Eating the Beard is the title of the recent retrospective show of Michael Borremans at Mucsarnok Budapest, which brings together some one hundred works of the Belgian artist, comprising works produced in various media, ranging from painting, which is rightfully perceived as his medium of choice, to drawing, video and small scale installations. Curated by the reputed Hungarian curator Petranyi Zsolt, the exhibition is another episode in the institution’s more or less coherent programme of hosting rather large scale, comprehensive and compelling presentations of influential contemporary artists, especially of those whose influence have been or is fruitfully felt by the artistic milieu in Central and Eastern Europe (whatever that might mean). Among previous such events, one can recall Luc Tuymans’s challenging and witty retrospective or Mircea Cantor’s solo show a few years ago.

Michael Borremans is now an artist in his late forties, living and working in the rather small, quite charming and culturally active city of Gent. Although academically trained mainly as photographer, his international fame, or, to be more precise, European recognition –since the artist is still not widely acknowledged in the U. S.– is mostly due to his contributions to the media of painting and drawing, which he constantly uses since the mid-nineties. His painting, especially, was largely viewed as an effort to meaningfully put at work traditional means of expression used by the practitioners of the medium and to produce contemporary relevant painting while using painterly approaches that relate to old masters such as Manet, Velasquez or van Dyck. Sign of historical nostalgia or not, the sheer pleasure or manipulating the painterly matter or the drawing charcoal in order to obtain visually seductive results has become, for many in the contemporary art world, an essential feature of his art.

Commenting on the show’s title, Petranyi writes: “As we know, hair is indigestible. Cats cough up the hair they swallow while cleaning themselves… Therefore, as we see now, the title of Michael Borremans’s exhibition stands for the <almost impossible>”. However, when one looks at the actual painting that borrows its title to the show, depicting a young girl presumably trying to swallow something that looks like hair, it is not the attempt to realize something that is almost impossible that comes to one’s mind. Rather, an existential, hallucinatory nausea is suggested, as the girl might be perceived just as well as vomiting, for example. That nausea is subtly pervading his entire body of work, while ideas of manipulation, unease, silent and ambiguous danger, cruelty, frailty of human condition and of memory are composing the semantic synopsis of Borremans’s art.

In his paintings, the depicted figures strangely appear as never actually finished, yet almost always polished, somewhat emphatically shiny. It is as if a craftsman would frantically glaze an incompletely shaped piece of ceramics, not having the patience to get the shaping process to its expected conclusion. The eerie resemblance between flesh and porcelain or even marble texture, between the human forms and the realm of the inanimate, resemblance which is not observed, but rather proclaimed by Borremans in his paintings, is a key feature of his painterly language and of his understanding of human existence. Moreover, in his works, be them paintings, drawings or video pieces, the human being is presented either as statue (monumental or decorative) or as puppet, hardly ever as a living being mastering his or her destiny, being in control of his or her live or mental universe. The human being is manoeuvred and designed, is engineered and corrected, is acting out of meaningless automatism, in other words is much more object (particularly, an object upon which power is exerted in an almost foucauldian manner) than subject. The silent and aloof workers in Pupils, probably one of his best works to date, in  their neutral overalls, passionlessly shaping or retouching what seem to be mannequin heads constitute a perfect example of how Borremans understands to approach human condition.

Exquisitely lonely, so to speak, especially when it comes to female figures, like in A2 or The Skirt II, his characters strangely imply that they are not alone; they just calmly strive at epitomizing loneliness, but also imply the presence of surveillance and manipulation. Even when the characters are almost monumentally singular in the painterly composition, they are frequently represented with their back turned to the spectator, who becomes the eye gazing from behind, from the shadows, presumably the eye of the perpetrator or of  the guardian. A step further, in works such as the two versions of The Pendant, a woman’s hair is tied and pulled up vertically, making the characters perfect epitomes of the lifeless puppet hanging at the end of an all controlling string. Thus, after looking at some of his paintings in this category long enough, what one disturbingly realizes is that he or she is unwillingly put in the position of the bearer of menace, of voyeur or of witness to the end result of the process by which the being looses his or her soul (which is the same as loosing his or her life).

