Vlad Nancă (b. 1979, Bucharest) graduated from the Department of Photography and Moving Image at the National University of Arts, Bucharest. His early practice designated a visionary artistic perspective, as much as triggered the coagulation of the young artist scene in Bucharest. Projects such as: “Home Gallery” – taking place between 2003-2004 through hosting exhibitions by Anna Jermolaewa, Ioana Nemes, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, Janek Simon, etc –, “începem” emailing list and fanzine, “Scoala Generala” –a free university type of institution developed during 2008-2009–, the 2020 online platform, stood as collective actions to generate long-term ramifications and critical debate by connecting already existing ‘alternative’ artistic clusters in Bucharest. Some of his early works also employ political and cultural symbols, evoked nostalgia and investigate the metaphorical tension between public and domestic spaces, all against the backdrop of Romania and Eastern Europe’s recent history and aggressive capitalism in the early 2000s. The cityscape of Bucharest was the backdrop for his poetical and subtly political artistic gestures. The shift from the embodied movement of his early actions in the city to embedded movement in the objects the artist makes and interferes with is visible in his recent practice. Through constant idiosyncratic humour and playful semiotics of imagery, Nancă’s recent practice unveils a resurgence of the notion of space (from architecture and public space to outer space) thus forging constellations of subjectivities, sculptures and installations. “The question of how the grand design and architectural narratives of the 20th century reverberate in ordinary objects, in vernacular variations for the ideologies, forms and functions of modernism, is a crucial theme in Nancă’s practice”, alongside “the recent history of architecture and its versions of postmodernism in Western and Eastern Europe”. In his 2015 exhibition “From the white square to the white cube” highlighted an imaginary intersection of the socialist utopia as seen in the works of radical Italian architects Superstudio and the reality of his family’s home kitchen in socialist Romania of the 1970s. A similar retrospective look applied in a hypothetical context was emphasised in “Souvenirs from Earth” (2015), exhibition that had as starting point the question “what would you take with yourself on a translocation to a 2.0 planet?”. He speculated on the possibility of colonizing Kepler 452b (a planet with similar atmospheric conditions to those of Earth) and questioned the cultural heritage one might bring to a fictitious relocation outside our galaxy. Recent exhibitions include “A Map of The World as Seen by Him” solo show at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Sofia, followed by “The Horizontal Wall” duo show with Bora Baboci at SUPRAINFINIT gallery, Bucharest in 2023.
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