Andrei Gavrilița
December 7th 2023 -
January 20th 2024
With the exponential development of the consumer market, marketing strategies and advertisements have become more and more creative and novel, to the point where they have reached the limit of aggressive to achieve their purpose. Today, marketing is so intense in the online environment that its presence is barely felt in its physical version (print), but this existence is not at all negligible.

The power of advertising lies not in the individuality of each material, but in their common abundance. All urban spaces (and not only) are accompanied by billboards, blocks are covered with mesh, shops with thousands of packaging and commercial messages, and these aspects were not ignored by the artist, but represented his subject of research. Most people ignore commercial images, others feel their effects, or look at them critically. It is certain that they exist, in a certain form, in our consciousness.

Collective consciousness, as Kay Mathiesen says, refers to the existence of common ideas among several individuals that lead to the formation of a common subject that is familiar to all, and advertising is such a common subject for us. This is actually the theme of artist Andrei Gavrilița’s exhibition, and the objects represented in his works are the product catalogs of the Romanian hypermarket chains.

In the multimedia installation "Wasted", Andrei Gavrilița explored how his artistic interpretation brings new meanings to advertising materials. His works are critical comments on the consumer society, the compulsive behavior of individuals, the harmful interventions to the environment, artistically expressed from the perspective of the objective observer. Thus, the format that the artist proposes through different specific techniques and through the digital processing of commercial materials, by filming the performative gesture of destroying them and by inviting the public to repeat the same gesture, forms a new discourse that questions waste.

The artist chose a company's marketing magazines for three reasons – one aesthetic, one conceptual and one ecological. The aesthetic motivation is based on the varied colour palette of the pages in the catalog and the organic visual structures of the pages viewed perpendicularly, and the conceptual one – on the poor quality of the magazine as an object (the poor quality of the paper). The ecological implication is valid for all store chains, but one of them presents the greatest impact in this context. The brochures that can be found in the works of Andrei Gavrilița are printed, according to BRAT (Romanian Transmedia Audit Bureau), with a monthly circulation of approximately five million magazines (the average monthly gross circulation of 5,192,377 copies). The catalogs are distributed in mailboxes in Romania without any subscription. This aggressive marketing practice represents in the artist's view an enormous waste of paper, fuel and labor in an era where far more effective forms of promotion exist and where resources should be used rationally. As a result, most magazines are folded, ignored and thrown away – wasted.

The exhibition proposed by Andrei Gavrilița encourages a critical spirit in the behavior of the marketing consumer, questions the ephemeral nature of advertising materials and the implications of decisions regarding the choices in the marketing strategies of large companies and at the same time brings into discussion what remains and what is wasted in this whole system.