ION GRIGORESCU: BUCUREȘTI / BUCHAREST. Alina Serban (Ed.). Pplus4 Association

Posted in art, Artist Book, politics on October 6th, 2021 by v r
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The publication offers a foray into the experimental photographic and filmic practice of Ion Grigorescu, arching over a period between 1964 and 1994, following the particular way in which the city of Bucharest is approached by the artist.

Although Bucharest is not seen as an independent subject, it still remains present in the background, going through the extremely varied stages of Grigorescu’s work. The publication BUCHAREST thus reveals the artist’s commitment to a way of working that we can associate with the phenomenon of “amateur politics”. Present in the former Yugoslavia (in amateur film clubs), in Poland (Lodz experimental film school), in Hungary (Balázs Béla studio), but also in other countries, the phenomenon of “amateur politics”, recognizable in experimental film and photography, reflects the special interest of artists for the urban space that has become the subject of artistic research.

In the case of Ion Grigorescu, his non-normative work system advances a type of image construction that rejects linearity, the narrative, preferring to record the episodic, the transient, the poetic, to render the most banal act, the urban ruin. Photography and film thus become research tools of everyday life, of brutal or, on the contrary, imperceptible transformations of urban reality, towards which Grigorescu assumes a position.

Ion Grigorescu’s Bucharest is a Bucharest lived and recorded subjectively, often dual (day and night), captured either by chance in the artist’s daily journey, or reimagined and rewritten by his dreams noted in the diary. It is a Bucharest that is gradually revealing itself, with its problems, with its limits, with its ruralized spaces on the edge of the prefabricated housing neighborhoods, a Bucharest of the gross remodeling after 1990.

The particular way of looking and subjective traversing the city by Ion Grigorescu is analyzed by the texts of art and architecture historians Juliana Maxim, Carmen Popescu, Alina Șerban. At the same time, the book includes a selection of texts from the artist’s journals that accompany the publication’s sections.

P + 4 Publications is a small publishing program founded in Bucharest. Dedicated to contemporary Romanian photography, art and architecture, the program explores the book environment as a meeting point between theoretical research, graphic design experiment and ideas and topics addressed by artists in their practice. The program was supported between 2013–2021 by the PEPLUSPATRU Association, and since 2021 it has been developed and administered by the Institute of the Present.

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