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04 Sep 2009

Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht

© Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor
Plus valoarea [Surplus Value], 2009
performance, super 8, 4:50 min., film still

Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Surplus Value


opening 05.09.2009, 16.00–19.00 hrs
exhibition 06.09.–09.11.2009
finissage 08.11.2009, 16.00–19.00 hrs

BAK Opening hours:
Wednesday?Saturday 12.00?17.00 hrs
Sunday 13.00?17.00 hrs

+31 (0)30 2316125
+31 (0)30 2304866

Lange Nieuwstraat 4
3512 PH Utrecht
The Netherlands

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From 6 September to 9 November 2009 BAK, basis voor actuele kunst presents the exhibition Surplus Value by Romanian artists Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor.

The most comprehensive overview of the artist duo's work to date, Surplus Value investigates their critical engagement with defining issues of today such as collective memory and amnesia, the formulation of artistic agency, and the politics of representation. Vatamanu and Tudor's broad-reaching practice has positioned them among the most compelling and literate interpreters of our contemporary post-communist condition, which extends far beyond their native Romania. The exhibition centers upon a number of major new productions that reflect on the current global situation and are grounded in the discourse articulated by the artists throughout the past decade. The new productions on view include Calea [The Path], an installation consisting of tons of rusted shredded metal spread onto the exhibition floor and Lingouri de rugina [Rust Ingots], a pile of ingots produced from shredded metal, both poignant meditations on the vagaries of profit and value, accumulation and loss. Plus valoarea [Surplus Value], a new film that gave the name to and set the tone for the exhibition, documents the whittling down of a piece of metal to nothing. These works are put into dialogue with a selection of Vatamanu and Tudor's older pieces, among which Vacaresti (2006), Das Kapital [Capital] (2007), and August (2004–2007) and with the series Intalnire cu Istoria [Appointment with History], 2007–2009, which includes new paintings made for this exhibition. Surplus Value is curated by Cosmin Costinas.

On the occasion of the exhibition, BAK presents the first monograph on the artists' work, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, published by BAK and post editions, Rotterdam. This major publication includes extensive images of their work since 2000 and four newly commissioned texts by Cosmin Costinas (writer and curator BAK, Utrecht), Vivian Rehberg (art historian and art critic, Paris), David Riff (art critic and artist, Moscow), and Georg Schöllhammer (curator and editor-in-chief of Springerin, Vienna). The publication also contains an in-depth interview between the artists and Bucharest-based independent curator and writer Mihnea Mircan. The monograph is edited by Cosmin Costinas and Jill Winder.

Surplus Value is the first research exhibition within the long-term project Former West, an international research, education, publishing, and exhibition undertaking (2008–2013). For more information, please visit

Mona Vatamanu
(born 1968) and Florin Tudor (born 1974) work together since 2000. Their artistic practice spans diverse media including film, photography, painting, performance, and site-specific projects. Their work has been included in numerous international exhibitions including (selection): Blind Spots, Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien, Vienna, 2009; 5th Berlin Biennial, Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2008; Like an Attali Report, but different. On fiction and political imagination, Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, 2008; Since we last spoke about monuments, Stroom Den Haag, The Hague, 2008; and Low-Budget Monuments, 52nd Venice Biennial, Romanian Pavilion, Venice, 2007. This fall, Vatamanu and Tudor will have exhibitions at Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster and the Graphisches Kabinett, Secession, Vienna, among others. On the occasion of the Surplus Value exhibition and the monograph the artists took part in BAK's Research-in-Residence program. Vatamanu and Tudor live and work in Bucharest.