Wed, Sep 22|
Austrian Cultural Forum & Undercurrent
Alex Mirutziu's Artwork Presented at UN/MUTE NYC
New collaborative works by 28 artists from 10 countries
Time & Location
Sep 22, 2021, 7:00 PM – Jan 07, 2022, 11:00 PM
Austrian Cultural Forum & Undercurrent, 11 E 52nd St, New York, NY 10022, USA
About The Event
The Romanian Cultural Institute is happy to support the participation of Romanian artist Alex Mirutziu in the UN/MUTE project, an international group exhibition of collaborative works by 28 artists across multiple disciplines. On view at the Austrian Cultural Forum New York and Undercurrent, the exhibition is the culmination of an 18-month-long project that was launched in 2020 to provide European and NYC-based artists an opportunity for critical exchange and collaboration during the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Co-curated by Daina Mattis and Melinda Wang
Where: Austrian Cultural Forum New York, 11 East 52nd Street, New York, NY; September 22, 2021 – January 7,
Where: Undercurrent, 70 John Street, Brooklyn, NY; September 22, 2021 – November 21, 2021
Free and open to the public
UN/MUTE Artist Talk & Public Reception
09.24 / 6-9 PM
Join us on Friday, September 24 at Undercurrent for an artist talk and a public reception in celebration of the opening of UN/MUTE.
Between 6-7 PM, an artist talk, moderated by Romanian Cultural Institute in New York / RCINY Director Dorian Branea, featuring UN/MUTE co-curator Daina Mattis and artists Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Sydney Shavers (NYC), Luisa Muhr (Austria), Kris Grey (NYC) and more, will take place. A public reception will follow between 7-9 PM.
What do communication and collaboration mean in a time of uncertainty and isolation? How is the artistic process
impacted by going “fully remote”? In un/mute, artists from 10 countries were paired to explore these questions. We
recognize that effective communication requires active engagement of all the senses and an openness to diversity,
interpretation and digitalization. But what does that look like in practice? The project challenged teams to overcome
the limitations of lockdowns as they connected across artistic mediums, language, culture, generations and time
zones to find new forms of expression and meaning within art.
UN/MUTE is the physical manifestation of online conversations among strangers who became collaborators. What
began as abstract, ephemeral and digital are now 14 tactile, analog and concrete artworks presented across two
locations. The artists confronted the parameters imposed by the lockdowns and each team found creative solutions
that we might all learn from. The common thread that runs through the sculptures, installations, films, drawings,
photographs and performances is the importance of language.
Ever-evolving, language encapsulates an innate power dynamic that is renegotiated, redistributed and reimagined in
uncertain times. While words like “screenshare,” “Zoom-bombing” and “unmute” enter a universal lexicon, and
“#relatable” memes are shared across cultures, we also face the limits of language as we work to avoid
miscommunication and misunderstanding. Cultures and countries apart, the artists endeavored to find a bridge across
two points in (virtual) space through the ephemeral Zoom link. What they also discovered were empathy from a fellow
artist, discussions that sparked new ideas, a shared language around the creative process and a rethinking of the
power of art.
With cities re-opening, a recontextualized focus on systemic racism and xenophobia, and our collective experience of
18 months of self-reflection, UN/MUTE observes the transition into a new epoch – one that imagines an inclusive and
diverse ecosystem. Differences may surface in times of cooperation and compromise, but synergy can be forged
through friction. We trip, we regain our balance, we shift, we reconsider. What is crucial is that when we do have the
chance to rise to meet the moment, we seize the opportunity and “click unmute.”
EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Eren Aksu (Germany), Anna Bera (Poland), Aaron Bezzina (Malta), Alex Camilleri (Malta),
Mariella Cassar-Cordina (Malta), Saddie Choua (Flanders, Belgium), Sanne De Wilde (Flanders, Belgium), FOQL
(Poland), Gabrielė Gervickaitė (Lithuania), Nicola Ginzel (Austria), Justyna Górowska (Poland), Kris Grey (NYC),
Kyle Hittmeier (NYC), Ada Van Hoorebeke (Flanders, Belgium), Olesja Katšanovskaja–Münd (Estonia), Mo Kong
(NYC), Yi Hsuan Lai (NYC), H. Lan Thao Lam (NYC), Marie Lukáčová (Czech Republic), Sheila Maldonado (NYC),
Ieva Mediodia (Lithuania), Emmanuel Massillon (NYC), Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Luisa Muhr (Austria), Barbara Maria
Neu (Austria), Emily Shanahan (NYC), Sydney Shavers (NYC) and Terttu Uibopuu (Estonia).
UN/MUTE is a project by Undercurrent and the following members of EUNIC NY - European Union National Institutes
for Culture: Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Czech Center New York, Consulate General of Estonia in New York,
Delegation of Flanders to the USA, Goethe-Institut New York, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Arts Council Malta in New
York, Polish Cultural Institute New York and Romanian Cultural Institute. The project is also supported by EUNIC
Global, the European Union Delegation to the United Nations, Hope Recycling Station and Jindřich Chalupecký
ABOUT THE AUSTRIAN CULTURAL FORUM NEW YORK
With its architectural landmark building in Midtown Manhattan, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York is dedicated to
innovative programming, showcasing Austrian contemporary art, music, literature, performance and academic
thought in New York and throughout the United States. In addition to presenting exhibitions in its multi-level gallery
space and housing around 13,000 volumes of Austriaca in its library named in honor of the late Vienna-born
American writer and intellectual Frederic Morton, it hosts over 100 free events per year in its auditorium and supports
at least as many projects at partner institutions across the nation.
Undercurrent, defined as a body of water below the surface and moving in a different direction from any surface
current, is a dedicated exhibition platform for art aiming to support contemporary art practices that are contrary to
prevailing trends and movements. It showcases local and international contemporary artists with an inclusive
subprogram of artists and creative entities of the Baltic states. This exchange augments its mission by providing a
switchback, for a diverse and accessible platform distilling cultural perspectives in New York City.
Undercurrent represents, reflects and identifies aesthetic, emotional and philosophical complexities in the arts of our
time as exhibited in painting, sculpture, mixed media, film, word and sound. It intends to highlight the existence of
multilayered, multipolar systems operating today that simultaneously radiate openness, vulnerability and self-
ABOUT EUNIC NEW YORK
EUNIC – European Union National Institutes for Culture – is the European network of organizations working in 90
countries worldwide through a network of 125 clusters and acting as a platform for promoting European values,
sharing knowledge, building capacity amongst its members and partners, and engaging local partners in dialogue and
common cultural projects. Created in 2007, the New York cluster of EUNIC, bringing together around 40 cultural
missions from the European Union, is working in partnership to strengthen the transatlantic dialogue and cultural
cooperation and showcase European values and creativity.