Sabot gallery owner check-points her vision in C-Print

Added on by Alex Mirutziu.

_________With art spaces across Europe currently showcasing Romanian art and with a bunch of young artists, many of which are based in the city of Cluj-Napoca, are gaining notoriety internationally, C-print had a talk with Daria Dumitrescu, founder and director of Galeria Sabot, about running a gallery anything but conventionally under the keynotes of abstraction, collision and incongruence.


C-P: Galeria Sabot has a very interesting statement on its website which I'm interpreting as an ambition to do things differently, beyond the traditional practices of a contemporary art gallery. In your words, how you describe the focus of the gallery?

D.D: Out of focus, divergent, and highly observant. Good peripheral vision and a third eye for overviews. Both thesis and antithesis... The product of a self-generated intellectual controversy. In one word, I would describe it as non-linear.

C.P: The gallery is housed inside an old factory, The Paintbrush Factory, turned collective space for contemporary art alongside a few other galleries such as the previously mentioned Plan B, as well as other art initiatives and numerous artist studios. I'm thinking it must be quite an exciting enivornment to be operating a gallery in. Could you tell us a bit more about the premises.

D.D: We found this rundown factory at the beginning of 2009. I needed a place for Sabot, and two artists (Ciprian Mureșan and Radu Comșa) were in search of studio spaces. After deciding to rent half of the second floor of this former factory, we teamed up for renovation. The most relevant part of the artistic community in Cluj joined us by the end of the same year – and this turned the whole thing into an exciting venture. Today I still believe this is the right place to run a gallery in Cluj.

C-P: You are currently exhibiting Alex Mirutziu with a show titled "Each thought's an instant ruin with a new disease". I read somewhere that Mirutziu has been labeled "l'énfant terrible of his generation". Could you tell us a about this current exhibition and what earns him this label?

D.D: Mirutziu was my first choice for Sabot. A brilliant, flamboyant mind, juggling an overdressed aesthetic and an exquisite imagery. At the beginning of his career, he was oscillating between being critically queer, performing gender, and questioning the power systems and their bearing on ideology, language, and discourse. Not difficult to imagine that the Romanian scene was not prepared to embrace this approach… And I’m wondering if things seem easier now, when Mirutziu pushed his long-term engagement with performance and media critical installations even further: into the Internet of things, high-end technology, post-language, and beyond. His current show is a mise-en-scène based on the artist’s philosophical notations. An artist book elaborating on his object-oriented research will be launched at the exhibition's finissage – compulsory reading for any ‘label designer’ around!