In 2012 together with my friends Adrian Urmanov and Alina Șerban I started to think about this book for our friend, Ioana Nemeș. To our joy, it became real by the end of 2014.
Ioana Nemeș (Bucharest, 1979–New York, 2011) is recognized as one of the remarkably figures of the new generation of Romanian contemporary artists. This publication offers a first overview upon the long-term projects and the singular exhibitions Nemeș has produced during her brief but extraordinary career. Fascinated with time, language and non-linear narrativity, Ioana Nemes’s practice sets off from an ongoing and unconstrained process of self-evaluation. On the slippery edge between art and life, the Monthly Evaluations project, realized in different formats and mediums, marks the artist’s willingness to expose her subjective experiences, dialogues and confrontations with her own context and condition. Both the strenght and the fragility of Ioana Nemeș’s artistic environment contrasts with the precise, almost chirurgical, survey upon her daily moods, desires and life situations on which she based her enigmatic scenarios in form of written statements. Nemeș’s work has been exhibited internationally in museums and contemporary art centers such as Art in General, New York (2011), Secession, Vienna (2010), Istanbul Biennial (2009), Smart Project Space, Amsterdam (2009), U-Turn, Copenhagen (2008), Prague Biennial (2007), Bucharest Biennial (2006), Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel (2006). Nemeș was awarded with Future of Europe Art, Gallery Zeitgenössische fur Kunst, Leipzig in 2007.
“Ioana Nemeș. Artist Book” is edited by Alina Șerban and Ștefania Ferchedău and copublished by pepluspatru Association (Bucharest) and Spector Books (Leipzig). Contributors are well known curators, art historians and artists from Romania, Europe and the USA, with whom Ioana Nemeș closely collaborated for the exhibitions showing her works or with whom she had a continuous cultural dialogue: Livia Paldi, director of the Contemporary Art Centre BAC Visby, Sweden; Courtenay Finn, curator, Aspen Art Museum, USA; Attila Tordai, curator tranzit.ro, Cluj; Magda Radu, curator Salonul de proiecte/MNAC Bucharest; Alina Șerban, art historian & curator; Andrea Codrington Lippke, arts editor & writer, New York; Ion Grigorescu, artist; Ciprian Mureșan, artist, Cluj; Apparatus 22, artist collective, Bucharest; Adrian Urmanov, writer. The design of the book is made by Radu Manelici. Production: Fabrik. Editorial project financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The book is published with the support of UniCredit Țiriac Bank.
From the foreword: < The book is dedicated to Ioana Nemeș, in token of our friendship and admiration for the manner in which she understood to translate in her artistic practice the fragile and often conflicting threshold between inner reality and daily reality, between the personal and the abstract, between language and representation. Even after Ioana was no longer among us, we continued to take the same stance with respect to her personality and way of being, to her disciplined and genuine manner of supervising the materialization of her ideas, of conferring matter to subjective time.
When you were next to Ioana Nemeș, you could not remain in a grey zone. Her outspoken manner, the clarity she required, the firm positions she always adopted would definitely cause you to overcome your uncertainties. We would have been very glad to be able to capture her reaction upon receving this book and to listen to her straightforward, unfailingly startling comments.
The project for this book sprang out of a need to evoke Ioana Nemeș’s activity, to maintain an open dialogue with the art scene and to reflect on the complexity of her own conceptual endeavor without imposing any restrictions on our analysis. Hence the eclectic style of this publication. We wanted to bring together in the same editorial structure a host of different materials that would be able to document and provide critical perspectives on Ioana’s most important series of works and exhibitions, and, concurrently, to tell her story, to render the tone of her voice, her fascination for self-analysis and fiction.
Except for the self-interviews published by Ioana Nemeș on her personal website or in magazines / catalogues, the theoretical texts and the artistic interventions were specifically drafted for this volume, representing the position of the curators, artists and friends whom Ioana closely worked or had affinities with.
We equally dedicate this book to all those who knew Ioana Nemeș closely and supported her during her artistic career, as well as to all young artists embarking upon such a career, holding the strong belief that everything Ioana Nemeș achieved in a relatively short period of time may constitute a source of inspiration to others. > Alina Șerban & Ștefania Ferchedău.
Watch a video of how the book was made at Atelier Fabrik in Bucharest: