Mircea Cantor: Your Ruins Are My Flag
and by appointment
In the artist’s imagination, poetic suggestions, tradition and spirituality coexist, generating evocative and metaphorical artworks that examine contemporary society with both a critical eye and optimistic viewpoint. Aware of the multiple meanings that words and objects can contain, Cantor playfully combines materials, media and languages to produce pungent works where definitions and categories are constantly subverted. Suspended between profound formal and aesthetic research and their critical value, his works merge simple symbols and gestures to convey universal messages and propose parallel readings.
With this seemingly contradictory approach of cynicism and playfulness, the artist digs into the depths of contemporary history, revealing its inner contradictions. His language manipulates the different contexts of meaning, questioning boundaries, roles, and canons, and projecting the spectator into a dimension where the obvious is never taken for granted but has the power to change our perception of reality.
In Your Ruins Are My Flag a large body of new works specifically created for the show will be presented for the first time. As the title suggests, the exhibition focuses on a reflection on the concept of loss, in its myriad of multiple meanings: from heritage to tradition, the fragility of political and social equilibrium, to loss as a negation of freedom, innocence and security.
The materials that make up the artworks intertwine themselves in a vital and ambivalent relationship: some are used by the artist for the first time in his career (such as soap and the thermal camera), while adding additional elements to their interpretation. In this way, soap, far from being a mere substance that shapes the work, also recalls the act of washing away and eventual erasure of the past, of history, and its legacy. The operation is enriched with further suggestions when we discover that the soap used was produced following the ancient tradition of the city of Aleppo, a protagonist in some the saddest chronicles of today. The fragility of modern times is the backdrop of an exhibition, which challenges ideologies, conflicts and new threats that move the reins of contemporary history, but in a sublimated, poetic fashion.
Mircea Cantor was born in 1977 in Oradea, Romania; as he likes to say: “he lives and works in the world”. His most recent international solo shows include: The invisible party of the infinite, Galerie de l’atelier Brancusi Georges Pompidou, Paris, 2017; SOLO SHOW – Part I and Part II, Fondation Francès, Senlis, France, 2016; 5775, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv, 2015; Mircea Cantor: Collected Works, Rennie Collection at Wing Sang, Vancouver, 2014; Mircea Cantor: QED, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, 2013; Mircea Cantor, Marcel Duchamp Prize 2011, Center Pompidou, Paris, 2012; Sic Transit Gloria Mundi, MACRO, Rome, 2012.