Issue #33-34, 2009
Gallery 1

The Most Beautiful Day of My Life

h.arta collective have based the majority of their works on an analysis of, and personal reaction to their immediate context in which they live. While their approach has never been a documentary one, their works often filter, reflect upon or intervene in the daily life of theirs or other city in post-communist Romania, where the artists have realized their projects.

In 2007 they realized the first work which referred to the official civil ceremonies of the weddings performed at the shopping mall instead of the city council. The relationship between private life and its economic use in the dominant ideology of capitalism was the subject of the video they made back then, in which the staging of the ceremonies was followed as much as the universally-recognizable frame of the shopping mall. <

The submission to the unmasked matrimony between compulsory ritual and commercial interest is but one example of the way in which norms are imposed and identities essential­ized. For The Most Beautiful Day of My Life, the couples happily performing their binding vows on the backdrop of this promised heaven of consumerism have been merely a depart­ing, case-study for h.arta. The artists mixed carbon-copy drawings of different representative images from these weddings or from the media, with personal, narrative notes, in order to reveal the stereotypical distribution of roles in a system in which the heterosexual couple founding a family is the only largely accepted model presumably assuring society’s proper and sane functioning as well as its economic success. (Raluca Voinea)

h.arta is a group of three women artists, Maria Crista, Anca Gyemant and Rodica Tache. We work together as h.arta group since 2001, when we founded h.arta space, a not-for-profit space in Timișoara. h.arta is sometimes a physical space, but many times its projects are taking different formats, changing contexts and locations. Our group is based on our friendship, on an everyday negotiation of the differences between us. We use friendship as a way of learning together how to acknowledge the different nuances of each situation, as a safe space, as a political statement about the power of solidarity. We are interested in topics ranging from knowledge production and (re)writing histories to gender issues in global capitalist times, all these in the context of working in various collaborations with persons and groups with different backgrounds.

Among the projects carried out by h.arta are: How Did You Decide to Become an Artist? (IASPIS, Stockholm, 2005), About Art and the Ways We Look at the World (Periferic 7 Biennial/Social Processes, Iași, 2006), Via Vita (Protokoll Gallery, Cluj, 2007), Project Space (in the frame of Spațiul Public București | Public Art Bucharest 2007), Feminisme: Histories, Free Spaces, Participative Democracy, Economical Justice (Timișoara 2008–2010).