Artist Talk
Wednesday, November 4, 2020 / 19.00
Live on Salonul de proiecte’s YouTube channel

Artistic intervention in the EXPO_01_BUC_ARH_SP.PUBLIC exhibition
November 4 – 29, 2020
Wednesday – Sunday / 15.00 – 19.00

Salonul de proiecte
Palatul Universul, Building B, 1st floor, Actor Ion Brezoianu 23–25, Bucharest, Romania

The intervention of Andrei Nacu within the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection entails the inclusion of new photographs in the archive, without specifying which they are. Nacu thereby extrapolates his own experience as a collector of photographs, as an artist who in his practice employs archive materials, and, not least, as a collaborator of the Royal Anthropological Institute, London, an institution that houses a vast collection of images. His action gives rise to multiple questions and creates the premises for debates on the politics of the image, revealing the complex and at the same time problematic character of the relationship between image and property. The construction of narratives proceeding from the archive constructed by Mihai Oroveanu is at an incipient stage, and the political charge of the situation should not be ignored. Its potential, which also entails a great responsibility for the research team, is all the more obvious given that the archive itself is in the midst of a process of formatting, in a context defined by the culture and circulation of the image.

This invisible intervention – opaque even to the project team – is completed by a diagram inserted into the exhibition space, whose aim is to bring into discussion a series of questions that extend the task of researching the images, siting it in a (self-)interrogative zone: Who took the photographs? When? In what context? What was their purpose? What journey have they made? Who owns the photographs now? Who uses them? To what end? What part does the viewer/user play and how is she interpellated by such questions? Can the archive be a public space? By the fact that they are visible to visitors and users,  such questions are intended to stimulate ongoing debate about the role of the image, bringing critical reflection to the space of the archive.

Andrei Nacu (b. 1984) is a visual artist based between London, U.K. and Iași, Romania. In his creative practice he is using documentary photography, the family album and the photographic archive to create stories which analyse the junction between personal memory and social history. His most recent work includes video, installation and performance and focuses on the politics of representation and media archaeology. He studied photography at the University of Wales, Newport, U.K. and George Enescu National University of Arts, Iasi, Romania. /

The exhibition EXPO_01_BUC_ARH_SP.PUBLIC / A selection from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection imagines an elliptic journey through various layers of Bucharest’s architecture, suggesting a more comprehensive understanding of the public space, of which single buildings represent only a small part. This decision was dictated by our own emplacement, as well as by the vast presence of images on this topic within the collection; the selection has been guided by the intention to construct a wide-ranging view—however fragmentary—of an urban space in transformation. The series of exhibited photographs seek to be at odds with various stereotypes of representation, to move away from the centre toward the margins, to make visible broader social categories, and to bring to attention the network of public services that make up the metropolis’s hidden “nervous system”.

The exhibition can be visited until January 31, 2021, the guided tours will be announced in advance on social media.