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  1. Liquid Economy

    Dan Mihaltianu

    June 20 -July 17

    Vernissage June 20, 18-20 

    Taking as its starting point the political and social power of the tradition of self-distilled alcohol in many parts of the world, Dan Mihaltianu’s Liquid Economy is a term that reaches far and wide, an artistic practice that looks at alternative or fluctuating economies inside the global hegemonic paradigms of official discourse. For Berlin Food Art Week, a site specific intervention will see the latest aspect of this work-in-progress.

     Marking a continuing engagement with a medium first exhibited as Canal Grande in 1984 NR / Projects is extremely happy to hostFirewater Pool the latest iteration of the artist’s long running use of large scale indoor pools. Feeding the pool on site will be Still, which will distil alcohol during the course of the exhibition in the manner of homemade, somewhat bucolic stills as found in rural areas all over the world. The nature of these pools, which have been shown internationally, is one that is both evocative but also architectural. Creating a deepening sense of perspective of the room’s space, they suggest at once a communal ritual site as well as reinforcing the relation between liquids (liquor) and liquidity (money, economy) but also convey a spiritual aspect or a communal wishing well.

    Exhibited alongside the Firewater Pool and Still, will be an archive of Mihaltianu’s long running collection of homemade and folk alcoholic spirits and beverages which dates back to 1994 when the artist participated in a residency at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien. Here, in a variety of sized bottles and receptacles, themselves emblems of various time and locations, the audience can consult the title, year and place of brewing, presented in a visual archive.

    A special limited edition iteration of these works will also be presented. Pocket Revolution was conceived as part of a show at MAGMA Contemporary Art Space in Romania. 365 bottles of a spirit created by the artist are signed and numbered and housed in a specially created box. Inside each bottle is a length of cotton, bringing to mind at once the Molotov cocktail of peoples’ revolution and protest, but also the underground economy of sharing self-distilled alcohol. This is married with the symbolism of one of the most recognisable missiles of homemade, underground protest: the hip flask is not just the source of influence for the individual, but potentially for society as a whole on a historical level. 

    It should be noted that Liquid Economy has several outputs and ways of representation: installation (including sound, video, photo, objects and documents), publication (featuring the entire research process and related artistic work) and video documentation and during the course of this exhibition a new publication will also be released by the artist which aims to present documentation of all the indoor pools exhibited to date.

    Dan Mihaltianu (1954 Bucharest, Romania) has studied visual arts at the Institute of Fine Arts Bucharest (1975-1983), was the cofounder of subREAL (1990). Professor at Bergen Academy of Art and Design (2001-2007), Guest Artist / Professor at Université du Québec á Montréal (2008-2009) and Editor / Associate Editor of Arta Magazine Bucharest (1990-1993 and 2011 to present). He is the recipient of a number of awards and residencies including the 2nd Prize, European Print Triennial Grado, Italy (1987), Grand Diploma, International Biennial of Portrait Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina (1990), Glasgow Sculpture Studios, Scotland (1990), Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin, Germany (1993-1994), Bahnwärterhaus, Esslingen, Germany (1995), Arts Link New York, USA (1996), Work-stipend, Senate for Science, Research and Culture Berlin, Germany (1996), KulturKontakt, Vienna, Austria (1997), Barkenhoff, Worpswede, Germany (1998-1999), Künstlerhaus Eckernförde, Germany (2001), Glenfiddich, Dufftown, Scotland (2002), URRA Buenos Aires, Argentina (2013). Since the 1980s his work has been exhibited internationally in various contexts, among others the International Drawing Competition “Joan Miró” Barcelona (1980, 1985), Impact Art Festival Kyoto (1986, 1997, 1988), European Print Triennial Grado (1987), Third Eye Centre Glasgow (1990), Istanbul Biennial (1992), ifa-Galerie Berlin (1993, 1996), La Biennale di Venezia (1993, 1998, 2001), Künstlerhaus Bethanien Berlin (1994), Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland Bonn (1994), Art in General New York (1996), Museum of Contemporary Art – Ludwig Museum Budapest (1997), ZKM / Museum for Contemporary Arts Karlsruhe (1998, 2001), Periferic Iaşi (1999, 2000), Museum of Modern Art Skopje (2004), Renaissance Society Chicago (2004), Tallinn Art Hall (2004, 2012), Bergen Kunsthall (2005), National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (2005, 2012), The Kitchen New York (2006), Prague Biennale (2007), NGBK Berlin (2007), 3.14 International Contemporary Art Foundation Bergen (2008), Rotor Gratz (2009), Nuit blanche Toronto (2009), Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin (2010), Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki (2011), Art Gallery of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sarajevo (2011), Renate Kammer Hamburg (2011), SALT Istanbul (2013), Plan B Berlin (2013), Tallinn Print Triennial (2014), Les Rencontres Internationales Paris, Berlin (2014), MAGMA Sf. Gheorghe (2014), Vienna Biennale (2015).