Or the Inner Solution to Contemporary Challenge

The Secret Wing exhibition has its origins in a period of time before the Fall of the Iron Curtain and calls for a re-evaluation of the present by invoking facets of a past that need to be forgotten ahead of time.

In the context of the Art Encounters Biennial, Interart TRIADE Foundation represents a conservatory perspective that puts forward a point of view of art history, placing the Biennial within the local, regional and Eastern-European setting. In collaboration with the National Museum of Art Timișoara, the Foundation presents the exhibition curated by Maria Rus Bojan and Bogdan Ghiu, one that forges links between fine arts and poetry, building bridges between these two forms of language.

Secret Wing fosters connections between Western and Eastern Europe, covering artistic practices since the 1980’s. The references to time and space materialise in the creations of 32 artists whose practices explore multiple ways of representing reality: from Ulay, the pioneer of Polaroid photography as an art form, to Gherasim Luca, better known as a poet than an artist whose favourite forms of expression were the collage and the installation.

The metaphor of the secret wing is inspired by the eponymous volume of poetry published in 1986 by Mariana Marin, a leading exponent of Optzeciști generation, for whom the wing as an imaginary space was a refuge for dreams and ideals that must be protected from the harsh, narrow reality. But there is more to this – the space that belongs to the self will always remain closely connected to collective history as an inexhaustible source of experiences.

As suggested by Mariana Marin’s Secret wing, poetry becomes a resource to be used against the totalitarian regime, a kind of mechanism by which the self reacts to the constraints imposed by a social and political context directed against human nature. The poet herself stated that “poems not written in due time will never be written” (Cosmin Ciotloș, Cenaclul de luni, Pandora M, 2021). Such a viewpoint places the artist in the present context and links their creation to the current social and political situation.

The time perspective of the Secret Wing is particularly significant because it encompasses the great change – the fall of the Iron Curtain, the reunification of Europe – and all the challenges of the transition taking place in a Europe that waited for the last half century to collapse like the Berlin Wall. But the transition was not easy and left its marks on both the Eastern collective mentality and its relationship with the West. In the recent presentation of the Secret Wing exhibition, Bogdan Ghiu stated that “History accumulates within us, although we may not realise it; the more unaware of it we are, the more active it becomes.”

The difficulty of modern times lies in accepting the reconnection with time and understanding the present as progressive, not independent. The exhibition understands and challenges this attitude, proposing an inner solution found in a secret wing.