Many of Borremans’ paintings and drawings refer, in a more or less direct manner, to the issue of death. His human figures are often depicted in states and in bodily postures that can be just as easily associated with sleep (as the title of his Sleeper painting, for example, directly suggest) or with death. Along with the Sleeper, works like The nude or The case, also present in the Mucsarnok display, perfectly illustrate this ambiguity. The nude presents the viewer with the image of a naked young woman, lying on her back, eyes closed, in a (chromatically) cold environment. It is a bizarre mix between pre-Raphaelite – like drama, involving a Dante Gabriel Rossetti type of Ofelia, and the intriguing, almost cynical coldness of a scene from the CSI TV series. However, all the sensuality has vanished from this body, while the sensuousness of paint is highly poignant. What almost immediately and certainly involuntarily came to my mind as I was watching it was the frightened Haley Joel Osment in the 1999 Sixth Sense picture, as he whispers to the child psychologist interpreted by Bruce Willis: “I see dead people!…”.  The impression lasted in my mind throughout the show and so did the feeling that in Borremans’s universe people are lifeless and matter is alive.

I don’t think it is by chance that associations with movies are tempting when confronting Borremans’s artworks, even, or especially, those which are not video pieces. That is because it seems pretty obvious to me that another crucial rhetoric instrument present in Borremans’ work is theatricality. All his paintings and drawings are somewhat staged, in a way a director or a stage designer might compose a tableaux, as they embed a potential for narrative and for drama. That theatricality is mostly evident in his drawings from The German series or in other works on paper such as his Square of Despair, in which several delicately rendered silhouettes of dead horses are carefully aligned in rows on the ground, while undisturbed people pass by the hallucinatory scene. The Belgian artist seems fascinated both with the man’s uncanny availability to slaughter living beings, as well as with the humans’ sick propensity to assign heroic, epic or sublime motivations and dimensions to their murderous acts.

The sublime and the memory are obliquely approached by Borremans as he deals with monumentality and monuments, which constitute yet another crucial topic in his oeuvre. Thus, projects –or rather sketches– for inexistent and impossible or, at least, highly improbable monuments are recurrent in his works. The above mentioned The German project is a perfect example in this regard. In the drawing The German (part two), a perfectly bourgeois looking clerk or, why not?, intellectual is playing with little objects that look like red dots and retain all his attention. The neutral man is totally oblivious that some other people are regarding (in awe?, fearful?, full of admiration?) his huge image which appears as being projected on an enormous wall. A version of the work in the form of a small scale model for a huge screening in a sort of a plaza was also exhibited at Mucsarnok, with a short video of the man in a suit actually screened within a small glass box attached to the wall.

As it is plain to see, for Borremans, the issue of scale is always fundamental when it comes to monumentality, sufferance and memory. Too big people relate with too small figures so often in his works. A Gulliver – like world is constructed in his images, only it is one with a tremendous potential for cold blooded cruelty. His projected “monuments” overwhelm by far the dimensions of their potential viewers, making one question whether the role of the monument is actually to be seen and understood or just to simply render humans humble and insignificant, to forcefully reshape their memories or to brainwash them. And so, the Belgian’s images make the viewer reflect upon the possibility that all real monuments, at some level, act just like that.

Seeing his video pieces is the best way to understand that Michael Borremans is fundamentally a painter. Each and every possible still from his “films” could be a scene painted by him. Although the image is moving, that visual flow provokes, first and foremost, a sensation of stillness or, better said, stiffness. If the narrative is always uncannily present in his paintings and drawing, it paradoxically faints precisely in his video works. It seems like Borremans is using the camera to investigate the theatre’s scene, while he is painting to construct the actual play.

Never explicit, yet never actually esoteric, the artist from Gent belongs to the same “family of artists” as Gerhard Richter, Luc Tuymans or, maybe yet on a lesser level of quality, Wilhelm Sasnal. They all use veils and they are all careful to make those veils transparent enough to not discourage the spectator from approaching their art. They all use history to shed a light on something they consider essential about the (presumably transhistorical) human being. And they all use what one might call “elusive painting” in a hopeful, oblique and somewhat perverse attempt to save the metaphorical power and the relevance of the medium under the circumstances of the contemporary world, a relevance one can never be totally sure that they still truly believe in, the way heroic macho painters like Baselitz or Brandl most probably do.

