You Are Another Me—A Cathedral of the Body
Exhibition: – 27 Nov 2022
Wed 20 Apr
Venice Biennale - Romania
Giardini di Castello
Artist and filmmaker Adina Pintilie has been selected to represent Romania at the 59th International Venice Biennale 2022, with the project You Are Another Me—A Cathedral of the Body, closely developed with curators Cosmin Costinaș and Viktor Neumann. The project consists of a multi-channel film installation at the Romanian Pavilion, complemented by a VR extension, hosted by the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research, as well as a public program taking place over the course of the biennial.
Today, once again, the body has become a contested site for ideologies, a pretext for cultural and political anxiety. Amidst the global resurgence of right-wing ideologies, accelerated during the pandemic—which also saw a hijacking of the discourses on body autonomy—as well as the growing polarities between people and between belief systems, Pintilie imagines a space of togetherness beyond borders and binaries. While contributing to the current conversations towards reassessing the normative in gender, sexuality, bodily ability and diversity, Pintilie’s distinctive perspective is conveyed through her particular visual universe and aesthetics, as well as through a sophisticated and seductive rethinking of the role and power of the moving image. Emerging from her personal experiences, background, and research, and nurtured by long-term collaboration with her protagonists, the artist’s idiosyncratic methodology explores the central role of intimacy in the everyday, centering on embodied practices and deep psychological investigations inspired by Family Constellations, attachment theory, psychosomatics, trauma therapy, and bodywork practices. It proposes possibilities to see, to think, and to relate, destabilizing ingrained visual rhetoric and politics of the gaze.
Pintilie’s contribution to the Romanian Pavilion is inscribed in a lineage of artists who have responded over the past two decades to the question of national representation. It continues a conversation about who represents the nation and who is excluded, about collective shame and responsibility, in the shadow of Romanian society’s fraught history of dealing with intimacy, sexuality, and bodily diversity, and by extension with solidarity between the individuals forming a perpetually fractured nation. Against the backdrop of a public sphere haunted by biopolitical control, religious and cultural conservatism, and a traditionally corrosive climate of shame, the Romanian Pavilion is conceived as a site to reflect upon the body as a device to process recognized and unrecognized history, trauma, and desires. Engaging with these complex narratives of institutionalized normativity and their habitual denial of the body, Pintilie transforms the historically loaded pavilion into a contemporary cathedral that celebrates the body and human connections beyond any preconceptions. In the spirit of the Mayan greeting You Are Another Me, the project places our connection to the bodies of others and to our own at the center of our personal and political lives.
You Are Another Me—A Cathedral of the Body marks the next stage of Pintilie’s multi-platform research on the politics and poetics of intimacy and the body, initiated with her feature film Touch Me Not—winner of the Golden Bear at the 2018 Berlinale and acclaimed worldwide for its boundary-pushing language and aesthetics. Her long-term, trans-disciplinary inquiry explores, through different artistic languages and mediums—installation, cinema, interactive performance, publication—notions of how we relate to each other and to our own bodies, calling into question regimes of seeing in these different fields.
Artist: Adina Pintilie
Curators: Cosmin Costinaș and Viktor Neumann
Commissioner: Attila Kim
Protagonists: Hermann Müller, Dirk Lange, Christian Bayerlein, Grit Uhlemann, Laura Benson, Hanna Hofmann
Exhibition Designer: Martin Backhaus
Director of Photography: George Chiper—Lillemark
Sound design: Manuel Grandpierre
VR installation design: Augmented Space Agency
Light & Video Sculpture Design: H3 & Kaustik
Project Manager: Corina Bucea
Creative Producer: Bianca Oana
Mediation and education: Daniel Neugebauer and Larisa Oancea
Graphic design: Sean Yendrys
A project produced by: Manekino Cultural Association
Organizers: Romanian Ministry of Culture, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Romanian Cultural Institute
Co-producers: Manekino Film, Avanpost, Snaporazverein, ARAC Romanian Contemporary Art Association
In collaboration with: Eidotech
Institutional partners: HKW Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin, Goethe-Institut Bukarest, Württembergischer Kunstverein Stuttgart, ARCUB
Academic partners: UNATC National University of Theatre and Film “I.L. Caragiale” in Bucharest, CESI—Center of Excellence in Image Studies Bucharest, Università Iuav di Venezia
Private partners: Tudor Havriliuc and David Corbell, Andrei Dunca, UniCredit Bank, Anca Poterașu Gallery, KGP Filmproduktion, Grup Transilvae, Vinexpert
Catalogue and public programme partners: Spector Books, Dispozitiv Books, Cărturești, Motivation Romania Foundation, Mozaiq Association