Fri, Feb 12 | Online Event

UN/MUTE-10002 I Online Artist Residency I Featuring Alex Mirutziu and Sydney Shavers as Team/Branch

Ongoing project, powered by Undercurrent and EUNIC New York
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Time & Location

Feb 12, 1:00 PM EST – Mar 15, 1:06 PM EDT
Online Event

About The Event

Alex Mirutziu, the enfant terrible of Romanian art scene, is part of a 20-strong group of international artists to take up a collaborative online residency as part of UN/MUTE-10002, an innovative virtual program set up by Undercurrent New York in collaboration with EUNIC NY, the association of European Union’s culture institutes based in New York. 

The initiative launches February 12 at 1 pm EST on facebook.com/undercurrent.nyc, as well as on the partners’ social media accounts, including the RCIUSA Facebook page. The program runs through May 9 and its progress can be followed on unmute.nyc.

Alex Mirutziu (b. 1981) is an eclectic artist who explores two parallel trajectories with ease: performance, a discipline he has practiced for over fifteen years, and another more related to drawings, sculpture and poetry as well as critical and curatorial projects. The “body” plays an important part in Mirutziu’s work, the artist considering it as an emotional archive of his feelings and a site where ideological conflicts play out. Although his work does not always explicitly incorporate his body, he uses it as an index and generating mechanism for his art. This approach has led many critics over the past years to define Mirutziu as the enfant terrible of Romanian art.

As part of his theoretical practice the artist has lectured at (Royal College of Arts, London, Von Kraal Theatre, Estonia, Konstfack, Stockholm, Bezalel University of Art and Design, Tel Aviv) and has collaborated with artists/writers/musicians/designers/philosophers among which, Grit Hachmeister (DE), Elias Merino (ES), Graham Foust (US), Graham Harman (US). His work has been shown at Power Plant, Toronto, Glass Factory Lab, Boda, Mucsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest, Center for Contemporary Art and National Museum, Warsaw, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Kunsthalle Mulhouse, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Kunsthalle Bega, Centre for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, Royal Academy of Arts, London, and Venice Biennale.

Creating a fair and equitable space after COVID shuttered artists from residencies, travel, studio visits, exhibitions, and physical networking, UN/MUTE is an online residency that provides artists an opportunity for a critical exchange and collaboration while simultaneously connecting resources from the global cultural epicenter of New York City. This project is co-organized by Undercurrent and the European Union National Institutes for Culture’s New York cluster. It will go live on February 12, 2021, in concurrence with the Lunar New Year, and will continue through May 9th, celebrating Europe Day.

The online world that has emerged in response to the pandemic reshapes our de notion of social contact, obscures our private and public environments, and circumscribes the evolution of communication. UN/MUTE-10002 follows the narratives of ten European artists who have never visited New York City and ten NYC-based artists, paired into teams of two, one European with one New Yorker. Additionally, one artist is a digital immigrant, born before 1986, and the other is a digital native, born into the world of web browsers and email, after 1986. Over a series of Zoom sessions, each team’s collective creative process will unfold in a series of video recordings.

Language serves as the first cultural indicator of change. At constant risk of complete extermination, the Amazon is now more recognized as an online shopping platform than one of our planet’s richest natural resources. We stream video content into our living rooms while drinking bottled water branded with pictures of mountain springs, and our most priceless memories are hidden away in a cloud. We sit a virtual world apart from each other – far more than the recommended six feet – obscuring the socioeconomic divisions of race, color, national origin, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion, and age. The present state of being often sounds more like mythology or folklore than reality.

As the internet conditions our lifestyle, we aim to create a new normalcy amidst a shortage of vaccines, new virus strains, unsettling unemployment rates, and a Western world trying to mitigate racism and xenophobia during a delicate socio-political epoch. Regardless of our facility with digital technologies, how do we progress without compromising the past?  How can we learn from each other’s individual histories and experiences? Embodying inclusion, multilingualism, and digitalization, UN/MUTE provides an opportunity for two transatlantic strangers to collaborate on a singular project for a sustainable future.

Participating artists include: Eren Aksu (Germany), Aaron Bezzina (Malta), Will Calhoun (NYC), Sanne De Wilde (Flanders,  Belgium), FOQL (Poland), Gabrielė Gervickaitė (Lithuania), Kris Grey (NYC), Sophie Guisset (Wallonia-Brussels, Belgium),  Kyle Hittmeier (NYC), Mo Kong (NYC), Yi Hsuan Lai (NYC), H. Lan Thao Lam (NYC), Marie Lukáčová (Czech Republic),  Olesja Katšanovskaja–Münd (Estonia), Sheila Maldonado (NYC), Barbara Maria Neu (Austria), Emmanuel Massillon (NYC),  Alex Mirutziu (Romania), Emily Shanahan (NYC), and Sydney Shavers (NYC).

UN/MUTE-10002 is a project by EUNIC NY and Undercurrent, realized with financial support from EUNIC — European  Union National Institutes for Culture — Europe’s network of national cultural institutes and organizations, with 36 mem bers from all EU member states. This project was initiated by the Lithuanian Culture Institute and the Consulate General  of Estonia in New York and is co-organized by Austrian Cultural Forum New York, Wallonia-Brussels International in New  York, Czech Center New York, Delegation of Flanders to the USA, Goethe-Institut New York, Arts Council Malta in New  York, Polish Cultural Institute New York, Romanian Cultural Institute New York, the Hope Recycling Station, the Jindřich  Chalupecký Society, and supported by the European Union Delegation to the United Nations. 

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