Ioana Lupascu: Topical Affair

‘Aeroponic’ – root systems nourished by air – Acts is the name given to the nomadic Dutch Art Institute’s final Kitchen presentations. Each participant addresses one question, as a practice of engagement.

Here you will find the documentation of Ioana Lupascu's presentation as filmed by Baha Görkem Yalım. The written report is by Hubert Gromny and it includes a summary of the comments by esteemed guest respondents.

Topical Affair

Ioana's question: What is the temporality of a fleeting desire?

Ioana's introduction: Fracture on the cusp of a sonic embrace, how can matter trouble deep feelings? Is it a rumble, a subliminal lie, a crack waiting to split open? Not a means to an end, yet sluggish, bitter, dense and pale. If you catch me dreaming… it might cause fire! 

Shuffle—play, the next song is slumber.  

The work explores the notion of residual intimacy, ecology, memory and desire. Wander about, touch, leave, stumble in and out, play, move through, exhale in synchronicity.  

* Residual, leftover, oversight, inconvenient, glitch, fragment, temporary resistance, awkward, queer failuare, segments, section, unnoticible, too noticeable, in the way….

Hubert's report: The audience enters a bright space where glass-like balls are aggregated and distributed in small clusters. Some of the balls are transparent, some are of white, and some of black color. Their surface is wet and they are cold to the touch. They resemble ice but they do not melt and are brittle. A high-pitch sound is recurring in a cyclic fashion coming out from the speakers. The audience settles sitting around clusters of glass-like balls. The volume of the sound ascends and enters low frequencies making the room tremble. It resembles a continuous uproar of a thunder or of an avalanche in motion. The spoken words arrive into a soundscape in a rhythmic fashion. Some words and sentences are repeated in a clock-like measure. During unfolding of the text few pairs of performers (Ioana Lupascu-Maoyi (Peixuan Qiu), Marika Vanderkraats-Dakota Guo, Nash Caldera-Nagham, Cristina Emmel-Gleb Maiboroda, Dandelion Eghosa-Iliada Charalampous) stand up in short intervals. Each pair repeats a similar movement, they walk finding their paths towards each other within the audience. They make eye contact, smile and encounter each other in different ways—sometimes embracing or touching hands subtly—then they depart. At times they pick up the ice-like balls and throw them at each other. During that the soundtrack becomes softer and includes a speech and laughter which creates an intimate ambience in the room. Members of the audience join in picking up the balls from the floor and begin to play, throwing them in all directions. The full scale ball fight launches spontaneously when the audio piece becomes more musical. Ending of the soundtrack marks the end of the performance.

Chiara Figone commented on how simple gestures are able to create a space, which allows for playfulness and joy to be present in the room. The encounters between the performers left traces and affective impressions in the room, which allowed people who were not part of the original script to be touched by them. Witnessing the moments of intimacy by the audience allow it to join the interaction and inhabit the environment by engaging in play and creating other paths and relationships within the space.

Phanuel Antwi spoke about the charm he felt already at the moment of entering the room and commented on the creation of the conditions which establish soft boundaries of what is allowed and what is not in the space. Phanuel made a remark on the usage of the sound and elaborated on the difference between listening and hearing. How sound was present in the space allowed an embodied listening, achieved by moments when sound had tactile qualities. The vibrational touch of sound tumulting through the space emphasized its materiality and materiality of the flesh, which receives it. Referring to the question of the presentation about temporality of desire, Phanuel posed another question: which desires tend to be fixed and which desires are feelings. He invoked Franz Fanon’s ‘Black Skins White Masks’, to expand on the embodiment of geographies of desire. The language of longing and lingering added another dimension to the presentation, the one of surveillance of public spaces and a question of how to interrupt them. The thunder-like sound evoked history by bringing the notion of echo into the intimate space of the performance.

Ana Teixeira Pinto observed that capitalism is more than a modality of political economy, but it is a way of organizing life at large. Management of romantic fantasies and intimacy are thus ways of how desire is organized in order to promote durable and heteronormative relationships, which allow for reproduction of population. According to Jean-Joseph Goux capitalism steers desires in order to make them solvent for market economy. Ana pointed out that the question posed by Ioana offers an interruption in the system by rendering a desire to be fleeting. Changing temporality of desire, could be a form of refusal to be solvent. From another angle Ana observed that the small transparent balls bring to mind the image of a fish spawn alluding to the notions of fertility and reproduction on the level of the form.


Ioana Lupascu's "Topical Affair" was presented before live audience at the Centrale Fies, Dro, Italy on July 12th.

Find the overview of all 24 AEROPONIC ACTS 2022 here: tuttə (le) rottə - all (the) ways: unfixed