Adelina Ivan Intervenții pe șervete de masă, seria 1 (from Romanian: Interventions on tea towels, series 1), 2022
The Real Line
Arantxa Etcheverria, Adelina Ivan and Alina Popa
17 September – 11 December 2022
Gallery One
Curator: Adriana Tranca
 
 

The Real Line is an exhibition about movement and moving. It is about the point and the line and all the gestures in between. It brings together Bucharest-based artists Arantxa Etcheverria, Adelina Ivan and Alina Popa (1982 - 2019) working with geometry and its extensions in gender inequality and our society’s constructs in what is known as a women’s place.

The idiosyncrasy of this proposition comes from the direct confrontation of the apparently opposing concepts of feminisms and domesticity in a critical attempt to investigate the possibility of one reinforcing the other. Can domesticity be a site of transformative feminist discourse and praxis? Can geometry, a traditionally male dominated discipline, be an agent for this transformation?
The Real Line is an exhibition about movement and moving. It is about the point and the line and all the gestures in between.

In order to construct a drawing, one needs to start with a point, and then another point, link them, thus resulting in a line, a connection. In order to move, one needs to start from a position, and then another position, link them, thus resulting in a motion, a connection.

Within Euclidean geometry, a real line is a notional line in which every real number is conceived of as represented by a point in an orderly, sequential manner; a real number is a number that is not imaginary, it’s any number that represents an amount of something, such as a weight, a volume, a distance. For over two thousand years, the adjective "Euclidean" was unnecessary because no other sort of geometry had been conceived. Since the 19th century, it was no longer taken for granted that Euclidean geometry describes physical space. Elliptic geometry and hyperbolic geometry contested the norms of traditional Euclidean language and further opened the field. The evolution of geometry (and mathematics in general, is highly dominated by men’s names, although women mathematicians have contributed to its development, starting with Hypatia (b. 370 AD), to Sophie Germain (b. 1776) or Dorothy Vaughn (b. 1910), the first African American NASA supervisor and so on. As in too many areas, women have been erased from history.

The Real Line brings together Arantxa Etcheverria, Adelina Ivan and Alina Popa (1982 - 2019), three artists that, at a first reflection, are strongly connected by geometry and geometrical shapes and particularly by their interest in the point and the line, what they conceptually represent as well as how they materially manifest/incarnate. On a second reading, speculating on the fact that all three artists are female plus that their practices are intimate modes of self reflection, the exhibition proposes considering the exhibited artworks as manifestations of domesticity, of spaces created by connections (between dots, lines, planes, thoughts, movements). The idiosyncrasy of this proposition comes from the direct confrontation of the apparently opposing concepts of feminisms and domesticity in a critical attempt to investigate the possibility of one reinforcing the other. Can domesticity be a site of transformative feminist discourse and praxis? Can geometry, a traditionally male dominated discipline, be an agent for this transformation?

Domesticity is housekeeping, hidden work, more often than not unpaid, it’s the maintenance of the private familial space, it is routine work aimed at the creation of a safe and comfortable environment for the loved ones, it is labour of love. Traditionally this role has been ascribed to women who have been confined exclusively to perform under the all-knowing domination of men. Over the years, the domestic has gained resolute political agency, “women’s personal space” and its relation to the masculine figure has been decomposed and analysed, thus changing the cultural narrative, proposing new ethics of existence. Artistic practices and aesthetic and conceptual proposals have long challenged these social codes and continue to do so.

The three female artists are non-collinear, yet connected by the point and the line, thus determining a plane, a level of existence and practice, extending infinitely.

 
About Arantxa Etcheverria
(b. 1975, France; lives and works in Bucharest)
Arantxa Etcheverria studied Visual Arts at Villa Arson in Nice and Scenography at the National Theatre of Strasbourg, France. Starting in 2013 Arantxa became interested in the modernist architecture of her own studio located in a building designed by Marcel Janco, the co-founder of Dadaism. Whether it’s an object, an installation or moving images, Arantxa’s works are the result of a meticulous analysis of the geometry of space.
 
She works on large scale panels where she reiterates patterns of window protecting grids found while strolling the streets of Bucharest, bringing the outside inside, rethinking the line between the two realms. The process, consisting of drawing, cutting, sticking, painting, is par excellence defined by repetitive gestures, which Arantxa herself calls “a form of contemporary weaving”. The juxtaposition of tapestry production, a traditionally feminine domestic activity, and elaborate geometrical networks creation, a discipline generally ascribed to men, brings forward the question of what is the domestic and where does it start/end?
 
Arantxa has exhibited at The National Contemporary Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania, Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara, Romania, Museo di Roma, Italy.
 
About Adelina Ivan
(b. 1971, Romania; lives and works in Bucharest)
Adelina Ivan works with different media, from video to textile installations and drawing, examining non-hierarchical structures and geometries in a quest for the composition and disintegration of matter, where folding and unfolding is a sequence of the same horizontal movement. The defeasance of the action through linearity and horizontality generates the idea of equality, lack of power and discharge of hierarchical structures. Her practice is grounded in a social and cultural critique of the conventions that have distorted an otherwise all-encompassing realm of possibilities of enacting the structures of power. Force and frailty are balanced in a display of rhythmicity and repetitive movement, operating within the process of constructing and deconstructing from perspectives that include hierarchy and various structures of ordering, grading and ranking, notions related to margin and marginality.
 
She studied at the Arts University in Bucharest and exhibited at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature Paris, MNAC Bucharest, Media Art Festival Arad, Artissima Torino, Spinnerei Leipzig, Kunsthalle Bega, tranzit .ro / bucurești, Tokio Art Screening Festival, Litost Gallery Prague, Anca Poterașu Gallery Bucharest, Jean-Claude Mayer Gallery Frankfurt, MARe Museum of Recent Art Bucharest, Contextile Biennial Guimarães, Black and White Biennial Satu Mare Museum of Art, ODD Bucharest, Design Biennale Istanbul.
 
About Alina Popa
(b. 1982, Romania; d. 2019, Austria)
Alina’s practice navigates between contemporary dance and visual arts, the black box and the white cube, philosophy and text. Together with Irina Gheorghe, she was the co-founder of the Bureau of Melodramatic Research (BMR) where they researched the ways in which emotion is gendered and feminised, how affects are foundational to neoliberalism, and created work that combines real subjects with fictional ones.
 
Alina has shown or performed internationally: MUMOK, Vienna; DEPO, Istanbul; and Martin Gropius Bau, Berlin.
* In 2019 Alina Popa died (she was thirty six years old). We started talking about The Real Line in 2017 when she was already ill and she was planning a trip to Brazil. She said she was looking forward to healing herself with lines and points and spheres and abstract in general, referencing Brasília’s modernism. Alina was keen to see this exhibition happen and interested to be juxtaposed with the practices of Adelina and Arantxa, which she admired. - Adriana Tranca, Curator


The Real Line Production Team
Curator Adriana Tranca
Assistant Curators Helen Turner and Katharina Worf
Production Assistant Lea Moheit
Digital and Programme Coordinator Katherine Thomson
Press and PR Officer Nicola Jeffs
Graphic Design Lorenz Klingebiel
 
The Real Line is kindly supported by The Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin.