Alex Bodea, ..., HD video, 41”,wire, gesso, sand, acrylic, gouache, electric typewriter mechanism, light, ink on paper

Romanian, b. 1981, playing from Berlin, Germany

Alex Bodea was born in Romania. Before learning how to read and write she would intuitively improvise and play with her own visual alphabet, in which the way a succession of lines was being modeled (to be soft, aggressive, elusive etc.) would give a hint about the content. Using this alphabet she could write both in the manner of an old fashioned charitable soul and a factory manager who finds pleasure in dismissing the employees. Should be considered as a great loss that she learned how to properly read and write. Fortunately, something of this little game survives in her spirit throughout a much troubled teenagehood, crushed underneath a derailed educational system and a corresponding lack of will. These lost years are responsible for both an unavoidable schism from her own generation (something that led to a somehow different, quirky perspective) and the methodically, enduring process of becoming able to encode and make play on their own bits of human experience- one of those aptitudes that define what people call an artist. This process relies on a rigorous working discipline, continuously developed throughout the years spent at the University of Arts and Design Cluj (from 2006 to 2011) and as a maturing artist, from 2011, the year she moved to Berlin, Germany, until present. Alex Bodea’s work is serial; each project builds up like a book. For this reason she finds to be in her element when taking part in complex international collaborations and solo projects that accumulate, build up in time, develop a lot from the starting point, such as the Telephone project from Satellite Collective (US), MUU Artists Association’s voyaging performances series (FI), Curator’s Network growing platform of collaborative events (RO, AT, PL, HU, ET) Diane Pernet’s long lasting fashion critique archives (FR), Salonul de Proiecte, Romanian contemporary art initiative (RO), the Pocket laboratory video poetry series, Line poems of Alex Bodea series and Visual notes archive. She hopes to build up a relevant body of work.

Links: Visual notes archive Line poems Pocket laboratory

Thoughts on the Telephone process

The first thing that I experienced while looking at the work that was assigned to me was the feeling that I am peeking into its creator’s artistic intimacy. The idea that what I watch is an unofficial version of a dance, performed in front of a camera, with the artist alone in the studio (an erroneous idea, the “unofficial” work is in fact a publishable work and maybe the artist was not alone), gave me the impression that I was receiving a special treatment and that work was made especially for me- another deluding perception. But this delusion generated an emotional state that I don’t usually experience in front of a work of art that I see in a gallery or museum, or publication, all contexts in which I can hide behind the anonymity of the unidentifiable viewer, the grey passerby. The second thing I noticed happening to me was the barbaric impulse to burn the assigned work to the ground and start over from scratch. This impulse made me realize immediately that this thing that I wanted to rebuild is something from the work that I have caught right away- throughout an intuitive, visceral channel and that I knew right away how to point it out in my reply. Is this that “something” that was generated in the first work in the game? Does it belong exclusively to the internal value of this performance that I saw? Does it belong to the room where the performance took place, to the white wall, to the socket you could see in the background? I don’t know. But I passed this thing along, undoubtedly distorted by my own filter, open to infinite other distortions.

It was not particularly difficult. It was both enjoyable and annoying. It made me question if, at the end of the game, it will be clear that I am trapped inside my repetitive mental circuits. And maybe not only me.

Dance by Esme Boyce
New York
New York