|“The artist takes the viewer on a journey through some of the darkest states of human existence—oppression, abjection, tragedy, persecution, poverty, loneliness, and misery…”||
Author: Mihai Nicodim Gallery
Adrian Ghenie, born in 1977, draws his inspiration from personal memories of growing up during communist Romania under the dictatorship of Ceausescu. He witnessed history being written and rewritten, first hand, and that period of transition left a deep impact on him. The artist takes the viewer on a journey through some of the darkest states of human existence—oppression, abjection, tragedy, persecution, poverty, loneliness, and misery—hoping to find himself in the grey area between a movie script and real life. In a society thrown in fast forward, Ghenie feels like he is passing through a series of rooms loaded with history and dark, subconscious fears.
History surrounds Ghenie’s work as well as the artist himself. His paintings are like mental snapshots of crime scenes taken by an uninvolved observer; a material portrayal of the human condition in which the baggage of the past weighs heavily on the shoulders of the present.
In his new body of work, Ghenie offers a contemporary position on a universal theme. The story of those abusing power and those abused by it. It’s not just the execution of his paintings that reminds us of the heavy substance of these past events, but also their content. Each one is filled with narratives and historical facts, though not explicitly telling a clearly defined story. That’s the case for the Berlin Zoo series, which carries collective traumatic metaphors of the Iron Curtain.