Thursday, October 30, 2003


Nofocus-DEMO, Trieste Contemporanea,
Istituto Tommaseo, Trieste,
Curator: Ruxandra Balaci

by RUXANDRA BALACI  (catalog text)

NICOLAE COMANESCU (ex-Rostopasca group 1), now tura_org., tura_bar and was born in 1968 (RO). Working in Bucharest, he is, at the moment, one of the most active Romanian artists, strongly involved in many projects all spinning around the multi-stratified concepts of NoFOCUS & Parasite.
Intended as an open-ended project including a multiplicity of layers within one conceptual frame, NOFOCUS means images blurred out to create new realities with little or no connection to the departure point, thus subject to plenty of interpretations.

NoFOCUS-Demo, presented in Trieste Contemporanea gallery– includes a video and large size prints video stills-like.
The continuous reality registered by the video image is permanently blurred by applying the Photoshop filter named ‘pixelate mosaic’. The device  is currently used on TV News programs to ceil one’s identity during a dramatic event. Or to ceil the film or computer game one intends to sell, in that case you are entitled only to view the DEMO part before buying it.
If one doesn’t buy the DEMO, he obtains ‘only’ highly poetical images and sometimes…another reality.

Thus it is suggested that the overspread of visual information (an inflation due to the continuous broadcasting of media) becomes – in overdose – lack of information/cancellation of it – total dilution of content and change it into a stream of the undefined…
Being No-focused is a way of parasiting (with the raster graphic low resolution) the initial, mimetic high resolution display.

The artist acts as a videocam - invoking also the faked glamour of surveillance- entering the forms, altering pre-existent realities. Supplying delusions and creating illusions. In this order the viewer is an accessory, unable to assert control.
Manipulation is explicitly exhibited on its largest scale, as key concept of nowadays civilization, as unit of fallacious surface, as dissolution of certainty. From –accepted- illusion to total immersion into it, video and computer art are merging, suggesting that everything could be captured by cameras/monitors/screens and URL-s.
Suggesting also the discrepancy between the fictitious world of the media and its pretence of objectivity. And finally that media reproductions aren’t necessarily depicting reality.
Deleting or changing information is somehow demonstrating that updating could be useless in the overflowing stream of data…but also that the uncontrolled becomes controlled.
By blurring information and shape, the immediacy and banality of current life registered on film or snapshot is totally transformed into abstract or/and unknown.
Proximal meaning becomes distal abstraction…allowing for plenty of connotations…

Fuzziness is obsessively exploited also in the Nofocus- Snapshots series which consist of blurred gros plans – acting as anticoagulant of the real images, rendering them fluid, a continuous flowing of infos into forms. Simultaneously appearing and dissolving belonging ultimately to the XL area of art pervaded by light-emphasized in the last and a half Century - from Lanterna Magica to holograms, pixels and VR.  Finally retaining only light-sensitiveness of the eye…
(see also site, whose homepage like a LED running script,  invokes a plurality of choices. Even if we think we can identify what’s about in the image we often only hint at a possible interpretation.)

To parasite the image/ to parasite reality is echoed by extension in other Comanescu’s projects. His tura_bar art magazine parasites other art magazines…
Parasite 2) is about depending on others (the host), parasite is subverting the others, parasite could be also about infecting the others with ideas and forms, in the case of tura_bar with underground content and atmosphere. In the trend of stating Underground and Hacker scene as new avantgarde - tura –bar renders fuzzy to disappearance (in a playful manner) the Art/Anti-art borders.
A kind of mobile unit, dynamically interchanging hosts, proposing items of minor culture wanting to become major, major infested with minor, peripheral infesting global and of course global canceling peripheral. In this venue, Japan and Latin America are also, peripheral to Europocentrism, as Eastern Europe still is, and by creating intello connections between Bucharest/ Tokyo/ NY/ London/ Belgrade/ Recife…etc., the obsession to enter the center is thus…also blurred…unifying the undergrounds without prejudices or complexes. Fashionable and devoted to the ephemeral-underground’s ubiquity blur also cultural establishment and serious critique transforming them in subversive comments, humorous comics, nonchalant net-dialogue.

1)Rostopasca was a group of young Romanian artists: Floe Tudor, Nicolae Comanescu,  Alina Pentac, Mona Vatamanu, Alina Buga, Angela Bontas and Gorzo, active between 1998-2001.
Both funny and stressing, they hit up Bucharestís boring art scene with spontaneous, surprising, even shocking interventions. They made all the time jokes and little scandals (as intelligent strategy).
No national specific stuff in their works, as they were the first Romanian generation to have no real connection with the ancient communist regime, the first to live since their teen age with mobile phones, computers, walkmans and MTV.
Dealing with hard-edged problems of contemporary life (not strongly polemical as the previous generation  - Perjovschi or subREAL- used to be) but derisive in a most nonchalant way, they playfully deconstructed everything, humorously contesting everything, assuming underground subversive roles.

2) See also for other most aknowledged projects developing the “parasite concept”  Tadeusz’s Pogacar’’s P.A.R.A.S.I.T.E. museum of contemporary art ( and most recent Parasite Paradise  architectural project in the Netherlands (


No comments: