Mircea Nicolae at – Artforum Worldwide

Organized by the Bucharest-based curatorial initiative Salonul de proiecte, “Small Issues, Valuable Issues” delivers a loving ode to the late artist Ionuț Cioană (1980–2020), who practiced beneath the nom de plume Mircea Nicolae, a mixture of the names of two of his favourite writers: Mircea Eliade and Nicolae Labiș. In Timișoara’s barely derelict former garrison, A4-size sheets flank the partitions of each exhibition room. Every accommodates a title, an outline, and not less than one colour picture, elements of Nicolae’s long-running physique of weblog entries, 100, 2007–10. The images vary from set up pictures of Nicolae’s works, to a photograph of a rubbish can in a public park with thick white cursive studying “un câine” (a canine), to what the artist describes as reminiscences of his girlfriends previous, corresponding to a single strawberry in a plastic bag and the documentation of a creating pores and skin mycosis.

In his works, Nicolae often departed from straight details. The fifty-five-minute movie Romanian Kiosk Firm, 2010, takes occasional liberties because it narrates the muddled historical past of the artist’s household enterprise setting up kiosks. Included anecdotes contact on his father’s alcoholism and his mom’s love for fancy high-heels, set in opposition to an off-the-cuff stock of Bucharest’s city structure. Accompanied by varnished metal-and-glass sculptures mimicking the buildings, the movie serves as a chronicle of Romania’s transition to capitalism. However simply as in Prosthetic for a Damaged Stone, 2010, a plywood surrogate for a rock’s lacking half, Nicolae’s power lies in discovering the potential poetry within the atypical whereas nonetheless sustaining a distance some might see as cynical.