Andreea Medar | 107 / 2 (Racoti. The book)
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107/2 (Racoţi. The book)

I feel something, don’t know what 2021, Zachenta Projec Room, Warsaw, curators Diana Marincu, Magdalena Kardasz

 

Andreea Medar’s work often starts with family stories, through which she interprets broader contemporary phenomena. She uses personal themes to call attention to important problems of smaller and larger communities. The project prepared for the exhibition is a multimedia installation. Its central figure is the artist’s grandmother — the elder of her family, living in an old house in the village of Racoti. The artist spent her childhood in the village and now sadly observes its social and physical degradation. The Oltenia region, known for its elaborate wooden architecture and rich folklore heritage, has been depopulating for many years. The young emigrate and the deserted households gradually fall into ruin. Andreea’s grandmother’s house was once used as a school, where her grandfather was a teacher. In the exhibition she presents a video screening. A discerning viewer will realise that it is not a film, but the footage from a webcam installed inside the house. The viewer becomes something of a voyeur, peeping into the private world of one of the last guardians of the life in Racoti. The camera was installed by the family of the elderly woman to maintain constant contact with her and ensure her safety. In this way, the space of the old house was linked with the flat of her relatives in the city. (It should be noted that the grandmother agreed to take part in her granddaughter’s project.) The pandemic has limited social contacts in favour of virtual conversations, and the internet has entered the previously analogue worlds of seniors. This is also a possible theme in the interpretation of Andreea Medar’s project. The second important element of the exhibition is a sculptural installation — a model of a book-album made of transparent plastic. Its pages are filled with drawings of the figure of an elderly woman. The individual sequences overlap, giving the impression of movement. The book is illuminated from below, which gives the viewer the impression of watching an animated film. It is worth mentioning that in her installation the artist used the technique of hand-sewing — she embroidered the drawings with thread, just as the old inhabitants of this village used to sew their clothes by hand. The embroidery technique used by the artist, which refers to folk crafts, clashes with the contemporary material – cheap plastic, which is replacing the old materials. Andreea Medar’s installation is a poetic collage composed of childhood memories, and family and local stories. It is also a story about time and the inevitability of change, about destruction and rebirth in a new, not always more beautiful form. (Magdalena Kardasz, Diana Marincu)