International exhibitions Mircea Cantor, Restless and Other Works, Museum of the Moving Image, New York

International 2012 Archives

Mircea Cantor, Restless and Other Works
Museum of the Moving Image, New York (USA)

03.03 - 06.05.2012

07.09 - 25.11.2012

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Press release

The Museum of the Moving Image and the Romanian Cultural Institute in New York present an exhibition of video installations, short films, and other works by Mircea Cantor. Although Cantor is widely acclaimed throughout Europe, and has had works shown at The Museum of Modern Art, this will be his first solo museum exhibition in New York City.

The exhibition includes installations of three video works: Tracking Happiness (2009): Seven women dressed in white walk in a circle in the sand, sweeping away their footprints, Vertical Attempt (2009): A young boy attempts to cut a stream of water with scissors, and I Decided Not to Save the World (2011), a wall drawing and a photographic diptych. Selected programs of his short films will be shown continuously in the Bartos Screening Room. A crowd of Albanian demonstrators march through the streets holding mirrors instead of signs. A factory and its workers are used for the production of a useless product—double-headed matches. These are some of the simple yet memorable and evocative images on display in the video and installation work of artist Mircea Cantor (b. 1977, Romania).

Mircea Cantor (born 1977, in Romania, lives and works in Paris, France) is a visual artist who has received wide acclaim for his subtle commentary on issues of contemporary society. Cantor creates images that are at once crystalline in their clarity, yet deeply paradoxical. They are concerned with issues of memory, history, oppression, and the futility—and necessity—of hope.

The Marcel Duchamp Prize was awarded to Mircea Cantor in 2011 in Paris and he is preparing now the subsequent solo exhibition at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. This is fitting because his wry, conceptual work has been compared to that of Duchamp in his use of the readymade to attract attention to the polysemantic nature of everyday objects. While his thematic concerns may reflect his identity as a Romanian-born artist, his work is also accessible and universal. As he has said, refusing to be pigeonholed by identification with one nation, "art is my country."

Cantor's choice of media is diverse. The subjects that he tackles in his videos, installations, photographs and drawings or his textual works express a sharp awareness of the most brutal realities in today's changing worlds. Cantor's 2005 video work Deeparture, which was on view in the contemporary galleries at The Museum of Modern Art in New York, features a deer and a wolf together in a pristine white box environment which works to heighten the palpable tension.

© ArtCatalyse International / Marika Prévosto 2012. All Rights Reserved

Exhibition March 3 - May 6 2012. Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue - Astoria, NY 11106. T. 718 777 68 88. Opening hours Tue - Thu 10.30 am - 5 pm. Fri 10.30 am - 8 pm. Sat - Sun 10.30 - 7 pm. Mon closed.

Mircea Cantor, Tracking Happiness, 2009. Courtesy of the artist; Yvon Lambert, Paris and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv

Mircea Cantor, Tracking Happiness, 2009. Courtesy of the artist; Yvon Lambert, Paris and Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv