Călin Dan, Mălina Ionescu
Ionuț Cioană, Alexandru Chira, Călin Dan, Mălina Ionescu, Diana Marincu, Alexandra Titu
Radu Manelici, Andrei Turenici
23,5 x 28 cm
Alexandru Chira’s (b. Tăușeni, Romania, 1947; d. Bucharest, 2011) oeuvre systematically and comprehensively maps a fictional field of research. His paintings, drawings, and objects, whose individual elements recall switches, screens, keyboards, and levers, were designed to “bring rain and rainbows,” to promote prosperity and prevent floods. Working in his art laboratory, Chira resembled a farmer tilling his field. He sowed symbols across his paintings, sometimes transplanted them to create new semiotic interconnections, then reaped them and stored up his harvest in painted machines of varying shapes and dimensions. In the 1990s—by then Chira held a professorship and was a widely recognized artist—he fulfilled a lifelong dream by building the “Tăușeni Ensemble,” the largest monument single-handedly created by one man in Transylvania. Much of his oeuvre accordingly consists of sketches and elaborations relating to the monument. In the course of his decades-long fascination with an agrarian aesthetic, architecture, design, astronomy, history, magic, ufology, mysticism, shamanism, and theosophy fused, yielding a kind of practical knowledge as well as spiritual speculations sustaining his endeavor.
The extensive monograph with more than 750 illustrations surveys Alexandru Chira’s output of four decades and synthesizes years of research undertaken at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest. It contains numerous transcriptions of textual parentheses, legends, and instructions on how to decode the works and poetic fragments embedded in Chira’s pictures.