Community in solitude // M. Bejenaru, G. Mateescu, L. Mercioiu Popa, G. Popescu

The exhibition “Lonely community“presents to the public the result of a laboratory whose central theme was loneliness and new forms of being together. In the face of forced isolation and in immediate response to open aggression, artists Matei Bejenaru, Gabriela Mateescu, Liliana Mercioiu Popa and Ghenadie Popescu, develop physical and virtual spaces for meeting, dialogue, revolt and reflection The works exhibited at WASP evoke a specific time and environment, which marked our collective and individual social existence, altering artistic expressiveness and emotion, often replaced by anxiety and fear.

The project “Community in solitude. Socialization as a post-analog practice ”hosted in 2021 an online research and creation laboratory, as well as a space for speeches-dialogue, presented publicly, on the website

The aim of these dialogues was to involve artists in various social micro-cosmos, to start an analysis / debate on the role of artistic communities in the recovery policy from the “Covid 19” crisis. Last but not least, the online laboratory functioned as an alternative space for presenting the artistic projects developed within the project by the artists Matei Bejenaru, Gabriela Mateescu, Ghenadie Popescu and Liliana Mercioiu Popa.

The exhibition “Community in solitude”, which includes 4 artistic creations produced within the project, is also a first meeting in the WASP space of the four artists, after a period of one year of research in the workshop and online dialogues.

“From A to C. Device” / video, MATEI BEJENARU
Duration: 11 min, HD video

From A to C is an experimental artist film and is a meditation on the equipment and devices that make it possible to make a film, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, an x-ray of the emotional state of the director during filming.

The film is structured around a physical and mental journey, starting from the idea sketches and the test footage in the workshop and ending with those from the chosen nature locations. Having historical references in the area of ​​experimental structuralist film, the project tries to mediate between the lucidity of the reflection on the environment and the emotion and subjectivity of the author due to the interaction with the filmed subject and the film device.

Matei Bejenaru is a visual artist and professor of photography and video art at the National University of Arts “George Enescu” Iasi. He is the founder and artistic director of the Peripheral Contemporary Art Biennale in Iași (between 1997 and 2008). In his projects in recent years, through photography, video and performances, he investigates representation policies in photography and social documentary film, interdisciplinary methods of generating hybrid art projects, which import elements of language from other media such as music, performing theater or poetry.


The project proposed by Gabriela Mateescu and Andrei Mateescu takes over and expands the themes previously addressed by Gabriela in her 2014 paper “When I want to breathe fresh air, I open the window”. In it he explored methods of relating to nature inside our notorious concrete boxes, starting from the simple gesture of opening the window. If the main purpose of that paper was to understand the relationship between the occupants of the apartments and their exterior, “De Jur Împrejur” focuses instead on the interpersonal relationships of the subjects with their immediate inner surroundings – (a) their home.

The restrictions imposed by the COVID pandemic (launched in Romania on March 1, 2020) have left us with few options to leave the apartment, while technology has evolved even more in the direction of allowing us to work from home, to order food or pay for utilities directly from the phone. All this translates into a life and an immediate reality spent almost entirely inside.

The two artists address not only the issue of living in quarantine and restricting movement in the city, but also the processes by which isolation in a large studio in Bucharest has altered their work and artistic expressiveness. How has their relationship with the environment changed and what does it mean to live and explore anxieties (or develop others) in an extremely limited space setting?

Gabriela Mateescu is an artist who lives and works in Bucharest and is the founder of the Nucleu 0000 artists’ group. personal experience, social life. She is interested in the expansive character of art, in the constant exchange of ideas in a community that takes place through discussions, meetings. The social character is visible in the projects carried out together with the Nucleu 0000 community, and the communication network created serves as a link for his work, which evolves from interpersonal relations. For her, art means a developing system that touches other people, instead of being seen as a stable object frozen in time.

Andrei Mateescu is an artist who lives and works with photography in Bucharest. His preoccupations often relate equally to the syncretic relations in the Eastern European urban environment and to the role and capacity of photography in contemporary society to represent the specific problems of the era, his projects having a pronounced post-photographic and minimal-installationist approach. Starting with 2021, he also became a curator and project coordinator, through the SLOW-SYNC PH association.

