Alexandra Șerban (b. 1999) is using art as a way of communication first to herself, and then to the world as well. She’s interested in the world and especially in the way our minds are different, yet so similar. Through art she is exploring identity, the self and their presence in someone’s life. Most of the time Alexandra is working with series, but all her projects are connected to each other, being more or less about perception, experiments and art as a self-discovery mechanism.
Ana Bănică (b. 1978) studied Graphics and Design at the National University of Arts in Bucharest. In her works she mainly explores the themes of couples and relationships, her embroideries telling love stories with a good sense of humor. She is a founding member of the groups PULS 1000 (2000), aproximativ 28 (2002), member of the association Art is not dead and of the Union of Plastic Artists (UAP).
Ana Dumitru (b. 1998) is a visual artist with an interdisciplinary practice, graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Fine Arts, specializing in Photography and Computerized Video processing of the Image. In her artistic discourse she has approached subjects like alienation, the human – space relationship, the human body. She is also cofounder of the 2am artist group, together with Monica Seiceanu.
Iarina Nicolae (b. 1998) is an illustrator and visual artist based in Bucharest, Romania. Her work ranges from illustration, sculpture, paintings and experimenting with animation and murals, her influence coming from personal experiences, emotions and dreams. Iarina’s stylistic approach emerges from surrealism combined with urban art, a mix between traditional and digital, to build a world full of creatures and people that have an auto-referential quality using saturated colors, details and organic shapes.
Megan Dominescu (b. 1997) is a visual artist, living and working in Bucharest, Romania. She graduated from the Department of Painting at the National University of the Arts, Bucharest in 2018. Born in the Netherlands to Romanian and American parents, Megan grew up in Washington, D.C. and later moved to Bucharest, Romania. Megan’s clashing background is a strong inspiration in her practice. Using humor as a weapon, Megan’s work is focused on observing and documenting the absurd, shedding light on cultural contrasts and celebrating the bizarre. Megan is a member of the multi-disciplinary art space MOXA20 in Bucharest and is one half of the DJ duo Miss Clitoral.
Olivia Ioan (b. 2001) is a third year student in the Department of Painting at the National University of the Arts in Bucharest. Olivia graduated from the Nicolae Tonitza High School of Fine Arts with a major in Fashion Design, and her current interest is to reconcile the two stages of her artistic training – the textile medium and painting. In this exhibition, the topics she adresses are interior spaces, their intimacy and familiarity, the human connections which bring life to those spaces as well as their absence.
Raluca Neagoe (b. 1998) graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Textile Arts and Design, specializing in Print work. Raluca is currently doing a Master’s degree at the Centre of Excellence in Image Studies, in the Department of Theory and Practice of the Image. She is interested in the therapeutical power of art, in its social and political functions and in the relationship between plastic arts and literature.
Theodora Năstasie (b. 1999) graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Faculty of Textile Arts and Design, specializing in Print work. Theodora is currently doing a Master’s degree at the Centre of Excellence in Image Studies, in the Department of Theory and Practice of the Image. Her interests include anthropology and combating social problems such as discrimination, as she aims to help increase social justice.
FÉMINITÉ(S) at E12 – Malmaison Studios
31.08 – 18.09. 2021
Artists: Alexandra Șerban, Ana Bănică, Ana Dumitru, Iarina Nicolae, Megan Dominescu, Olivia Ioan, Raluca Neagoe, Theodora Năstasie
Curator: Monica Seiceanu
The changes in ideas about femininity that can be seen reflected in the history of embroidery are striking confirmation that femininity is a social and psychosocial product.
– Rozsika Parker, The subversive stitch (1984, The Women’s Press Ltd)
After having been historically erased and prohibited from entering museums or art galleries, textile art is now recognized and integrated as a full-fledged part of the art world, especially in the context of fourth-wave feminism. The common association between textiles and stereotyped feminine activities has however led in the past to the confinement of this specific art form into the domestic world, as well as to its categorization on the second and less valued side of the distinction established between arts and crafts.
Although embroidery, tapestry and other techniques implying the use of textiles persist in the collective imaginary as a recognized medium with regard to the expression of femininity, this socially and culturally perpetuated connection shouldn’t continue to sustain those conventional beliefs which lead to the understatement of both. On the contrary, textile art can be used not only as an instrument in surpassing the dichotomy between arts and crafts, but more importantly it has the power to continuously make up for the lack of representation of women in the traditional male-dominated field of art.
One of the aims of this exhibition is to highlight and counter former and existing prejudices concerning textiles as an artistic medium: textile art doesn’t have to be delicate and fragile, its content expanding further than the domestic spaces where it had long been put aside. In this regard, the term Féminité(s) is meant to emphasize the unity of opposites formed by putting together the individual phenomenon of femininity and the diversity of real experiences it comprises. The show features artworks by a new generation of artists, focusing on emerging contemporary textile work. It explores how recurrent themes return in the nowadays discourse, especially as during the pandemics more and more artists turned towards the tactile, intimate textile art faced with the increased virtuality of the world.
The exhibition ”FÉMINITÉ(S)” is a project curated and developed by our team of volunteers: Monica Seiceanu, Ana Dumitru, Theodora Năstasie, Olivia Ioan
ARAC is a non-profit organization founded in June 2012, in order to produce and promote contemporary art in Romania and abroad. The initiative of the 58 Plantelor Residency belongs to Anca Poterasu, gallerist and ARAC President. The first edition of the Residency took place in 2015 and it was financed through a grant offered by Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Romanian Government.