Laura Borotea and Gabriel Boldiș, alias Monotremu is a teamwork project formed in Timișoara in 2010, and currently based in Târgu Mureș. The insertions of the two artists in exhibitions and local projects, either national or international are always recognizable due to their actions and performances and their playful but extremely critical humor towards the Romanian society. Their works reflect the challenges of a never ending transition, both in the Romanian reality and in contemporary art.
We all wear multiple hats – too many maybe – in our contemporary cultural life. The main activities of the artistic Monotremu duo were carried out in Târgu Mureș and one very important was to curate and culturally manage Studio B5, together with Bartha Joszef. From this triple perspective, how do you see the local scene of visual contemporary art in the national and international context?
We have started as artists in Timișora, against the post-crisis. Back then, there was a generalized apathy and indifference that was calling us to make use of parody and a sort of defensive sarcasm. We would intervene quite often within the public space, spending our own money and being convinced that we don`t need any approval to express ourselves, we only need low and no-budget ideas. Things in Târgu Mureș were even simpler and we have learnt that if we want events then we must produce them, and if we want to produce them, then we must come up with the money because it takes more than our own ideas. As a consequence, we started working with Bartha Joszef, and this was in fact rather a carry-over of the local tradition. That is because B5 Studio was a space that had its own history and a certain aura, a mission to create bridges between the two communities – the Romanians and the Magyars. As a matter of fact, Târgu Mureș fascinates us in particular due to the collection of elements that gives it a special historical and symbolical status. You mentioned several hats that we are wearing; however, they are all the same, because we are free artists and the relationship with Joco and B5 Studio enjoys total freedom and autonomy as well. This way, one by one, we started to write projects and to apply for them and in this sense we have tried as much as possible to include the local scene into a wider context, we gained more insight as cultural managers, so on and so forth. It is difficult but these are the crucial things that prevent us from being isolated, because this is something that can happen very easily. However, we were often given the opportunity to produce artists’ exhibitions throughout country and we have tried to respond to the invitations as much as we could.
What is the potential for a contemporary art market in Târgu Mureș? Did you detect collectors who are interested in your works or the ones produced by the artists that Studio B5 is hosting?
There is not such a market in Târgu Mureș. First of all, there are no collectors; at most, there are some people who purchase their friends` artworks, in particular plastic art. Regarding the interest for the works displayed at B5, yes it exists and we are very glad to hear such good news. When it comes to our own works, despite the fact that we have never considered them collection objects – because most of the time they were public space artworks – there was also an interest and this came as a surprise, making us realize that we don`t know how to write an authentication letter. Anyway, we are aware that anything can be sold, including a gesture and we don`t resist when someone is actually buying the opportunity for an artist to have the right comfort to further create and speak.
Continue reading in The Art of Living no. 16, an issue dedicated to contemporary art. DOWNLOAD