Sorin Oncu








The Homework 1
(Nothing if Not Critical, The Chaos of Organized Mass Compliance & The Harmony of Self Reliance Subversion)

The two piece work is the result of an accidental sequence of the book I was reading "Nothing if Not Critical" by Robert Hughes, and the commissioned project I was working on for Luciano Benetton's "Imago Mundi" art collection, which incorporates a great number of small canvases in creation of a single global image. The Romanian collection of the "Imago Mundi" which aim to send small canvases to 100 romanian artists, myself included, seemed to me like a homework that expected a certain creative product, namely a painting, which would be incorporated in a Romanian partition of the "Imago Mundi" art collection. Instead of painting something on the canvas I used the stretcher frame to make an object that has two facets without establishing which is the back and which the front, thus each facet required a title. The Chaos of Organized Mass Compliance, which is a compartmentalized box like facet of the object containing 99 canvas hangers and The Harmony of Self Reliance Subversion containing one canvas hanger and the canvas itself, are emphasizing an effort to break a pattern of unilateral two-dimensionality. Robert Hughes's selection of essays on artists containing almost exclusively painters, makes the book with its constrictive principals of greenbergian modernism, a fitting auxiliary ready made object for the "Imago Mundi" commissioned work. Ironically on the cover of the book is a photo of the back side of a frame stretched canvas. The two-dimensionality centered artists of Robert Hughes selection and the focus on two-dimensional predictable solutions for Luciano Benetton's collection configured the basis of this critique. The two couldn't be more similar in their wording of art. Both are also focused on universality, while one is conducted by these "mandatory pervasive" principals that define art and would never consider a book about art to be presented as art itself, the other is drawn by the appetite to create a universal screen capture of it, resulting in a international buffet-like art collection. Although these aspects seem very linked and obvious, I only started to compare them when I got to the last part of the Hughes's book entitled Art and Money. Hughes views on postmodern art and market seemed pertinent and the "Imago Mundi" art collection setting as criteria this quantity based new record demonstratively supports modernist author's views that the shape of art today is modified by its marketability. Media sensation created around the successful artists encourages young artists to imitate in hope of reaching the same success. The collections of "cynegetic" trophies, the appetite for owning an idea or a collection of ideas induce art value today, filtered through a financial gain. The "Imago Mundi" art collection set to become the biggest contemporary art private collection with 10.000 small works from 60 countries, items of abundant global contemporary art production, advancing quantity as a quality is reducing every work to a pixel in a 10.000 pixels image. I imagine the outcome of this project as a very colorful sadness in which the individual disappears swallowed by the immense topography of unemployment.

One Pixel in a 10.000 Pixels Image, 2013, digital image - part of The Homework research, dimensions variable
The Chaos of Organized Mass Compliance   The Harmony of Self Reliance Subversion
The Homework (Nothing if Not Critical, The Chaos of Organized Mass Compliance & The Harmony of Self Reliance Subversion), 2013, Robert Hughes's book, 100 canvas hangers, wood, canvas, plexiglass, dimensions variable