Doubling “Poiesis” by “Praxis”

    I will refer to the possibility of approaching a phenomenon from different perspectives and, from this point of view, to how we can look at “The Biennial” from the vantage point of those who helped implementing it and made possible both curatorial and artistic discourses: 2META group.
    It seems worth mentioning that what 2META group develops in this project – “The Biennial” – is not related only to a narcissistic vision of their own art (considering the self-reflexivity, self-representation, self-referentiality that is involved in a mirror vision).
    We also need to point out, when it comes to “The Biennial”, the stance already known as ARTIVISM – an activism in artistic and social practice as well, leaving the sphere of the personal subjective because it is well known that “Personal Is Political” and “The Biennial” reveals a contextual art, regarded as social practice.
    Let us recall the double meaning of the topics of the Biennials launched by the 2META group or their guests, which almost always oscillate between the aesthetic and socio-political. “Re-construction” [1] certainly brings to mind the socio-political reconstruction after 1989, but also the period that follows the “deconstruction”, “on a formal and conceptual level” in contemporary arts – as Ami Barak, the exhibition curator mentions.
    “The Violence of the Image/The Image of violence” [2] makes us think of representation, as well as image in the visual arts, but also of the stereotypes labeling Balkan countries (that reference to more blood than honey, so often used to designate not only a geographical space, but also a mental one). [3]
    And “Police the Police” [4], which questions surveillance, as well as sousveillance, constant themes for the 2META group that can be found in the interactive video projects: “I’ve Seen Someone that Wasn’t There” and “Sousveillance” also have a double meaning, one artistic, and the other socio-political (to mention only some of the themes of “The Biennial” project).
    By involving a large number of artists, cultural operators, critics and art historians, “The Biennial” project creates a double meaning, often practiced by the group. We are witnessing both a project of contextual art, and a Biennial in every sense of the word.
    Not only to trigger self-awareness – related to artistic self-referentiality – but also to be active in social practice, doubling the “poiesis” by “praxis” [5] (G. Agamben), in an attempt to create contexts where “art is always somewhere else” – this would be the goal of 2META group, when talking about The Biennial of Young Artists.
    Raluca-Elena Doroftei
    art historian, curator

    [1] Re-construction, 3rd edition of The Biennial of Young Artists, Bucharest, 2008.

    [2] The Violence of the Image/The Image of violence, 1st edition, 2004.

    [3] The concept belongs to 2META group, curators of the 1st edition.

    [4] Police the Police, 4th edition of The Biennial of Young Artists, 2010.

    [5] G. Agamben, “Poiesis and Praxis”, in The Man Without Content, Stanford University Press, 1999.