The glue sticks very well

The glue sticks very well Cristina Vasilescu (English)

Kristin Wenzel
Atenție, cad ornamente

“My spaces are fragile: time is going to wear them away, to destroy them. Nothing will any longer resemble what was, my memories will betray me, oblivion will infiltrate my memory, I shall look at a few old yellowing photographs with broken edges without recognising them. The words 'Phone directory available within' or 'Snacks served at any hour' will no longer be written up in a semi-circle in white porcelain letter on the window of the little café in the Rue Coquillière”.
--- Georges Perec

Approached from different angles, Perec’s excerpt might highlight a way through the “recollection” of ruins* that appear in Kristin Wenzel’s investigation of the ruined architectural elements of Bucharest. Having taken the project of “re-collection” further in
echoing and reverting the materiality of building façade ornaments, Kristin’s humorous display in the vitrine of Suprainfinit is both a playful and alarming gesture. It can be seen as a romanticized awareness on the conservation of cultural heritage in Bucharest and, in fact, the latter’s imminent decay. It can also be seen as an allegory of what restoration means and how it is enacted – or acted out – in Bucharest. It can be seen in endless forms and locations that grow together with the artist’s ideas and contexts she creates and reinterprets. “Re-collection” and “Atentie, cad ornamente”, both stemmed from processes of walking in the city, from visibly and consciously placing the artist’s body in the urban space. The visual scanning and mapping of places and buildings becomes an ongoing, morphological series of actions undertaken by Kristin. The feeling of the (utopian) ruin and absurdity are played out in the vitrine. Is this a weird shop window, is this the front of a historical building falling apart or is it a contemporary art project?

This vitrine collection of fake architectural ornaments and the aesthetic around it ironically allude to the meaning of a non-place. Transient, cheaply fabricated, improvised and often clusters of copies, non-places are whimsical entities that are devoid of any historical or vernacular characteristics. The deliberate use of architectural ornaments made out of expanded polyester** might be Kristin’s artistic contribution to a conversation about the failure of cultural heritage, rituals of valuation, processes of mimicry and camouflage in urban environments.

Don’t worry, this glue sticks them very well to the wall, like all the ones you now see on the streets of Bucharest, promises the sales person at Fabrica de profile.

* Re-collection (2018 – ongoing), found objects on a Sunday morning after a storm,
Bucharest, Romania
** friable composition compared to old plaster manufacturing techniques