MG+MSUM

Paul Neagu: Going Tornado / Assessment, 1976
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Paul Neagu

1938–2004, Bucharest, Romania

 

Cutilelui Neagu (boxed in), 1968
camera: Comis Laurian
16mm film on video

 

Going Tornado / Assessment, 1976

Third stage of the performance trilogy Gradually Going Tornado, presented by Neagu and his GAG (Generative Art Group) at the Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol, March 1976

 

(...) The ground plan is a spiral and the soundtrack is Varese's Desert. Again a slide intro. Materially the most simple, it is the closest to the whole spirit of Gradually Going Tornado, and the most overtly allegorical. (The most evocative and beautiful, it is also near-impossible to describe.) Neagu emerges more fully, eventually, to dominate the space, and conversely the other four fade to the role of echoes. Three processes, imperceptibly linked, occur simultaneously. First, he steps out of his jumpsuit and gradually sheds layers of complicated clothing. The floor is littered with them and other remnants. As at Oxford he shaves, and these normally private acts seem part of a preparation to 'face the world'. Second, he begins to acknowledge the spiral. Third, a hand-held microphone is spun around a metronome, signalling the beginning of the end. Now, almost naked, he measures, restricts parts of his body, and exercises; and you notice that all his actions are within the visual dynamic of the spiral and the audible rhythm of the metronome. Gradually he begins to spin, then falters, and finally stops. The floor is cleared, and the debris is tied to his body like luggage. Disadvantage is turned to advantage: the weights or 'burdens' become counter-weights and help him establish equilibrium as he moves into the centre. The last action is simple, self-contained and beautiful. He is the focus of our attention but because of his speed we cannot see him clearly. He is out of focus.

 

Marc Chaimowicz, "Paul Neagu and his Generative Art Group at the Arnolfini", in Studio International, May-June 1976, p. 285

 
online exhibition