Marius Bercea - Stuff like that
On the 26th of April 1986 The Patron blinked. I remember that Saturday morning when my father was getting ready to play tennis with his friend, Florin. I was usually the ball person and, although this was sometimes getting on my nerves, I was happy because I was playing with the “big boys”. I have to say that right now I am not doing something very different from what I was doing then. As a gallerist, I retrieve other people’s balls, I re-place them in the game, I run a lot, and I have the feeling that, although I am part of the game, I am also outside of it. Being so close to the ground, the ball person is the best placed spectator. He is not close to the stage; he is on the stage, but with out being totally in the play. My father rarely managed to defeat Florin, but that April day he, surprisingly, won. After celebrating his victory with a round of beer at the Monte Carlo, we got the news: there was a nuclear accident at Chernobyl Power Plant. Amazement, then sadness, and then worries.
Marius Bercea’s latest works have a tensioned relationship with Naples yellow. It is an unfiltered light that looks like a sunny mid day. But the heat of a summer day does not hide anything. It may tan, but it does not hide anything. Marius offers us a light that devours the objects. It is the atomic light of memory; a light that keeps the outline of a shadow, the sketch of a gesture, the blue-print of a landscape, and that unveils the rest: the nostalgic games of children, played without any useless objects, just with their own bodies. I heard that nowadays “lapte-gros, frunza, friptea, scuipatea, pinca” (names of Romanian games) or hide-and-seek are rarely played. No wonder... They were primary games, improbable socializations that became useless when faced with the mass-media entertainment or with computer games. It was then, in the light of Chernobyl, that everything exploded. Marius Bercea puts us in the situation of imagining that atomic-divine snap-shot. It is a moment that sticks to the lens of the best camera ever made. (Dan Popescu)