For photos of Michael Borremans works, go to and

Take painting as a medium, pop art as an ironic approach and Bucharest as a bottomless visual reservoir for the sleazy, the crammed and the apathetic, mix all these and you get Berceni, Nicolae Comanescu’s show at the Museum of National Contemporary Art. It’s a recap of roughly ten years of the artist’s work as a painter, time over which he conducted a vast study on the social landscape of a post-communist society, still stuck in the chaotic maze of its own transition.

There are a few dozen canvases which can be seen at MNAC, as the exhibition is comprised of various series produced during the past decade. Whether one takes into consideration Grand Prix Remix, Wrong Paintings or Beach culture in Bercsényi, the images are extremly violent as far as color is concerned and almost insulting with regarding to their content. The sheer amount of images done in this manner is, in all honesty, extremely confusing as far as the purpose of this very amounting is concerned, simply because at one point the endeavour actually stops being about the irony and too much about the artist indulging in the topic towards which the irony is presumably pointed at. The pile of works start to sink in a very similar mess to the one they were meant to show, as they become harder to “read “ and even harder to process, as a fair number of images repeat themselves in terms of content, therefore appearing pretty redundant.

Adhering to a sort of uncertain surrealism, most of these frantic images are a result of mixing various sights of Romania’s capital city with representations of pop culture figures or stereotypes, as well as all sorts of reflective quotations drifting around a bunch of odd characters that spring out of nowhere into the painting. As far as the visual aspect is concerned they seem to be dangling somewhere in between Daniel Richter and Jeff Koons, suggesting at times a rabid psychedelic mess and, other times, a rather obvious grin of irony aimed at behavioural clichés and resented mentalities that inhabit  this peculiar environment. The zombie-eyed cats, the crazed city traffic and the delirious settings with blinking signs and street lights, the bizarre palm leaves placed in the middle of a concrete wilderness or the portrayals of cheap summer delights are some of the topics the artist chooses to include in this hysterical circus of everyday trivialities. Of course, all this is topped by the use of an irritating abundance of colour, as he shamelessly saturates everything in highlight tones, disregarding any kind of attempt to please the viewer’s eye. His intent is pretty clear, as this fashion of painting stands in utter opposition to his “dust paintings”, a project conducted around a concept of recycling filth (literally and metaphorically) found in this same hectic environment by using actual dust as a painting medium. The result was a series of extremely pleasing monochrome images which added a very noticeable refined and tasteful factor to the same type of urban scenery that can be seen in the exhibition at MNAC.

As it is a retrospective of the artist’s work, the show sits well inside the museum’s walls, but as a visual spectacle in itself it’s rather overflowing with too much art. It’s hardly pleasurable and rather exhausting. The effect you get is more similar to experiencing an installation than a painting exhibition, simply because it’s extremely difficult to undergo each image in itself, while it’s more likely to submit to the overwhelming flood of this glitzy and quite nauseating depiction of disorder and negligence. Nicoale Comanescu is not being belligerent in these paintings. The best argument of that is the passive stance demonstrated by the obsessive use of views from inside the intimacy of the car and of reflections in the side mirror of sights already passed. All in all, it’s a junction of a lamented passenger’s disgust and his freakishly feverish imagination. But what is more unsettling, is that the endless string of these paintings doesn’t really imply at all a humorous snicker, but a sentiment of resignation and unredeemable acceptance.


Text by Adelina Cacio

For photos of the artist’s work, go to

The 27th of May marked yet another collective opening in the well accustomed manner of the Paintbrushes Factory. Plan B’s contribution was a show entitled The May Salon, curated by Mircea Cantor, that brought together the gallery’s main featured artists along with some guest artists.

The name of the show itself poses an interesting question that remains largely unanswered: is the salon reference directed towards the idea of the salon as a well established institution that has the power to make or break artists? Or is it an ironic and bittersweet reference to the salons organized in the communist era? Even though there is no definitive answer that I can provide, I must say the name is rather appropriate for a show that seems to have no particularly strong conceptual link between the presented pieces, this being doubled by the fact that it presents a large number of artists – some of which are among the best known names of the Romanian contemporary art scene.

Having artists such as Ion Grigorescu, Ciprian Muresan, Serban Savu, Cristi Pogăcean, Ioana Bătrânu, Corneliu Brudascu, Rudolf Bone, Mircea Cantor, Victor Man, Miklos Onucsan, Cristian Opris, Eugenia Pop and Gabriela Vanga in the same room is evidently a tour de force on behalf of Plan B, but I keep wondering if the inconsistent aspect of the show is not too high of a price to pay for this… The selected works are mighty different from one another in terms of topic, concept, medium, and –on lesser level– quality. However, this creates some confusion as you enter the gallery space and thus the works suddenly become less enjoyable and dare I say even annoying due to the fact that you just can’t seem to view them right.

Victor Man and Anna Bella Papp’s work is visually appealing and intriguing even though I found it quite hard to grasp. Cristian Opris’ realistic portrait engravings are highly elegant and well executed from a technical point of view, and they were also really nicely showcased. And even more than that – they are just simply very clever and ironic! The “portraits” corner of the show is then continued by Ciprian Muresan’s Family Portraits – snapshot-like photographs in color, that want to come through as sincere and informal.

Ioana Bătrânu’s Melancholic Interior is a masterful painting, reminiscing of Bonnard, in terms of color, composition, and even theme, but with an extra dose of surrealism to it. The color scheme is rich, and along with the strong brushworks it makes for a great visual treat. Corneliu Brudascu’s two paintings are gestural and highly expressive, with muted, yet sophisticated colors.

Both of Mircea Cantor’s works are interesting enough, but special attention must be paid to his video, Vertical Attempt. It shows a little boy trying to cut the stream of water running from the faucet with a pair of scissors. It is short, with a clear message, and it sure gets the message across.

The centerpiece of the show (literally) is Rudolf Bone’s installation Clouds Over Picnic, a large setup of a picnic, complete with grass all around and the scattered leftovers of a luncheon. Above this whole scene hang two large, childish clouds made out of tinfoil. At the opening, this particular artwork also had an interactive role, the artist inviting people over for the picnic, but if you happened to be there at some other time, this interactive dimension falls out of the picture. The downside to this installation, and what, in my opinion, affects the entire show is that because of it being rather large the space seems unfit for it, especially since it is surrounded by small works (the engravings and the photographs can be seen in the background), neither of which can “breathe” properly because of it.

The rest of the featured works include a painting by Serban Savu (Procession), very much in the painter’s known style; another installation, this time belonging to Eugenia Pop and called History of Europe – a wooden “frame” with bidimensional ceramics figurines representing soldiers from different eras, hanging from the frame… Also Gabriela Vanga’s Magnum opus – an ultrasound image of a fetus inside a womb, a work I honestly have mixed feelings about: is it supposed to be a sincere and feminist statement on the power of creation… or is it a bitter irony towards the condition of the woman artist?!? …or maybe I am just trying to over-think this…

As an overall conclusion, the show brings out many worthy pieces of art, and it does indeed have the appearance of a salon, and with this I mean both the good and the bad of it, by the later meaning incongruity.


Text by Voica Puscasiu

A series of exhibitions opened at the Paintbrushes Factory in Cluj on the evening of May the 27th, 2011. Several times before, this type of concentration of events proved successful, both in terms of artistic content and of public’s reaction and participation. This time, a sort of togetherness was suggested by the very fact that various events were placed under the unique conceptual umbrella of a programme called Three Shifts at the Paintbrushes Factory (besides the six exhibition openings, the programme included a conference, a book launch and a theatre performance). However, at least as far as the exhibitions were concerned, one must remark that this latest big event at the Cluj art centre wasn’t as forceful and as rich as one might have expected – given its rather massive scale – and that a sort of post – Vienna art fair, pre – TIFF and pre – summer vacation slight relaxation could be detected.

Nevertheless, diversity and meaningfulness still characterized, on the whole, the exhibitions opened on the above mentioned evening. One of the most rewarding and puzzling at the same time was The May Salon at the Plan B Gallery, which featured some of the well known artists of the gallery, as well as some of their friends as guest artists. Thus, the show comprised works by Ioana Batranu, Corneliu Brudascu, Rudolf Bone, Mircea Cantor, Ion Grigorescu, Victor Man and Anna Bella Papp, Ciprian Muresan and Cristian Opris, Miklos Onucsan, Cristi Pogacean, Eugenia Pop, Serban Savu and Gabriela Vanga.

