Gerganga Todorova, Curator and Art Historian, Berlin
“The world in which we live is so diverse. You really can’t say we had no choice.” says Anca Munteanu Rimnic while walking back and forth through the exhibition space in her tap shoes. How do art works function in their different dimensions and relations? How do they set themselves apart from others, as well as from the exhibition space? These circular movements inscribe themselves into the presentation of the works.
In Munteanu Rimnic’s work motives and media differ from each other remarkably. They connect as if following a secret logic, regardless of typical attributions concerning their respective sources. Photography, video and sound works, various objects—found or produced by the artist—form an open, instable system. Some works appear to be variable, their correlations negotiable, others are combined to form new constellations and works on site.
Born in Romania and raised in Germany, Anca Munteanu Rimnic investigates the fluid entity that is identity. She is not merely searching for traces, but rather develops new ideas that accumulate unlocatability and strangeness. Identity and exhibition–both being mutable, ambivalent structures–are being used and questioned less in the sense of an artistic productivity, but rather in favor of a playful, conceptual approach. Although the category of playfulness is terminologically problematic, spawned by the critique of authenticity in the last decades, it describes Munteanu Rimnic’s intuitive accumulation of objects quite well. In immediate, daily forms and situations she finds allegorical or visual references and develops them further. Many things can be of interest: blocks of salt, old carpets, stitchery, leather whips, a dancing body, the clacking noise of tap shoes, scattered millstones. Presented next to carefully composed photography, one could argue that these are still lives of sensitivities, but they have a tangible presence that exceeds description. Focusing on the curiosities and the independent existences of the objects, the view suggests an animistic reading.
Darren Bader, Artist and Curator, New York
There remains an unofficial proscription on touch. No, don’t touch: touch has no acuity, helps discern the optima of the other senses by its own failure, touch leads nowhere Touch reproduces itself behind the mind, just as sight finds its unique mirror in the cerebral court. Touch nullifies, and births on the other side. Touch is sexuality. Touch is pre-sociality, or sociality itself. Touch is evidentally not-sexual, because sexual seems to have its own category. Touch remains the undefined, the ultraimmediate that immediacy can never qualify since it is also a temporal notion. Touch erases all that, or razes it, or other holy verbs. Touch is Shiva the destroyer, and inversely is combated as Shiva the annoyer, the gadfly of what the world would/could really want. But, extreme light is just a visible as due obscurities.
As the light will whirl continuing whirl, Anca Munteanu will touch at all costs. The violence of the motion of light and object must come to something, since it is the quintessentially unreliable map. The window onto the world is omnifreckled in odd, onerous, and intractabledesigns. BUT,Intheheatsofloveandinspirationthedesignarisesas legible. BUT, that fugitive legibility and its romantic vise on art (er, aesthetics) are utterly, fantastically, simultaneously (not immediately!) present and manipulable (the Latin ‘hand’ grounds this word –I somehow imagine Anca created the verb “to manipulate” without knowing that it already exists). It is a weird, coruscating, and nervous task. Divine anxiety: “the world is mine but it is not”. In the Munteanan case, one allays anxiety by use of touch. Curiosity in regard can only be secured through sudden touch. With the touch of the inveterate, compulsive healer, the innate salve, even the smotherer (which in the Munteanan case somehow hopes to lead to laughter).
Hence smother and laughter alight upon the workshop. Waiting for that thoughtful catacylsim where the hand divines its needs in advance of its needing too, and well after its wanting too. Anca Munteanu places her hands at the pit of every piece, and then places the piece. She does not use her hands to form anything. She uses her hands to decide, never to make. It is quite common for eyes to have hands, but I believe it less common for hands to have eyes. If Anca Munteanu were to work in clay, nothing would ever happen! Maybe a brain in each hand too, like that Steve Martin movie “The Man With Two Brains In His Hands”.
I seem to remember that Heidegger makes it a point to link thinking, thanking and memory together etymologically, so that he can make the outrageous injustice that befalls the Idea just again, and forever again. Anca Munteanu says thank you with her art, for she thinks with it. But, that memory should continue through the display of an artwork is completely coincidental. There is always the path of the hand through the world: the hand that helps the world by taking back the world; it is only through facets of touch that we are not artists, and we suddenly vacate our place as homo faber. As the artwork sails to remote shores of some edifice, the lilt and huff of touch remains unmoved and no one remembers it. Anca Munteanu tries to remember touch. In the fear, joy and fury of an artist, the world is refused its drift. What is impassible is taken in hand and nurtured.
Perhaps it’s because I held her hand in my own that I can’t but address the profundity of touch in Anca’s work. I’ve held enough hands to know that hands are different. And so I scream (giggle loudly maybe) that touch itself chooses to define and not-know the world of order, even if it is the progenitor of all games. Give Anca Munteanu an assignment and she will heal the world with no remorse.