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ART ENCOUNTERS    |    Appearance & Essence    |    3-31 OCTOBER 2015    TIMISOARA | ARAD

Vlad Olariu (artist)

Dealing mainly with the mediums of sculpture and installation, my work is constructed around the idea of monumentality and heroism. It alternates between heroism and anti-heroism, monument and anti-monument, masterpiece and anti-masterpiece by questioning its political, historical, social or individual meanings.

Throughout its history, a particular feature of sculpture was that it celebrated permanence. Even since ancient times, sculpture went hand in hand with the tradition of funerary monuments, and the cult of ancestors, and thereafter it celebrated prominent figures: pharaohs, commanders, kings, but lately also the faceless heroes (soldiers) of the two World Wars. Its celebratory purpose meant that it also had to be sturdy and even, ideally, perennial. Thus the mediums of choice were the seemingly indestructible materials such as marble, stone, bronze, etc... They aspire towards two different goals: forever reminding us of the past, while at the same time ever challenging the future. And this brings me to my own challenge, of living and working in a time where sculpture is (literally) removed from its pedestal. There is no longer any real interest, or time, for that matter to perpetuate glorious and everlasting monuments. We may be experiencing the decline of heroes, of strong symbolical figures that mold the world.

So in this world of half-gestures, the objects I create are mostly made out of ignoble materials: contemporary prefabs used in the industry of real estates, the cheap and easy to process EPS foam, polyurethane, bitumen, cement, cellular concrete, drywall, plywood, etc.
And as if, adding insult to injury, the perennial look is given by means that imitate the historical medium of stone, marble, metal.... This suggests an anti-heroic art that can become even parodistic.

My works are about being lost in time, adrift in history. They are old, foggy episodes of human memory that don't move us anymore. The heroes of some are the villains of others: heroism and anti-heroism mix together.
14.10.2015, Mansarda Gallery
12:00 – 13:00 Talk:
Vlad Olariu - Great Heroes, Little Humans



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