The very appropriation of the word “Salon” is conceptually challenging and problematic. Does its use mean that Plan B Gallery is assuming the position of an authoritative institution, claiming the right to act like a jury that decides what is and what is not relevant in Romanian contemporary art? Or is it used in a rather ironical way, especially towards what the official salons represented during the communist era inRomania? Are we dealing here with self irony or with sheer hubris wearing the mask of loose playfulness? The show doesn’t quite clarify these issues, and the ambiguity it leaves us with is significantly and wittily perverse.

The exhibition itself actually looked rather uneven from the point of view of the quality and the poignancy of the displayed works, appearing like a casual “gathering of friends” from various generations, unpretentiously showing artworks to each other and to the public. The apparent democratic selection replaced a stronger curatorial concept (though the show did presumably have a curator, namely Mircea Cantor). Casualness was emphasized by the fact that one of the artists that were announced to take part in the show, namely Adrian Ghenie, was actually absent from it – a surprising organizing slip, uncharacteristic of the careful planning of the shows that Plan B usually deploys.


Bringing together some very good artists, the show inevitably presented the public with some poignant and forceful works. The ellipsoid painting of Brudascu, a gestural representation of a young boy on the verge of being sucked into some swirling waves is nothing less than a straightforward and emotionally charged demonstration of painterly mastery. Cristian Opris’ engravings of faces on banknotes are delightfully realistic and subtly ironic. Ioana Batranu’s painting of a salon – like interior is a feast of colours, the painterly rendering of the space providing it with an intensely surreal, engagingly dreamlike appearance. Mircea Cantor’s very short video, showing a child who tries to cut with a scissor the stream of tap water flowing in front of him is meaningful in a very simple way and metaphorically bold: a complete and telling artwork.

Rudolf Bone’s picnic performance / installation (a rectangular lawn, some food and drinks waiting for the spectators to join the artist for the ad hoc picnic and two clouds, childishly made out of tinfoil, above the whole scene) was certainly the main attraction of the show, although, if one sets aside its interactivity and its mildly ironic playfulness, it really hasn’t got much to offer. Finally, other works were not so convincing, as some contributions were rather dull (Gabriela Vanga’s for example). In a bizarre manner, Man and Papp’s installation was concomitantly fascinating and bordering pretentious incomprehensibility.

Laika Gallery presented a film by Mircea Gherghinescu about the (in)famous “House of the People” erected at Ceausescu’s orders in Bucharest. Titled La Pyramide du Fanfaron, the film is truly impressive, as it is a tensed mixture of documentary, satire and visual lyricism. Mircea Gherghinescu, aged 77, is one of the most esteemed Romanian television professionals and professor at the Bucharest Institute of Cinematographic Art. His film, about thirty minutes long, is, first of all, a study and a lesson about filmic image. Close-ups and broad views alternate in a finely orchestrated rhythm, composing what can be described as a portrait of a building and an epitomized description of an era.

Filmed in 1992, La Pyramide du Fanfaron reveals both the megalomaniacal impulse that led to the construction of the “House of the People” and the terrible fascination it can induce, in other words, it circumscribes both utopia and the sordid realities perversely masked by it. Images of the monumental facades are rapidly followed by those of wrecked, unfinished sections of the huge building; the luxury of the details of interior design is paired by the derisory and uncanny images of lonely sentinels. A subtle irony can at some points be perceived, as it is the case with the images of ashtrays placed in the middle of such large tables that it would have made it almost impossible for the sitters to actually reach them.

If I were to point out a weakness of Laika’s show, it would be the fact that Gherghinescu’s beautiful film lacked context. It is always difficult to construct an art show with just one work, even if, or especially when the work consists in a video screening. Other works of Gherghinescu or works by other artists that could have constituted points of reference might have added even more energy to the show. However, La Pyramide du Fanfaron was a truly compelling exhibition, able to generate both intense aesthetic experience and acute reflection.    

Peles Empire is an ongoing project pursued by two young British artists (pardon the involuntary cliché), namely Katharina Stoever and Barbara Wolff, that started off in 2005 in Frankfurt. The two artists have reproduced, in printed versions, several rooms in the Romanian Peles Castle in various venues (in Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, Antwerp, Basel, Bremen and, recently, Cluj) and invited artists to insert their artistic interventions in these particular environments. Currently, Peles Empire runs two such transformed spaces, one inLondon and the other one at the Paintbrushes Factory. The project in itself is remarkably coherent and uncannily appealing, intriguing in its arbitrariness as probably any challenging artistic endeavour is supposed to be and charming in its ambiguous, somewhat conceptually loose, though not entirely naïve approach of (art) history and of ideas such as reproduction, eclecticism and transformative cultural action.

