The Seductiveness of the Interval | Renaissance Society | Galleries | Chicago Reader

The Seductiveness of the Interval Free All Ages The Short List (Theater) Recommended Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: May 2-June 27 2010

Romania's StudioBASAR has built a four-room structure inside the art gallery at Hyde Park's Renaissance Society. With its unadorned, windowless walls, it ends up looking remarkably like . . . an art gallery. In her installation, Exuberentia Suspended, meanwhile, Andrea Faciu has gone to the trouble of creating a garden atop the structure when there's a lovely Chicago spring outside. A sense of distance traversed and ingenuity and effort expended just to end up with what's already there crops up again and again throughout this all-Romanian show, originally produced for the 2009 Venice Biennale. Stefan Constantinescu's video documentary, Passenger, tells the story of a group of Chilean political refugees who fled to Romania only to discover that a rightist dictatorship and a leftist one aren't all that different. And another video, Ciprian Muresan's Dog Luv, begins with dimly lit dog puppets lamenting their oppression and ends with them torturing one another while making copious references to Abu Ghraib. The videos conflate not merely old and new bosses but everywhere and everywhere. Change is a dream; the reality is that you're always returning to the same spot, and the interval is seductive because it doesn't really exist. Moral progress from communist cruelty to capitalist justice, for instance, is all the more desired because it's unachievable. Or, then again, maybe the show is saying that recursion is itself the interval, its denial of change the seduction. --Noah Berlatsky

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