Romania - Martin-Emilian Balint

Instead of sculpting stone or casting bronze, Martin-Emilian Balint, photographer, sculptor and video-maker, models the emotions of the visitor. His installations, often made of paper and based on the repetition of a multitude of identical elements, have recently become larger and more spectacular, aimed at creating a mood of festive enchantment that is unusual on the scene of contemporary art.

When still a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, Balint became known to the public by taking part in Atelier Aperti, a collateral event of the Art Biennale 2005, with an installation composed of about three thousand little origami birds made of white paper. 2008 was the year of Anti-Lulling Field, a field of 1,300 plastic poppies presented at the exhibition CREAM On Madness on the Island of San Servolo, during OPEN 11. In 2009 he created 300 red paper asteroids for the work Sun Being at the Fornace in Asolo, where his aim was to make the visitor feel like a star, in the centre of a solar system that rotates around him, controlled by a mathematical harmony.

Sweet Suite, of 2011, composed of 15,000 golden paper birds, was the focal point of the Bride exhibition in the medieval fortress of Larnaca in Cyprus.

Also in 2011, for the Library and Contemporary Art Gallery of the town of Preganziol, near Treviso, Balint created the installation Embraces, with 17.000 figures of various sizes (corresponding to the number of inhabitants in the town), represented in the universal

gesture that expresses love and welcome.

Visitors were able to take one or more little figures at the entrance and place them in the procession that wound its way through the rooms, or take them home, give them or send them to friends and acquaintances, so that the party could continue even after the opening night.

A delegation of Embraces, placed in a specially made container, carries on this festive moment, extending the experience of this enchanting installation to the visitors at OPEN 14.


Text by
Gloria Vallese