Observatorul Cultural

Shadows of the Present
Adrian Guţă | February 2, 2004

We could say that Florica Prevenda’s existence is studio-dependent. The one who signs the exhibition (from Simeza Gallery, 21 january - 2 february) about which we speak below imposed herself a remarkable work discipline, uses each day for the “assault” on her canvases, for the dialogue with them and with herself as artist, as a human being entirely devoted to her vocation, to her option. Of course that there are good as well as bad days, but Prevenda overcomes blockages through the insistence on creative work. It’s not about an “artistic machinery”, but about the conviction from which the author starts, according to which the high temperature of creation must be maintained in order to avoid breaking up exactly those vital but delicate connections between inspiration and the effort of translating the impulse of the moment through the most suitable and varied components of the visual expression.
The actual stage – Shadows of the Present - crowns an ampler chapter of the work that started about five years ago and whose previous two segments were called Faces without Face (1999, exhibition at the Romanian National Art Museum –Department of Contemporary Art and at Arthus Gallery in Bruxelles), respectively Net People (2001, Arthus Gallery). After the “invasion” of Simeza, Shadows of the Present will populate also the previously mentioned Brusselian gallery.
The “chapter” we refer to proposes as problematic content the actual human condition marked by the context of the informational era. Technically speaking, communication is more and more rapid and abundant, the television and the Internet swallowed distances and time regarding the circulation of the information. We know more, we get informed quicklier, we feel less. The partners of dialogue become more numerous but they often turn into abstractions, in faces without face. We are integrated in a huge net, but this condition of net people seems to impoverish us inside. The spare time we dispose of for the inner dialogue gets limited.
Florica Prevenda gives these alarm signals proper to a revived romanticism (its compensatory recycling continues even at the beginning of the third millennium, as we can see) and she suggests, in this personal exhibition too, that it is an utopia to believe in a perfect harmonization between the technical performance, the automatized environment and the Human Being whose depths are defined through instability. In fact it is this insoluble discord that constitutes our salvation, our chance. We can only continue to sound our interior in order to improve the relationship with the exterior. Prevenda perseveres in her effort to amplify the real communication of her personality with those belonging to other people.
The fight with depersonalization is the stake of present. To avoid becoming shadows. Under the sign of globalization, we put up resistance to uniformization through the exacerbation of individuality.
During the last years the artist started in her investigation from the face voided of features. The canvases from Simeza confess the nostalgia for the evocation of the human body which, in the offered representations, is deprived of integrality because characters lack their heads-therefore unfulfillment persists. We don’t deal with a descriptive corporality, but with silhouettes which mark the contour of spiritual presences. The “flesh” of these bodies concentrates stratifications of pictorial matter in an extended sense, the bodies are invaded by nets in which mediatic informational marks and memory in images- numbers, letters, words, faces (in the last category we distinguish also the face of the artist, witness and participant in the Story of Life in Present) pulsate.
In fact we deal with one generic character and the presentation of her attempt to escape from the jail of a self suffocated by the net of the global system of “communication”, in order to be herself again in its deep truth of sensitive and thoughtful being.
Prevenda “removes the bark” from her characters because, beyond the web of sensations, of external stimuli, she should be able to reveal their essentially spiritual construction. However it’s difficult to separate the fields of forces which structure the contemporary man, as complete victory upon appearances hasn’t been reached yet. We are still shadows on the canvas of the world and we fight with our own shadows.
The canvases that configure this personal exhibition are evidences of an unostentatious complexity in the technic and expressive register. The pictorial surface and vision represent the foundation, but we no longer deal with painting in a traditional acceptation but with real painted objects, like places of meeting of different materials and effects. Reliefs and depths are born by using the goffered cardboard disposed in section, stratified, or in length, from interior cutting-ups in the bodily structures in order to make appear “screens”, from added nets of bands made of painted cloth or of strips of photographic fragments… The chromatic options seriously restricted hint at a symbolic spectrum associated to sober spirituality- white, blue, grey, black- the warm stresses, when they appear, being distributed out of a reason that most of the time has in view the realization of a dynamical colour equilibrium.
The structures attached to the canvas are solid, but the nature of the materials that form them, the exploitation of the fragment refer to the ephemeral.
“The signs” that particularize Florica Prevenda’s “discourse”  (both on the Appollonian and Dionysiac co-ordinates) are both the mood and the structure. The serialization of some elements creates rhythms, the monumental sense in parceling out the fields of plastic matter meets with the Baroque appearance of the detail. The receiver’s sight and the tactile sense are equally alerted. Resorting with echo to the effect of palimpsest stimulates the thought towards the theme of a kind of archaeology of contemporary human typologies.
The quality of pattern in representation of the stretched out arm and of detached fingers of the “traces” of painted hachures in relief allow the critic comparatist references to some marks from Jasper Johns’ plastic vocabulary.
Florica Prevenda (the artist belongs to the generation of the 80s) transforms the figurative-abstract dilemma in a fertile dialogue – a proof being the interference of her Shadows. Beyond the ideative nucleus of this personal exhibition on which these comments have been made, the artistic expression of this nucleus remains essential. Florica Prevenda’s creation, deeply personal, simultaneously characterized by sensibility and rigour, is easily welcome in any cultural space. Its value already inscribes it in the international circuit, which is confirmed by the more and more ample presence of her exhibitions on abroad, exhibitions that have a growing success.

English version by: Marilena Dracea