Art, Science, and Bravery in the Pandemic

Four artists with no apparent connections between them were part of a residency program hosted at scientific institutes. They created multimedia installations brought together under the title of Convertible Structures, an exhibition curated by Olivia Nițiș and opened at the new space /SAC @ MALMAISON, the newest, most vibrant culture hub in Romania, dedicated to independent spaces producing and promoting contemporary art.

Both Olivia Nițiș and the artists have experience in working with new spaces and concepts, as well as the ability, afforded by their extensive experience, to play with apparently incompatible media and approaches. I say incompatible because the intermediality and interdisciplinarity between contemporary art and science are relatively new approaches in the history of Romanian art, and a residency program at scientific research institutes is a novelty in the local art landscape.

The research carried out during the residencies resulted in innovative installations with technological components and ideas borrowed/learned from the exchange of experience.

Aura Bălănescu, a Timișoara-based artist, the founder of the Avanpost group, and the author of a doctoral dissertation on Media Sculpture, was a resident at the National Research & Development Institute for Textiles and Leather, where she collaborated with experts Elena Badea, Iulia Caniola, Simona Păunescu, and Emanuel Hadîmbu towards producing a tactile multimedia installation titled Manuspectrum.

Floriama Cândea’s work IMplant is a hybrid installation with science fiction/cyberpunk notes, as her intention was to implant animal cells in plant cellulose. An unusual experiment carried out together with Adrian Enache, Luminița Rădulescu, Mihaela Beregoi, Mihaela Bunea, and Ionuț Enculescu, researchers at the National Institute of Materials Physics, Măgurele.

Ciprian Ciuclea, a conceptual artist with extensive experience with transdisciplinary collaboration, worked together with Dr. Gina Isar, a researcher at the Institute of Space Science, on the installation Archeology of the Invisible – Echoes from the Distant Universe, and Peter Gate worked at the National Institute for Laser, Plasma, and Radiation Physics on his project The Cell.

The event was complemented by a series of online conferences in which the artists talked about their experiences in the Fusion:AIR residency program, 2021.


11.06-3.07.2021/SAC @ MALMAISON

Artists: Aura Bălănescu, Ciprian Ciuclea, Floriama Cândea, Peter Gate

Curator: Olivia Nițiș


Translated by Rareș Grozea



Simona Vilău

Simona Vilău (b. 1983) is an artist and curator based in Bucharest. In 2011, she was the curator of LC Foundation Contemporary Art Centre in Bucharest and started as a member of Spațiul Platforma...

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