Effects of Object’s Process of Interpretation upon an Objective Regard is a lab project in which image decoding is dissected, planned step by step from the retinal reception proper to the subjective interpretation of an information. Ciprian Ciuclea is the author of a very subtle compound. Its terms could be rendered through white cube and black box. Or through objectual and digital. Or lightbox and monitor. Or print and interface. In other words, it is about the polarity between the surface and projection in space, between the bidimensional and installation, between what is unchangeable and what disintegrates in time, between what is opaque, clear, thick (bold) and immaterial evanescence. The first term is chosen on account of the white wall, of the orderly space, of the rectangular stand, of the monitor with tube, on account of surfaces and sharp planes. As for the second term, it depends on the fluid light inside an otherwise matted darkness, on the “undulation” of time and on the transience of impersonal, physical processes. Shade movement, paper fluttering, eye blinking, trickling of the laser fascicle are the physical processes whom Ciprian Ciuclea, originally, a graphic designer, records within an interesting and already consistent video production. Because screen is the exchange coin of this polar compound among whose terms, quoted above, he oscillates as an artist. He achieves a particular kind of screen-reliant art, by using both the aesthetics of the trace or of the print, inscriptions on surfaces, and environmental immersions through video projection, through luminiscent diffusion in dark ambients and through installationism. Not only digital boxes, but also large projections on the wall; both a punctual, controlled, artefact technology, and the phantasmal illusionism of a magic performance with lanterns. That is why Ciprian Ciuclea seems to balance between two distinct paradigms, between what still keeps him interested in the white-cube visual model and what seduces him to the more recent black-box aesthetics. That is why he is both an artist of the object and of video projection, of a work of art and of installation, of materiality and of atmosphere, of a personal, manufacturer’s, disciplined production and of large, divergent fascination, typical for an amateur, for an inspired busybody who builds hermetic work cabinets inside which he locks himself in order to produce shadow plays. (It is not by accident that, before studying art, he wanted to practice geology, but a strictly subjective, exploratory geology, as he was mainly interested in the relationship between the physical domain and the human organic one. But this is another reference point the polarity of his sensibility displays between the objectual, strictly physicochemical harshness and the electromagnetic imponderability of the “subtle” realities. Everything takes place among the slippery folds of knowledge sedimentation, among the digital alluvia of the scientific data bases whom he still approaches and wherefrom he gets a great part of the informational substance defining him as contemporary artist.) Therefore, black-box sensibility, insinuated in the economy of the video-art display matches him perfectly, and almost all his projects are somehow ambiental − they are aseptic exhibitional installations in which video image plays the most important role. It is but natural that the polarity production between what could be called “the white-cube hard” and “the dark-box soft” should best result from the way in which he conceives the display of these projects. And to become all the obvious in the way the artist solves the design of the things populating this display − i.e. the way they simply look like. The hinted-at receptor remains “the onlooker” who turns among stands and monitors, comes nearer to see what namely lightens the spots perfectly aligned along the walls, bends to decipher, goes around or just stops. The observer is allowed to move, but his coordinates superpose correctly over the exhibited ones: the planes, the centring proper, the works exist and are eager to be regarded, and the artist surprises the fact. Moreover, the video projections on the wall or through the monitor are (stimulatingly) short, their temporality neither attempts, nor plays with the onlooker’s. The video monitors, as well as the lightboxes, are frequently pedantically fixed on the wall, resembling hanging-art works. One encounters everywhere microinstallations with small plates, lamellae, small transparent (plexi)glass screens, usually objectually assembled, and joined, on different supports, with other small-sized graphic interventions, often serialized. One could say that the print culture following the graphic-design techniques he largely used to practise, after being however educated in a traditional beaux-art-ist system he somehow refers to, is thus noticed. Yes, but with Ciprian Ciuclea, this entire objectuality in quest of an “onlooker” for the white-cube environment is bathed in an incipient shape of what was called screen spectatorship: and the minute graphic signs appear mainly on screen supports. On the other hand, he is not disturbed by the proximity of the box-like, though heavy and slow, monitor with tube, which is perfectly familiar precisely because it heralds utility and industrial design, together with the flat, supple monitor, perfectly adapted to the fluid, glamourous aesthetics of contemporary screens. It is important that something of those magic arts supplied by the vaporous geometry of the projection technologies dealing with the light surrounding “the onlooker” and swinging him among diffusions, refractions, overlappings and evanescences always hovers, though sometimes but residually. At the Recycle Nest Gallery, after removing the drapery (uncommon in such a small exhibiting space, though the black drapery and the video monitor are already old accomplices), the visitor comes upon this kind of luminiscent scenography. The project housed in the gallery − Effects of Object’s Process of Interpretation upon an Objective Regard −, like all artist’s recent projects, enjoys an imagery issued from his consistent interest for science (a discursive domain at least as populated by images as history of art, in spite of the common opinion). I was speaking above of Ciprian Ciuclea as about an artist who probes inquisitively other disciplines − for instance, medicine, or, this time, optics −, who launches lab-like projects and touches with his own utensiles the visual culture of the rigorous experiment practised in the specialized research of the “exact” domains. But beside this scientific, formally, highly-mediatized soft, his production is characterized by strong abstruseness, a vein of visual education indebted to the history of art. [...] (Adriana Oprea)
The project was presented on October 2009 at Recycle Nest Contemporary Art Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, curator Adriana Oprea.