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Liliana Basarab (RO), Virgile Fraisse (FR), Teodor Graur (RO), Erick Meyenberg (MX), Nicoleta Mures (RO)

24.11.2022 - 28.01.2023

Liliana Basarab (RO), Virgile Fraisse (FR), Teodor Graur (RO), Erick Meyenberg (MX), Nicoleta Mureș (RO)
Opening: Thurs., 24 Nov. 2022, 6 - 9 pm
Sandwich Offspace 
Exhibition open:  24.11.2022 - 28.01.2023

Nationalistic symbols, conspiracy theories, charismatic leaders, unrealistic promises of welfare, Manichean oppositions between the real people and the evil elites, mystification, zeal, and recklessness. As a big picture, we seem able to define populism and recognize it as such. We’ve seen it on television, on political billboards, and in Facebook-sponsored posts, we’ve read about it in articles, and we’ve talked about it in day-to-day conversations. Chances are we’ve also heard about – or even experienced – its dangerous effects: repressive public policies towards ethnic or sexual minorities, anti-intellectualism, distrust in science, and, more generally, hate speech. Precisely because of its self-explanatory allure, however, the topic might in fact be quite a tricky one. 

After all, populism is both a real phenomenon and a convenient label used by the politicians in power to discredit the opposition. It is a product of ignorance and fake news, just as it is a product of verifiable shortcomings in governance. It is an illiberal, yet democratic response, to a liberal, yet insufficiently democratic status quo (Muller 2016:8). The puzzle is indeed complex, and its solution will never be reducible to a common-sense choice between “authentic leaders” and demagogues, as the mainstream discourse would often have it.  (text by Vlad Marina)

The Real Show @SNDW presents a series of artistic standpoints which, obviously or indirectly, touch on these subjects. The exhibition itself is accompanied by a critical incursion into populism, at the intersection of art, culture and society, presented on the public Telegram channel, containing examples coming from a variety of sources and media. Explicit or metaphorical, symptomatic or analytical, trivial or substantial, the politicians’ speeches, the campaign spots, the memes, the songs, the articles and the fragments of literature, sculpture, visual and video art included in the selection will provide a rich panorama that combines the documentary approach with the theoretical exercise.




The exhibition represents one of the episodes of the larger The Real Show project initiated by CAC Brétigny (FR) through the curators Agnès Violeau and Celine Poulin in 2021, and whose partners are, along Sandwich Bucharest, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris; FRAC Lorraine, Metz; The Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art in Riga and PLATO Ostrava, Czech Republic, each with their own reiteration. 


This event is part of the Project “The Real Show @SNDW”.
A cultural Project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Project does not necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The AFCN is not responsible for Project content or the manner in which the results of the Project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.

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