Mihai Mihalcea /
Farid Fairuz

video performance, 27'35"
produced by: Salonul de Proiecte

The first artistic intervention in the EXPO_02_GEN exhibition, which draws on materials from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection, is a collective-participative video work conceived by Mihai Mihalcea and entitled Family Album. In this particular instance, the source is a 1920s–1930s album of nude photographs representing various female figures in poses that avoid the forced eroticisation and objectification of bodies that we usually find in such situations. The inventory of poses and gestures that are constructed in relation to the camera conveys an impression of relaxation, naturalness, and a ludic spirit, and points to a type of acceptance that reveals vulnerabilities, but also subtle ways of asserting the power and subjectivity of the women captured in the photographs.

Mihai Mihalcea has chosen to transpose this album in a video format that brings together the communities of people to which he is attached in various ways, in a period when lack of contact with others, isolation, and loneliness have affected everybody’s life. The original photograph album thereby becomes a point of reference and “travels” through various contexts, spaces, and bodies, having the potential to become a vehicle to preserve for the future the network of Mihalcea’s friends and acquaintances who make up his extended family: friends, colleagues, cultural workers, artists, members of the queer community, collaborators. The participants were invited to use their bodies to recreate within the domestic space a particular photograph selected from the original album, but rather than static images, the method chosen was interpretation via brief video sequences. These unpretentious film vignettes, which were not directed or controlled by the author of the proposal, are put together in a video montage that filters the material very little or not at all. Adapting an album-type format to today’s conditions aims not only to produce a time capsule of the present day, the way memory used to be preserved in photographs, but also to make visible the tension, so defining of the present moment, between the powerlessness of each of us—“nakedness” also signifies defencelessness in the face of the pandemic—and the need to be together by resorting to corporeality, as the body is both a major factor of vulnerability and an agent of imagination and communication against all odds.

Participants: C?t?lin Anchidin, Alexandra Andronic, Despina B?descu, Dinu Bodiciu, Corina Bucea & ?i?i, Chlorys, Lorena Cocioni, Cosmin Costina?, Alexandra Croitoru, Adnana Cruceanu, M?d?lina Dan, Matei David, Renate Dinu & Jimmy, Paul Dunca/Paula Dunker, ?tefania Ferched?u, Eduard Gabia, Nona Inescu, Lavinia Ionescu, Radu Jude, Petre Kis, Cristina Lilienfeld, Alina Lupe?, Virginia Lupu, Aron Madon, Nicolae Mandea & G??u-G??u, Rolando Matsangos, R?zvan Mazilu, Mihaela Michailov, Maria Mora, Ciprian Mure?an, Cristian Nanculescu, Bogdan Olarson, Erika Olea, Drago? Olea, Cosima Opârtan, Alex Opri?? & Pupi, Livia Pancu, Ana Papadima, Manuel Pelmu?, Xandra Popescu, Leta Popescu, Anamaria Pravicencu & Simone, Magda Radu, Anca Rujoiu, ?tefan Sava, Ionu? Sociu, Alexandru Solomon, Corina Sucarov & Maligno, Cosmin ?apu, Valentine, Lucian Varvaroi, Mihaela Vasile, Sofia Zadar

Video editing: Cr?i?a Niga
(press release text by Salonul de Proiecte)

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