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Paul Neagu

*1938 in Bucharest, Romania, died 2004 in London, Great Britain.

Going Into Tornado

'Going Tornado' was a performance by Paul Neagu recorded in the studios of the Scottish television station Grampian in 1974. The two drawings 'Going Into Tornado' and 'Gradually Going Tornado' from the same year are preparatory studies for the performance, in which the artist roller-skated around a series of objects in a spiral pattern, gradually undressed, and then tied various leather straps around his hands and body. The drawings were incorporated into the film that documented the work. He wrapped the various objects on the floor in paper and secured the packages to one of the leather straps around his hips. As he began to turn around his axis, the packages flew outwards, and he spun faster and faster before finally falling to the ground and cutting off the objects.

The performance was executed several times over the years and is one of the artist’s key works.
'In my account 'Gradually Going Tornado' stands for an organized lucid realization (see whirling dervishes or the Shakers); it bears a cyclic gyroscopic movement as an instrument of ritual, which absorbs life-physical facts and generates art-spiritual suggestions' (Paul Neagu in: 'Gradually Going Tornado! Paul Neagu and His Generative Art Group', exhibition catalogue, Sunderland Arts Centre, 1975, p. 27).

'Cosmosizing Man' summarizes and characterizes Paul Neagu's artistic vision of the role and understanding of the artist, who may act in an archaic way of a magician, healer, and shaman.

'Three Worlds' contextualizes the three performances 'Going Tornado', 'Blind Bite', and 'Horizontal Rain'. Paul Neagu seeks a different spiritual state, a 'generative-productive' condition, from which a different artistic practice could emerge.

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