Infra-Noir: anatomies of desire, metamorphoses of the image

Art Encounters Foundation in Timișoara presents Infra-Noir: anatomies of desire, metamorphoses of the image, an exhibition focusing on Romanian Surrealism, organised in collaboration with Centre Pompidou Paris. Bringing together works from the collections of Centre Pompidou Paris, as well as from private collections, Infra-Noir will include names such as Victor Brauner, Jacques Hérold or Benjamin Fondane.

Curated by Mica Gherghescu, the exhibition revolves around the Infra-Noir group and its members, Ghérasim Luca, Gellu Naum, Paul Păun, D. Trost and Virgil Teodorescu. Between 1945 and 1947, through their activity in Bucharest, Romania, the five artists assimilated and built upon the international Surrealist inheritance, creating a series of profoundly experimental artworks and publications that drew the attention of important Surrealist personalities, among whom André Breton.

Infra-Noir will also highlight key moments in the history of Romanian Surrealism by exploring pivotal works in the history of the movement. At the same time, it will examine the nuances and eclecticism that resulted from the hybrid import of Surrealism grafted on the local artistic ecosystem. The exhibition will delve into the technical diversity of artistic practices, presenting cadavres exquis, talisman drawings, cubomanieslovajes, vaporisations, striages, photographic cut-ups, photo albums, and subverted images, as well as avant-garde publications. Within the framework of the show, the Foundation will launch the second issue of Infra-Noir, a magazine-like publication inspired by the themes approached throughout the exhibition. 

Curator Mica Gherghescu says: “With a major overview from the surrealist image production and with a contextual approach inscribing global circulations in local histories, the exhibition will come back at cataclysmic encounters in the Romanian artistic avant-garde milieu and notably through exemplary works from the Centre Pompidou’s collections as well as from private collections from Romania. It will thus become an incubator for, in Ghérasim Luca’s words, ‘latent powers understood as possibilities.’ ”

Diana Marincu, Artistic Director of Art Encounters Foundation, says: “The exhibition Infra-Noir builds upon the mission of Art Encounters Foundation to establish institutional networks and to support relevant historical research, which is carried out through exhibition-making and through our publishing program. The collection of Centre Pompidou is an important and rich resource, and we are very proud to be able to bring a part of it to Timișoara, to showcase it to local audiences, and to develop a strong cultural mediation program around it.”

Infra-Noir: Anatomies of desire, metamorphoses of the image

Artists: Aurel Bauh, Théodore Brauner, Victor Brauner, André Breton, Jean David, Benjamin Fondane, Jacques Hérold, Ghérasim Luca, Gellu Naum, Constantin Nisipeanu, Paul Păun, Hedda Sterne, Virgil Teodorescu, D. Trost

Curator: Mica Gherghescu

Dates: 12 November 2021 – 3 January 2022

Exhibition opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday, 12 PM to 6 PM

Location: Art Encounters Foundation, 46C Take Ionescu Blvd., Timișoara, 300 124

Infra-Noir is organised by Art Encounters Foundation in collaboration with Centre Pompidou Paris.

Co-financers: The Timișoara City Hall, The Timișoara Local Council

Sponsor of permanent programme: Banca Transilvania

With the support of: The Timișoara National Art Museum

Media partners: Radio România Cultural, RFI România, Radio Guerrilla, TVR Timișoara, Observator Cultural, Revista Arta, Zeppelin, The Institute, Modernism, Propagarta, StudentFest 

Sponsors: Thesaurus Wines, illy, Melbo Instal, Agasi 

The exhibition is part of MAP – Mentoring, Artists, Partnerships, a cultural programme organised with the support of the Timișoara City Hall and the Timișoara Local Council.