A Realism of the essence – the art of Constantin Baciu
Somewhere, in the profound and productive plan of the image/image object created by Constantin Baciu, there is the reality, as nature and subject – a mysterious object developing between the emphatic observation and creation (a product of an emphatic imaginary at its turn). The external object, the landscape object, the space object, the vivid object or the one assimilated by the traditional language of “dead nature” are all approached with the similar empathy, integrated to the same mysterious yet apparently simple universe, to the same continuous flux of signification, to the same poetical, fragile and indestructible narrative structure. A world belonging to time (whose intimate texture is the time), yet occupying a space, defined through several essential elements specific to localization, surely an infinite one, that friendly space, with its inhabitants, interrogative subjects, consumed by their time, trying to identify themselves within a social space.
The observation practised by the artist combines contemplation – both meditative and careful – with the scientific curiosity, which communicates with the intuition that, under the levels of objectification, meets the profound predications of transformations, the motion which sets the matter, phenomena and functions suggesting manifestations and presence in motion.
Such a contribution has a complex relationship with the mimesis project, sublimate in essential attributes. Essence is nothing but the highest degree of observation, the conclusion of this active and penetrating, concentrated and intuitive, informed, curious and discrete passivity, which respects the conventions of nature, not aggressively oriented against its protective screens. We meet again the characteristics of the mimesis which links the two directions of its creativity – both artistic ones – the image generator, that concentrates time metaphorically, spatializing it into the pictorial or graphic image, and the producer of mechanic, functional and poetical objects, continuing the functional, metaphorical and rural creativity in the contemporary technical context.
“Essentialism” communicates with the abstraction, eliminating the over-plus – any surplus – of details, which the seduction of surface structures, the narrative seduction of the reality time (seasons, age, generations) and the opulence of the matter, generating formal and chromatic situations, imperiously present or absent, are based on. Yet, this process of elimination does not emphasize the essential basis of reality, it selects the given which identifies it – the tectonics of a landscape or its bright transparency, the innocent look which is focused upon a portrait or the flux of a look, the reticence of a gesture which unites two characters, expressed through a juxtaposition of spots with similar tone identities, through some synthetic, fluid and descriptive graphics, through an extremely economic game of the light and colourful shadows. This essentialized and descriptive realism, so singular in the cultivation of the realist image, traced according to the cuttings of a fragmentary real which is intensely present, or preserved as such in order to “play itself” divides the interest in the object generating energy or the one set into motion, passing through a cycle of painting which analyses the motion of volumes or dynamic plans in the space reduced to plans. One does not follow, like in Futurism, the effects, which provoke the illusion of motion, but the essence of this natural dynamism, extracted from nature on a scheme overlapping a mechanic reductive sketch whose beauty derives from the correspondence with the “gearing” of motion.
In the seventh, eighth and ninth decades the artist is monopolized by the creation of these objects, which assume their transposition, or the usage of the wind motion (the Glide in 1965, the Mills producing electrical energy or those utilized at the water extraction from dry soils, or adapted to some laws of attraction such as gravitation (the car reduced to a wheel in motion by moving the driving capsule, or a Perpetuum mobile). In all these apparently different yet actually coherent circumstances and objectives, the artist highlights the same enthusiast and reticent curiosity, an inventiveness, which is dependent on mimesis, a reductionism, which purifies the reality from redundancies, only to emphasize its presence.
(translation: Rita Tasi)
A hybrid presence in the field of art – the object
One of the most important experiments which applied new and synthetic materials in the creation of expressive objects and small-scale copies, at the edge of kinetic constructivism and pure technical innovation, is linked to the painter Constantin Baciu. During the last decades of the seventh decade, he began a series of projects by developing the theme of gravitational inertia. The “Girocord” series extended to the end of the 70s and is made up of a number of small-scale copies, of various sizes, realized from plexiglass, metal and little engines with a limited capacity. In the 70s he developed another theme, one concerning the usage of the Aeolian force (wind power) for the production of electricity, at the urban level, even proposing the reconfiguration of the superior, monotonous, motionless and inactive space of the blocks of flats, through the erection of some mills, with both a functional and an ornamental quality. Some other projects – a glider with infinite flight independence, an energy generator with unlimited autonomy, realized at the level of a small-scale copy from the same cheap synthetic materials – completed his contribution which is both unique in Romanian art, and so contemporary in the complexity of its synthesis of technological utopia, participation in the social utopia and an aesthetic revelry over space, motion, energy and their capacity to relate the human experience to the infinite.
(translation: Rita Tasi)