“From where to where does my person stretch, where do the others start?” / Site-specific installation, LILIANA MERCIOIU POPA
Site-specific installation, reproduction of a real-scale apartment, ultra-thin foil, dimensions 9×6 m, 2022

Configured as a materialization of the personal experience of the imposed isolation period, the installation reconfigures the multiplication, extension or interweaving of the spaces of its own living space by the current connection to the screens / interception platforms that seemed to absorb the real space, giving me the feeling of new hypnotic spaces. they open. The permanent negotiation of the physical space and the management of the virtual one with the need and the fear of loneliness lived simultaneously, were outlined to me as dominant feelings, exacerbated by forced coexistence with yourself and others, brought too close through the screens, or found at a distance, also through them, talk about the subtlety of the differences between these multiple forms of loneliness and the possibility / mystery of the real encounter with ourselves and others.

It is said that loneliness is a diagnosis of our times anyway, and on the contrary, being able to be alone (with yourself) would be a necessity to lessen the problems of society (Blaise Pascal). The new reality, the situation in Ukraine, in which we woke up brutally, reconfirms what Pascal said, moving automated dance of human interactions and our attention in another setting, of visible / real war.

Through the relationship between spheres, a kind of in automatizeI suggest the various scenarios of interpersonal interaction during the isolation period and the probability meetingsbut also a perception of them at the micro level – in molecularwhere interactions could be consistent regardless of the framework.

Liliana Mercioiu Popa (b. 1975) settled down and carries out his artistic activity in Timișoara, where he teaches at the Faculty of Art and Design. His creation includes various forms of expression, such as installation, text, photography, drawing or painting. Liliana Mercioiu Popa’s orientation represents various nuances of her vision on macro and micro-historical contexts: her own becoming in relation to the development of the world, the historical evolution of the social and cultural climate in which the artist lives her life, the balance of forces and determinations that create the identity of a community. , a social group or an individual. The interest in nature developed around the idea of ​​repetition and recreation in connection with progress in art and in everyday life. The poetics / politics of space with human and non-human coexistence, the interactions between different levels (variable spaces) of reality and the tense relationship between “objects” are also areas of interest for it.

Exhibitions (selection): 2021 Invisible Cities – Imaginary Realms, Garrison Command, Timisoara; 2021 (solo) Subsequent body, ICF Timișoara; 2020 (solo) Ways to build, MNAC Bucharest; 2019 ArtEncounters Biennial Dialogues with art, Timișoara; 2018 No Man Land, Scene 9, Bucharest; 2017 UNIVERSALLOWED, Battery Factory Tower, Timisoara; 2016 (solo) Balanced Structures, Brâncovenești Palaces Cultural Center, Mogoșoaia; 2014 (solo) Variable Geometry, Jecza Gallery, Timisoara.

“Leukos. The Quickest Response” / GHENADIE POPESCU
plywood, adhesive, sand, 113x113x4 cm, 2022

At first it was the QR code. A code with personal medical data regarding Covid vaccination19.

But at one point, things changed overnight. The need for a QR, a quick answer remained, only the data changed. The new code is about an immediate response to open aggression.

“Leukos. The Quickest Response” is an interactive object, it can be activated by scanning with an iPhone, iPod…

Ghenadie Popescu (b. 1971, Floresti, Republic of Moldova) lives and works in Chisinau. Ghenadie Popescu is interested in the local identity (post-communist), tradition, geopolitical mixture. He is known for his art objects, performances, videos and video animations, referring in his art to the absurdity of the world in which he lives and works.

Ghenadie Popescu studied at the painting department of the Academy of Music, Theater and Fine Arts in Chisinau. Since 2012 he has been mainly involved in personal stop-motion animation projects. His group exhibitions include Galeria Posibilă, Bucharest, RO (2019), Expanded space, Bucharest, RO (2017); Attention borders, Labyrinth Gallery, Lublin Gallery, Arsenal Gallery, Bialystok, PL (2017); CRONOGRAPH Documentary Film Festival, Chisinau, MD (2013-17); One sixth of the Earth, MUSAC, Museum of Contemporary Art of Castile and Leon, ES, ZKM Karlsruhe, DE; Shaping the new, Kosice, SK (2011); Performance Meeting, La Générateur, Gentilly, FR (2009); One step aside, Die / Grenoble, FR.

20.04.2022 – 15.05.2022
Opening: 20.04.2022, 19:00-22:00
WASP Working Art Space and Production, str. Ion Minulescu 67-93, corp E

Production: Captain St. Andreea PFA. Co-production: 4Culture Association and WASP Studios
Cultural project co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration
Partners: West University of Timișoara – Faculty of Arts and Design, T-act / Center for Contemporary Art and Theoretical Studies, George Enescu National University of Arts Iași – Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, Center for Contemporary Photography Iași.
Media partners: Radio Romania Cultural, Modernism, Zeppelin Magazine, ARTA Magazine, Feeder, IQads, Positive Romania

The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.

Source: IQads by

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