Karl Orton’s Those Wild Days Were Dogs is the most recent intervention in the Cluj venue of the Peles Empire. Orton is aLondon andRotterdam based artist that has collaborated with the Empire before and possesses what seems to be a formative background in collaborations with the fashion industry. His intervention in the Cluj venue is a mix of minimalist elegance and baroque glamour, with a black leather – like rope stretched between two opposite walls, from which a piece of paper with a photo portrait of the (masked) artist is hanging and with a pair of white shoes placed on the floor, fitted with small mirrors inside. The objects function both as ambiguous signifiers of cultural constructs and as idiosyncratic items referring to a highly personal and thus mostly incomprehensible narrative. In the room covered with the printed reproduction of the lavish Peles Palace chamber, Orton’s intervention almost evanesces, yet the objects he places their still retain a haunting quality, which actually is the most prominent  strength of his installation (one might be tempted to say the only strength, but I wouldn’t go so far, though).

Aline Cautis’ solo show at Sabot gallery, titled With, for and against each other, is the result of honest and somewhat courageous artistic research, which focuses on the medium of painting and its contemporary, namely post – avant-garde, status. According to the organizers of the exhibition, “her paintings attempt to move forward, add, subtract, move back, gesture, articulate and confuse all, reach out, reach in, make sense of contradiction and navigate across practices”. The paintings, most of them juxtaposed in two vertical, rather irregularly, yet vaguely monumentally shaped panels, were joined in the exhibition by two almost lyrical, vividly colourful video pieces.

Unfortunately, earnestness and intellectual curiosity do not automatically grant quality to an artistic project. In the case of Aline Cautis, although it is true that her works “articulate and confuse all, reach out, reach in”, they do not actually “make sense of contradiction”. They rather embrace it in a far from compelling way. Although her painted, empty picture frames are eye catchy and one or two of the individually displayed paintings don’t lack painterly qualities, the overall impression one is left with after viewing the show is that of unfruitful confusion. All in all, the (otherwise definitely gifted) young artist kind of proved that there is a thin line that separates questioning the medium of painting and misusing it.    

In her photo studio at the Paintbrushes Factory, Irina Dumitrascu organized her photo solo show, titled Fly with Me. There were about a dozen well done photographs: well composed, well printed, powerfully modelled by means of chiaroscuro images of the artist’s friends and (former) colleagues, jumping or somehow hovering in an undefined space. That was pretty much all that was to see and understand. The photos were displayed rather high on the wall, one may presume, in order to (redundantly, I would say) emphasize the idea of flight, also present in the title. The exhibition certainly didn’t urge me to fly anywhere and did not elevate me in any way, for that matter, but I truly hope that other visitors were more impressed than me.

Finally, Portraits was the first solo exhibition of the young Cluj based painter Belenyi Szabolcs, hosted by Bazis gallery, a venue which is beginning to build itself a profile as a platform for more or less expressionistic artistic endeavours, presumably highly personal and heartfelt, somehow indifferent towards trends, yet somewhat lacking, at times, serious reflection on the deployed artistic instruments. Being involved in curating the show, I can only reassert here what I’ve already written in the critical text accompanying it.

Thus, I believe that romanticist nostalgias and youthful hubris can be detected in the recent works of Belenyi, as his painting refuses to use both the traditional life model and the photographic images as starting point. Belenyi believes in the creative power of extreme subjectivity, in the expressive forcefulness of the medium of painting and in art’s vocation to approach the grandiose topic of the human soul and individuality. As cliché, obsolete or utopian that might sound or even be, his painterly endeavours are nevertheless almost heroic testimonies of an artistic boldness which is adequately matched by his technical mastery of the medium. 

The figures he depicts always look tormented and troubled; they appear as victimized silhouettes stemming from some dark, awkward reveries. Belenyi Szabolcs literally paints people as he remembers them, and he always seems to remember them as ghosts.

The Paintbrushes Factory is approaching two years of existence. The art centre here has definitely grown, by that meaning that both the number of art spaces within and the relevance or the art projects undertaken here have increased. Its future however depends on the will and ability of the Factory’s people, so to speak, to keep investing equally effort, seriousness and wit in their endeavours. I, for one, am hopeful.