About the Nonconventional Materialization of Aphorisms - The Ion Popescu Case
Belonging, through his options, to the tradition of a sculpture initiated within the context of the Brancusian formal and reductionist exercise, thus releasing the matter from the empire of mimetic behaviour, and being used to control the matter, the laws of inertia and its responsibilities and reactions to the external solicitation, from the perspectives of science and design/processing technology, sculptor Ion Popescu crosses all these stages of his evolution as a sculptor towards the "hard" nucleus of his creative condition, which is poetical and conceptual. Most of the contemporary art discourses, as they lose touch with modernism by means of conceptualism, undermine the material basis, not only as the abolition of substantiality as an agent of tactile/sensual and visual seduction, but especially as a generator of signification. The need to break the relationship between substantiality and the immediate, surface message, derives from the solidarity between the concentrated precarious material and the stopped time, stagnant in the established setting, a spatialized time which, through matter, can be fixed within the frame of a form. After multiple, different and contradictory attempts to select the most ephemeral, precarious and perishable material supports (such as biological substances), the art of last century, motivated by the reconsideration of languages, and successive demytizations of cultural heritage (they represented a temporal "matter"), suggested the plain, sometimes shocking statement (based on the strategies of communication, of the arbitrary involvement, lacking the deep structure of the sign). The new relationship between the visual image and poetry is also consumed within this area of rupture - as suggested by Apollinaire's exercises approached in the organisation of the text in space, and it was developed by picto-poetry, or the direct reference of artistic reality, of the event's instance, the artistic construct, which gets more and more further from the concept of artwork, approaching the poetic, philosophic, political or advertising text.
Ion Popescu's relationship with these stratified instances debated by the actual art (the conceptual art, the art of post-production etc.) refuses extreme solutions, the whole complex of values regarding the strata of referents and constituants of the artistic construct, yet it draws the discourse towards the conceptual nucleus, developed in aphorisms or poetical metaphors. The throne represents a theme, a concept of instauration, of the genetic ascending line or authority, and the characters can take, through an ironical interpretative perspective, the functional form of a funnel; the library is an open and dynamically arranged structure in which one can find other products of the way of creating metaphors, or interpreting the narrative universe in a paradoxical way, a Don Quijote, for example. An arch, which is also interpreted paradoxically, highlights the musical energetic values (essentially generating harmony), a band of Moebus, twisted in a simple or double way, polemizes upon the philosophical space of Wittgenstein. Each of these non-objects opens only the interpretative game of these problems, which human thinking copes with, formulated by means of different metaphorical systems. There are also cases when the challenge of actual art, polemically depending on the objects' universe, hyperthrophied by the production which is justified in itself, deriving from the gesture of Duchamp, drives us not towards the creation of a calophil and autarchic object, but to the re-consideration of a dis-affected object, whose functionality is preserved only as the memory of a form, which becomes a dramatic character ("St. Sebastian"). Matter itself - a stone with a special structure or colour, a piece of rusted metal, a piece of wood having a challenging form or texture, the relationship between a board and a nail) releases the associative game, the poetical approach, an essentialized anecdote. A meditation upon time or the complex intersections and intrigues of the human time with other times of the World. More series of notebooks, sketches, poems, mathematic formulas, favourite authors, from the taoist philosophers to Wittgenstein, from Platon to Heidegger, from Omar KyM, northern contemporary poets, to Eminescu, and Nichita Stănescu, from the fairy-tales of the complex 1001 Nights to the humouristic SF of Douglas Adams...). The artist's effort consists in the challenge, through the least number of procedures, of an extensive interpretative adventure, with a great deal of connections, references and fabulation.
Translated by Rita Tasi