Manuel Pelmuș: I’m just a stone – A Luxury That We Can’t Afford (Wisdom of the Earth) – ongoing action

Author: Manuel Pelmuș
With: Cristina Toma, Maria F. Scaroni
Production: WASP Studios
Cultural project co-financed by: Romanian Cultural Institute, The Administration of the National Cultural Fund, Romania
Project commissioned by Europalia Arts Festival, curator Andreea Căpitănescu, for Brancusi: Sublimation of Form exhibition, at BOZAR, Brussels
Partners: National Geology Museum – Bucharest and Craiova Art Museum

A Luxury That We Can’t Afford (Wisdom of the Earth) starts from a less-known sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, Sculpture For the Blind (1920), along with an “immaterial” version of Wisdom of the Earth (1907). The artistic project proposes another type of relation to history, collective memory and to the exhibition space. A constantly moving and transforming history that allows, at the same time, a multitude of perspectives.

In a dark room, the “immaterial” version of the Wisdom of the Earth sculpture, built from text, will come to life for several hours, updating and entering into dialogue with the gesture of Constantin Brancusi from 1920. The text is a collage consisting of comments made over time, from 1910 to the present, by the public and critics, often contradictory about the sculpture.

Wisdom of the Earth responds and speaks “back”. Using Sculpture for the Blind dramaturgy, even if we don’t see it, we will have to listen to what it has to say and how it wants to rewrite history. A sculpture you don’t see, but you listen to.

The project is supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute, within the Europalia Festival, and co-financed by AFCN – The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. Following the premiere in Romania, the art work will be presented in a European tour which will start in Brussels, at the Centre for Fine Arts Brussels – BOZAR, on the occasion of Brancusi: Sublimation of Form exhibition, organized within Europalia Art Festival, 2019.

Manuel Pelmuș (b. 1974, Bucharest) lives and works in Oslo and Bucharest. He is one of the most influential artists of the “new performance”, being interested in the last decade to reimagine the role of performance in the context of visual arts. In recent years, his projects have been presented at Para Site, Hong Kong (2017 – 2018), Tate Modern, London and Tate Liverpool (2016); Ludwig Museum, Cologne (2016); Off-Biennale Budapest (2015 and 2017); Kyiv Biennale (2015); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); Para Site, Hong Kong (2014); The Venice Biennale (2013), among others. In 2012, he was awarded the Berlin Art Prize for performance arts and the prize for excellence from the National Dance Center of Bucharest in 2014.

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