World in the Effigy

In his/her moments of skepticism and uncertainty, the artist from the space of decorative arts does all that lies in the possible to deny his/her identity. In despair, he/she loses even the minimal survival instinct, simply forgetting that the nature of own creativity is neither confused, nor replaceable. In this fragile moment when doubt and aspiration blend imperceptibly, he/she discovers new territories and gets the risky taste of desertions. And the preferred territory, especially of the ones coming from the arts of fire, but not only, is the sculpture, sometimes discreetly accompanied by the painting. Thus, tacitly, but no less radically, the glass blower becomes glass sculptor, the metal worker, a metal sculptor, the ceramist, a ceramics or porcelain sculptor etc. This bizarre temptation of migration, far away from confirming the ideals, is doing nothing but to distort and to dislocate one of the most complex and spectacular artistic codes, namely that of decorative arts.

Assessing stupidly and inadequately an apparent difference of authority – expressive, moral, philosophical and symbolic – between the decorative object and that one belonging to the so-called major arts, the artist of the first category behaves as vain as the false believer, who, ignoring his own limits, is convinced that God can be more accessible inside of another religion than in that one where he was born. The effect is only one and inevitable – missing the meeting with God and, at the same time, with himself. When, on the contrary, the artist is aware of the irreducible nature of his/her language, of the limitless freedom inside own world, of infinite possibilities of communication through specific means, his/her work has the same authority, the same grandeur, the same depth and, if it is not too much, the same implicit metaphysics as any major landmark of human creation, no matter in whatever language it may be expressed.

Free of obsessions and temptations of the surrounding arts and neighbors’ good, not by who knows what miracle, but through a firm self awareness and a deep knowledge of the world of arts she’s installed in and which she’s permanently enriching by her own action, Cristina Bolborea is not making sculpture, either directly or by ricochet, but exactly what she has set, i.e. decorative art, in a broad sense, and ceramics, in the narrow one. And, somehow in order to confirm this observation, she’s not only subordinating the decorative nature of her works to another level of reading, suspect of a higher authority, but, on the contrary, she’s exacerbating this aspect until its transformation into a single access path to the deep senses of the world.

Starting from the model (and the pattern) of the jewel, of the apotropaic object, of the Oriental carpet etc., themselves metaphors of the World, of the Cosmos, cultural concentrates involving at each step the presence of a creator, of an active factor that brings his humble and ecstatic praise to the Great Creation, Cristina Bolborea takes a step further.

She eternizes the model, the structure, the morphology, transferring their expression from the perception in the moment into effigy, and the textile materials or the recovered ones, such as raw glass fragments or metal waste, docile, fleeting and ridiculous by their own nature or by the hazard of some circumstances, turns, irreparably, from a frozen mineral substance into a geological and living alike universe, incorruptible and mysterious due to the spiritual dimension that it gains. That’s just by taking upon oneself the full ornamental function of the pattern, by moving it from one reality to another, by sacrificing any predictable function and by the decisive separation of the imagination from the immediate existence of the pattern, the image becoming its only reason to be, Cristina Bolborea takes out the decorative object from its major determinism, the one of absolute opacity, creating simultaneously the prerequisites for a lecture in transparency and for an understanding in depth.

The huge, Baroque jewelry, heavy and imponderable to the same extent, but also the stone-still carpets, from another creative cycle, a mummified show of a vast ornamental repertoire, the encoded world of signs, the conversion of amorphous, of the fragment, of the wild land or of the recovered materials, into the high order of a mysterious geometry and of a full experience, into the boundary between the mystical and sensory, the hand involvement, by modeling and assembling, as generator of life, and of the purifying fire, as a vehicle of eternity, are so many layers of a dynamic reality looking for its inner balance. Without any statement foreign to the specific speech and using strictly the expressive instruments of decorative arts, the artist creates a vast field of lecture and opens large horizons of communications precisely because she’s not deviating from her own alphabet and codes and she’s not leaving herself deceived by the promises of some phantasmal exteriorities.

Placed together, contemplated as a coherent and at the same time diversified ensemble, suggesting an exciting sequence of auspicious moments, of incorporated breathings, where a matter, undecided between amorphous and fluid, stands mystically stone-still, like the suspension of the whole nature from its historic temporality in the moment of Jesus’ birth, Cristina Bolborea’s condensed carpets cede their individuality in favor of a symphonic composition. They become part of a huge installation that extends beyond the immediate boundaries of the object, but also beyond the less perceptible ones, but equally traumatic, of matter itself, because the mechanism of thought which generated them and the suggestion of infinity created through repetition, do not circumscribe a specific space and time, but, on the contrary, rather define general categories, such as simply Space and Time. One more proof, if needed, that the effigy always survives any accidental existence and goes beyond any predictable corporality.

Pavel Susara

Art critic