Play Dice Would Be Nice, installation view at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris
Courtesy of Sabot, Cluj (Romania)

Play Dice Would Be Nice:
Sabot, Cluj at
Gaudel de Stampa, Paris

May 28 2012
4:14 PM

The sabot (clog) is an anarchist symbol. It is said that factory workers used to use it to jam their machines when they wanted to stop production. But the wooden shoe is also ideal for putting one’s foot in the door – that of the art world, as it happens. SABOT, half run-space, half commercial gallery based in Cluj-Napoca, the regional capital of Transylvania, plays this role. For the last ten years, thanks to its cross-border location, this city has become a center of Romania’s cultural renewal.
SABOT is exhibiting in Paris at the moment, at the Gaudel de Stampa gallery. Starting with Florin Maxa (b. 1943), a Cluj minimalist recently rediscovered, is the senior participant in this exhibition. As its title suggests, the exhibition has been conceived as a game of dice. Each artist is one of the conceptual sides of the project, labelled humorously on the flyer (“crafty aesthetics,” “synthesis and simultaneism”, etc.). It is probaby to parody the absurdity of circular dynamic of trends in contemporary art. This is why the  display somehow looks like a senseless device – just like Oscar Wilde’s quote which serves as introduction: “A work of art is useless as a flower is useless.” A pretext in fact to discover, among others, Radu Comsa and his painted scenographies, Mihut Boscu’s installations (also on show at the Palais de Tokyo’s Triennale) or the American artist Aline Cautis’ conceptual strategies.
This is proof that there exists in Romania a dynamic scene that avoids the temptation to restore order and the recycling through pop commercialism of symbols from the communist era. (Gallien Dejean)

Until June 8th at Gaudel de Stampa, Paris.