Issue #36-37, 2011
gallery 1

Holy Flowers
Mircea Cantor

Machine gun and mirror interlock in a camera, a device to select, stage, view, register and archive selves and performances, unanimities and indignation, to patrol disputed territories and landfills, peaks and abysses, and to subject all to a logic of big numbers. This camera occupies both blind spot and vanishing point – it draws and organizes a world to guarantee self-reflection, and allows a political life in its proximity only to the extent that this does not obstruct the transparent exercise of its vigilance and the mildly narcotic pleasure of its flawlessness. It patiently enumerates its objects and adversaries, and measures their always inferior strength: it holds to them a mirror where they are de-presented. The mirror makes seamless, it creates symmetry as emptied-out and mummified inclusion, it projects a falsified infinity and an endless figure to populate it, and to summon a future when all potentialities have been exhausted, when all exchanges (commercial or martial, with expansive communication technologies as lubricant) have been consummated. Seen through the viewfinder of the Holy Flowers, allegories of ourselves are being dutifully performed, and inscribed into statistics of merged souls and things, matter and time. A digital flicker of dramatic scenes and portraits, for which Holy Flowers is both precursor and making-of. (Mihnea Mircan)


MIRCEA CANTOR. Born in 1977, Romania, lives and works on Earth.

Recent solo exhibitions: 2010 Heilige Blumen, Kunsthalle Nuremberg; Shooting, Dvir Gallery, Tel Aviv; Wise as serpents and innocents as doves, Museum Abteiberg,

Mönchengladbach*; 2009 Tracking happiness, Kunsthaus Zurich*; Preventative kiss for suspicious war, Johnen Galerie, Berlin; White Sugar for Black Days, Galerie Yvon Lambert, Paris; Seven Future Gifts, Mûcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest; 2008 The need for uncertainty, Modern Art Oxford; Bristol Arnolfini, Camden Arts Centre (2008–2009)*; 2007 Ciel Variable, FRAC Champagne Ardennes, Reims*; 2006 The Title Is the Last Thing, Philadelphia Museum of Art*; Born to be Burnt, Gamec, Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo; 2005 Deeparture, Galerie Yvon Lambert, New York.

Selected group shows: 2010 Over the Counter, Mûcsarnok Kunsthalle, Budapest*; Art for the world, World Expo Shanghai*; Promesses du passé, Centre Pompidou, Paris*; 2009 Universal code, The Power Plant, Toronto*; Barock, MADRE, Napoli*; 2008 28th Bienal de São Paulo*; 2007 Brave New Worlds, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis*; Airs de Paris, Centre Pompidou, Paris*; Power Play, Artpace, San Antonio (USA); 2006 4th Berlin Biennial for Contemporary Art, Germany*; Bienal Internacional de Arte Contem­poráneo de Sevilla*; 2005 Irreducible, Contemporary Short Form Video, 1995–2005, CCA Wattis, San Francisco; 2004 Quick-sand, De Appel, Amsterdam*; 2003 50th Venice Biennale – Clandestine section*. (*catalogue)

Referential bibliography (selected): Hans Joachim Müller, “Kunst im Glück”, in Die Zeit, 10 Sept. 2009; Nicole Scheyerer, “Mircea Cantor review”, Frieze, Jan.–Febr. 2009;

Ines Gebetsroither, “Cut Short”, Spike art quarterly, Spring 2008; Blake Gopnik, “The Idea: Predator, Prey, Provocative”, Washington Post, 28 Oct. 2007; Sean James Rose,

Mircea Cantor, poète politique”, Libération, 12 June 2007, Emanuelle Lequeux,Un Autre monde est possible” – Portrait, Beaux Arts magazine, no. 275, May 2007;

Alessando Rabottini, “A future world”, Flash art, Nov.–Dec. 2006, no. 251 + cover.

Awards and nominations: 2004 – Prix Paul Ricard S.A. – Young French artist, Paris; 2008 – Nominated for Artes Mundi, Wales, UK; 2010 – Zece pentru România (10 for Romania) National Award of Excellence for the Fine Arts, Realitatea TV.