Matei Bejenaru

21-27 octombrie 2022
Aparte Gallery , UNAGE Iași

Curator: Cristian Nae
Project realized with the support of ICMA from UNAGE Iași

“Projection” presents the results of the last stage of the long-term research project focused on the photographic environment, initiated by Matei Bejenaru in 2018 and previously materialized through the exhibitions Diapozitiv (Switchlab, Bucharest, 2020) and Print (Artep, Iași, 2021). As in previous exhibitions, the artist’s attention is mainly focused on the manner of representation and less on the subject of the representation. Likewise, he explores the photographic language, as well as the ways of looking at the photographic image determined by the photographic device. But, this time, the cultural history of projection as an optical device is evoked. This history is associated with the progress of physics in early European modernity, as well as with the Enlightenment as a cultural period dominated by the ideal of scientific rationality – features that the artist considers to be endangered today, under the spell of mysticism and the irrational.

For this exhibition, Matei Bejenaru built a multi-layered and bicephalic device of aesthetic reception, in which the photomontage is obtained by blocking and overlapping the rays of light generated by the slide-projector. The postmodern quotes are accompanied by a series of examples of photographic genres in which projection often becomes not only the vehicle of representation, but also its subject. The artist’s workshop – another important topos of the exhibition – metaphorically becomes the geometric place of experiment and introspection, the point of convergence of the photographed subjects and the document of a recent period in his own creation. In an indirect way, the series of slides dedicated to the photographic studio thus becomes a subtle and sober self-portrait of the artist. (Cristian Nae)