illustration of several possibilities of twisting and transforming print formats.
[left] KILOBASE BUCHAREST A-Z, 2021
Edited by Kilobase Bucharest Editura / Published by PUNCH
352 pag, 10.5 x 16 cm, EN
Contributions by: Irina Bujor, Serioja Bocsok, studioBASAR, Iuliana Dumitru, Ștefan Ghenciulescu, Kilobase Bucharest, Apparatus 22, Mihnea Mihalache-Fiastru, Ștefan Constantinescu, Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber, Gruia Bădescu, Ioana Ulmeanu, Decebal Scriba, Sillyconductor, Prosper Center, Geir Haraldseth, Jimmy Robert, Karol Radziszewski, Lea Rasovszky, Ștefan Botez, Simina Neagu, Bogdan Iancu, Andrei Mihail, Mihai Lukács, Mihai Mihalcea, Cosima Opârtan, Juergen Teller, Hans Leonard Krupp.

[right] ALEX BODEA – The man with a hole in his tie, 2020
Artist book
220 pag, B&W, EN
Poster ALEX BODEA - The man with a hole in his tie
At the crossroad between reportage, social commentary and visual art, Alex Bodea’s artist book The man with a hole in his tie is essentializing 100 urban scenes in Berlin through her trademark artistic methodology of extremely concise drawings and texts. Filtering these snippets of reality through her perspective as a queer immigrant artist, Alex creates a meta-story, a fiction that unpredictably links disparate experiences in time and space.
KILOBASE BUCHAREST A-Z is queer both in terms of format and content, in more or less obvious ways. As the most useful ~ useless ~ unexpected guide to the capital, the book describes Bucharest in the format of an alphabet~experimental dictionary: for each letter of the English alphabet, artists, writers, architects and researchers were invited to imagine a key term and develop a contribution, capturing together a polyphonic set of perspectives on the infinite facets of a city whose identity is almost impossible to grasp and define
TRIUMF AMIRIA MANIFESTO
[Exhibition view]
TRIUMF AMIRIA MANIFESTO reveals itself as an anti-manifesto: a short and fiery text is replaced by a mile-long text-program, extremely dense (fiery to the power of myria), a kind of flow consciousness of a queer community that tries to (self)define and analyze itself, in all its complexity—from traumas in recent history of not only queer communities to dreams and desires about what a museum of queer culture could be, from actions to dismantle the
reductionism of binary perspectives to thoughts about possible multiple queer futures. Incorporating a set of TRIUMF AMIRIA hybrids (icons emerging from the edge of better futures), the poster becomes, in turn, an anti-poster: because it can be consumed in different rhythms and ways, as an image and as a manifesto that requires dedication to be read and embraced.
 
The full manifesto can be read here