“diapozitiv_02” - Studies on the materiality of the photographic image

December 12, 2023 | Cosmina Marcela OLTEAN ArtPage

Matei BEJENARU presents a new exhibition project, based on the extensive research that started in 2019, which materialized in 2020 in a cultural product at SwitchLab Bucharest: the exhibition "DIAPOZITIV", curated by Cristian Nae. The project was also presented in January 2023 in the space of UNAGE's Aparte Gallery.
In November 2023, the artist brings to the public new results from this research in "diapozitiv_02", also curated Cristian Nae. The project is open for viewing until January 14, 2024 at Borderline Art Space in Iași.

The project is an analysis of the materiality of the photographic environment, using for this purpose projection devices and slide carousel projectors, as elements that give a sculptural dimension to photography. Large screens, projectors and the audience together create an immersive visual situation that involves an exercise in reflection on the limits of an environment.
It is not only about craft, but also about creating a discursive space about a medium” - points out the artist.

Matei Bejenaru is one of the most renowned Romanian artists working with photography and experimental film. The artist lives and works in Iasi, where he teaches photography and video at "George Enescu" University. He is a founding member of the Vector Association and director of the Peripheric Contemporary Art Biennale. In his recent projects, through photography, video and performance, he analyzes how modes of economic production, technological knowledge, mentalities and lifestyles of people have changed in post-communist countries in the last three decades. The immigration of Romanian workers to the West was approached in the artistic projects "Travel Guide" and "Maersk Dubai", presented in various international exhibitions such as those at Tate Modern, Level 2 Gallery in London in 2007 or the Taipei Biennale in 2008.

His experimental choral music project, "Songs for a Better Future", was presented at The Drawing Room and Tate Modern in London, Western Front in Vancouver, Künstlerhaus Büchsenhausen Innsbruck between November 2010 and July 2011. Since 2012, he has been an associate artist at Kettle's Yard Art Center in Cambridge, UK.

In his recent artistic projects, he is researching the materiality of the photographic medium and politics of representation in documentaty format. Using the analogue technological platform, he is focussing on photographic process as a witness of the crisis of singularity and artistic commitment.

Diapozitiv, 2020 - SwitchLab Bucharest

Matei Bejenaru is the founder of Periferic Biennial in Iasi, Romania, an international artist-run contemporary art biennial defined as a platform for discussions on the historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts of the city. With a group of artists and philosophers from Iasi, Bejenaru founded the Vector Association in 2001, a contemporary art institution that supported the local emerging art scene to become locally and internationally visible. Together with a group of artists and professors he founded in 2015 the Center of Contemporary Photography in Iasi.
Between 2011 and 2012 he was a visiting professor at Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada). He is teaching photography and video at "George Enescu" Arts University in Iasi and collaborates with Anca Poterasu Gallery in Bucharest.

More about the artist, here:

Photos by Borderline Art Space

Solo exhibitions (selection)
2021 – "Print", ARTEP Gallery Iași (RO), curator: Cristian Nae
2020 – "Slide/Diapozitiv", SwitchLab Art Space Bucharest (RO), curator: Cristian Nae
2019 – "Same Histories", Spinnerei Galerie Leipzig (D), curator: Cristina Stoenescu
2018 – "Prut", Galerie Arts et essay, Rennes (F), curator: Bruno Elisabeth
2018 – "Prut – Image and Territory", Victoria Gallery Iași (RO), Museum of Romanian Peasant Bucharest (RO), curator: Cristina Stoenescu
2018 – "Reflector", apARTe Gallery Iași (RO), curator: Anca Mihuleț
2016 – "The steps, the words and the usual", Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest, curator: Anca Mihulet
2013 – "Projects 1993/2000", tranzit.iasi, curator: Livia Pancu
2013 – "From A to B", Cupola Gallery Iasi, curator: Livia Pancu 2
2012 - "Art into Life / Life into Art", The Artery Gallery, North Adams (Massachussets, SUA), curator: Izabel Galliera
2011 – "Battling Inertia", Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest (RO)
2011 – "Projects 2008-2010", Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal Museum Sibiu (RO)
2009 – "M3 – Work, Memory, Movement", Cupola Gallery Iaşi (RO)
2009 – "Double Stereo", Galerie ERSEP Tourcoing (F) (with Yves Robuschi), curators: Ivan Polliart and Christelle Manfredi
2007 – "Travelling Guide", Galeria Posibila, Bucharest (RO)
2005 – "Travelling Guide", Insert in the IDEA Art Magazine, Cluj (RO)
2005 – "Strawberry Fields Forever", Galeria Noua, Bucharest (RO)
2002 – "Ave Bachtalo", Offspace Gallery, Vienna (A)
2002 – "Mehr Chancen Fur Unsere Jugend", Kulturkontakt Gastatelier, Vienna (A)
1996 – "9 Days", "Cupola" Gallery, Iasi (RO)

Dan Acostioaei - Matei Bejenaru - Cătălin Gheorghe at Borderline Art Space

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