Stepping into the gallery, the space opens up portals for differing temporalities and spaciousness that cross-contaminate and affect each other. Webbed with blown-up sculptures and enlarged video projections, the created environment jumps back and forth from natural to industrial, tactile-corporeal to dehumanized.
Ștefan Tănase’s first solo exhibition at Suprainfinit gallery stemmed from the space of a failed urban saltmine, a supposedly healing and leisure room, situated in the basement of the gallery whereby every single part of the walls is covered with natural blocks of salt. Intrigued by this protective environment, Tanase connected it with a different kind of protection: the “Toblerone line” from Switzerland, the long trail of anti-tank defenses against possible invasions during World War II. These lines of defensive blocks can still be found all over Switzerland, but more predominantly in border areas. The artist researched other forms of barriers and decided to work around the tetrapod. Reminders of the (failed) modernity, tetrapods are massive concrete constructions that are interlocked on long lines to enforce coastal structures such as seawalls and breakwaters.
Floating over sustainability is a pair of polystyrene tetrapods in natural-size dimension that watches over the gallery space bearing a sense of humor in highlighting their monumental girth. Placed in a distant dialogue with the tetrapods, Ring bell, the pair of large-scale aluminum rings balance their weight on the uneven terrazzo floor of the gallery. On the upper side of the rings there is an engraving of two people carrying a heavy chunk of solid material. Referencing algorithmic paradigms such as coding, scoring, casting, or command, these works complicate the manufacturing procedures through memories and lived experiences. Stefan told me in a discussion while installing: in Switzerland, a golden ring is given from generation to generation, usually on a male lineage, as a signifier of wealth and social class distinction. Seemingly with the horse, a symbol that has been used throughout history as a powerful, dissociative tool. The two video works Be humble and Missed delivery challenge us to question the metrics and hierarchies being reproduced in nature, in the field of art and beyond, and our own role within this.
Needle in a haystack is intentionally deployed as an invasive sculpture for the small dark room of the gallery where it is installed. Five thousand five hundred anti-stress scalp massagers are piled up in the shape of a haystack, balancing each other out in a post-humanist vision of what a haystack may look like in the future.
Severing the ceiling and partly the gallery space, Delivery trip II navigates the double-sided dimension of the trip, the realm between a delivery trip and a LSD trip. Both juggling with dilating reality and enabling hyper-visions on living and non-living objects and experiences, the series of colored helmet visors knotted with two strong hemp ropes suspends a fragile temporality above the works, the visitors and the space itself.
The reversed familiarity of the sculptures yields a visual bath of imagination towards an accidental horizon. The public is invited to enter a landscape of obsolete and speculative symbols that stretch multiple connections between personal memories and a hybrid field of objects and understandings.