LAURA BIVOLARU

Writing (click for full text)

2022





Common Ground
Exhibition review, Revolv Collective

“Today we understand the self as a more porous, even soft entity, that constantly negotiates the relationship with its environment through all the senses and with the help of a myriad of ideas that diverge from the image of the Man of Reason. It is in this context that Antonia Attwood and Georgia Clemson have put together Common Ground, an exhibition at ArtLacuna in London that seeks to represent the invisible emotional world. Their works are rooted in photography, a medium historically connected to the desire of capturing life precisely as it unfolds before the eyes; however, by intervening in the source code of the images and by pushing the analogue process beyond its photographic indexicality, they imaginatively explore the fluctuating, permeable boundary between the privacy of the self and the open space in which it moves and encounters others.”










The Pulp of Memory - Darío Gil Cabanas Artist Feature, Archivo Platform

“The montage is a raw demonstration of 20th century life, where hardly any year passes without adding to the collection of photographic representations, showing two parallel transformations - that of the body, and that of photography, both changing and ultimately fading in their own way. In a way, this condensation is anxiety-inducing – life is preciously and terribly short if it can be boiled down to only a few pictures. Perhaps it is this realisation that provokes the artist to consider extending the understanding that images offer, to root them both in his grandfather’s own account and in historical sources. After all, the book starts with a reflection on how a family has memories buried deeply within neurons, which can also act as an invitation to ponder strategies to unearth and to decipher this inheritance.”






Leftover Stories for New Generations - Andrii Dostliev 
Artist Feature, Archivo Platform

“It is telling that the concept of `postmemory` was conceived by Marianne Hirsch in the early `90s to describe how the children of Holocaust survivors were relating to the unspeakable trauma inflicted on their parents. Hirsch herself was born after WWII, the child of a Jewish couple that fled Chernivtsi, a multicultural town that was, over the years, part of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire, Romania, the USSR, and now Ukraine. "Postmemory describes the relationship that the "generation after" bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before - to experiences they "remember" only by means of the stories, images, and behaviors among which they grew up. But these experiences were transmitted to them so deeply and affectively as to seem to constitute memories in their own right. Postmemory's connection to the past is thus actually mediated not by recall but by imaginative investment, projection, and creation.” [1] It is in this framework that Ukrainian artist Andrii Dostliev has developed a practice that primarily deals with issues around Ukrainian identity and the recent history of the region.”





Gabby Laurent - Falling
Photobook Review, C4 Journal

“In fact, the artist falls down just as much as within herself. Her father’s passing, although invisible in the book, deeply affected her sense of control and balance and acted as a catalyst for the work. The act of falling becomes, then, a rehearsal of loss through which, gradually, grief can be processed. Letting go turns into a compulsion that supports the body’s coping and subsequent healing, one that favours the lesser source of pain. Counterintuitively, falling hurts less than standing up alert and aware, and self-preservation requires betraying instincts, overriding proprioception. From time to time, close-ups of the moving figure create the illusion of floating, seemingly entrapping it in a space where the laws of physics are temporarily suspended, like an episode of sleep paralysis. In one photograph that captures Laurent on the pavement, motion is entirely absent, her body appearing lifeless. However, the last pictures show the now pregnant artist coming back on two feet and starting to run. They act both as a confirmation of vitality and as a portal to a different state of being. Death becomes intertwined with life and womanhood with motherhood, while the body regains its composure.”






2021



Hang Ten (with Tom Medwell, Ning Zhou, Gülce Tulçalı and Yushi Li)
Interview, Revolv Collective

“L:     How did you come up with the concept for the exhibition?

T:      The initial idea was very simple. There is a game called Consequences, or Exquisite Corpse, invented by André Breton, where people take turns to write a line and then fold the paper before passing it to the next person, and I wondered how this might be possible with a camera. Medium format film lends itself quite well to this - with 6x7 negatives you get ten shots on a roll, a good number for a small show. But then I realised that the production of this roll could also function as a work of art - both as the performance of creation, and also as a testament to the wildly diverse possibilities of the medium. (...) There was also a sort of joy for me in seeing how artists I greatly admire create their work, as well as a slightly malicious glee in putting them on the spot with just one shot.”
        


















Anton Roland Laub - Last Christmas (of Ceaușescu)
Photobook Review, C4 Journal

“Owning a communication apparatus, such as a typewriter or a photocopier, was allowed the day after Ceaușescu’s death. There was no purge of government officials, however, and those who occupied positions of power during Ceaușescu’s regime found their way back to public life. The identity of those who fired on civilians on the days following Ceaușescu’s capture is still concealed today. This significant historical moment, which had enormous symbolic potential for the rebirth of a nation, has been deliberately obscured. Laub’s reference to Nosferatu alludes to the vampirical nature of power, both in its parasitic feeding off the masses and its concealed machinations. Nonetheless, vampires are incompatible with light and Nosferatu meets his end at dawn. Laub’s images conjure up symbolic spaces of power, not to reveal anything secret, not to make any historical statement, but rather to activate a gaze of agency. In a transparent, democratic society, where citizens may look anywhere, the eye needs training to uncover wrongdoing. ‘Last Christmas’ is an exercise in focusing attention where it matters, not on historical spectacle, but where power resides today, hidden in plain sight.”