“La MINEreală” project can be seen as a matching pair of the visual metafiction in “UNDERground”.
The artwork itself is an interactive installation. Near the walls of a dimly lit room we have placed mining helmets on top of chairs. The spectators are invited to sit down and use the mining helmets moving their heads in order to discover the images and shadows projected on the walls by the rays of light.
“La MINEreală” is a quest through the darkness of the mine and the self (by means of a pun), an image with a high level of entropy, with a high level of visual information; it is something you will experiment rather than literally see with your eyes. From this point of view, the title of the piece, “La MINEreală”, appeals to the “acte manqué” of psychoanalysis, “errors, deforming speech that are not only attributable to being distracted or chance”. “The alleged frustrated act is, in fact, a successful one, at a different level: the subconscious desire is performed through it in a very manifest way.”
Whilst randomly watching the lights and shadows, the projections of the rays of light irradiating from the mining helmets, the “real self” can be discovered, hidden, valuable (as a reservoir of mental energy) just like the minerals buried in the depths of the mine that are accidentally (or not) discovered by the miners during their everyday exploration of the underground and then brought up to the surface.
From another perspective, a more radical one (zen-like for instance), there is no hidden inner truth to be uncovered; the self does not exist, it is not real, and assuming a total desubjectification actually means confronting the void of the image in the play of lights and shadows.
The risk of pushing the borders of the visible until the identity of the image is lost leads to unrepresentation. Being behind a well-known image (with all their representation stereotypes), within some kind of interface that can reveal unseen truths, truths that are thought in a different way, as well as auto-reflexivity on a fluid, vague visual, are part of a META discourse strategy.
Pushing the image towards that which cannot be represented, towards the unspeakable, a discourse that overcharges both the visual game and the play-on-words, a breaking of frontiers, searching for both the ideal form and the absence of form at the same time – that too can be a META experience.
In fact, reflecting on a visual, linguistic, poetic, behavioral paradigm means contributing to mitigating the collective trauma caused by the miners’ attacks in the 90s by giving value to personal experience (related to miner, mine, mineral).
2META, Bucharest, 2001
* It’s a play on words: on the one hand, Mine brings to mind the idea of Self, and also, in Romanian, it is the plural of mină (mine); on the other hand, MINEreală includes the word Real