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Delia Popa
Artist’s Profile (auto–references)

My work seems to want to break down any medium barrier and conquer as many senses as it can. I cannot predict in what medium my next project is going to be realized.
That means that almost every time I want to give to an idea a physical form I have to start from scratch and learn things that I didn’t (even) know about beforehand.
The notion of discovery is very important to my practice and my projects change a lot from the original intention to the “final product”. What matters to me is not a “finished” piece, but going through this investigation of subject matter, which is usually my starting point, medium and the possibilities that the meeting of these two can create.
“Don’t ever, ever, EVER finish a phrase. Don’t wear it out, man. Just hint, go at it, hint, and then let it hang in the air…”.
(Miles Davies).
I see my projects as standing on their own, each piece having its own little individuality and their independence from one another in time is, for me, questioning the truthfulness of the notion of unity and continuity in an artist’s work. What I ask of my work is to be alive, to multiply and to become more of what it already is. See description of each project..

“Territory of Fear” 2003 The Project “Territory of Fear” has its roots in the existentialist way in which the individual relates to her or his environment.
I think anxiety is very present in our daily lives, as a result of the inevitable choices that we have to make, of the uncertainty of the future and the shortness of our existence.
My project is based on such questions as:
What are anxiety’s internal mechanisms?
Can the affect of fear be a positive component of our psyche (e.g Fear of God)? In what situation is fear a cause and in what situation an effect?

I am thinking here about the relationship between aggressor and victim, in which the victim can become an aggressor, thus creating a circle.
I’ve started to seriously consider the idea that images have magic power, in the original sense of the word, and which can have a liberating effect.
I am investigating two terms and their relationship:
The first one is the term “Anxiety”, which is defined by psychoanalysts as hypervigilence, of continuous waiting of an unknown Something.
The second term is “Aggression”, which I consider as a possible consequence of “Anxiety”, but also as provocateur.
I think that the only way to free yourself from fear is through the re-creating of a state of anxiety through memory, on the one hand, and through being faced with a form of aggression, on the other. One has to make the effort to re-live, in one’s mind, traumatic events from the past and to observe aggressive events. By becoming a witness to aggression (e.g. a slaughter of lambs for Easter), I enter a direct confrontation with it and I am then able to observe and interpret the relationship between its components: the Aggressor and the Victim.
Religious Sacrifice, as a ritualized form of aggression, is interesting to me and I have incorporated into my project. My intention is to understand it as part of how the human psyche works.
The first part of the project, presented at UNA Gallery, Bucharest concerns the idea of sacrifice.
I have created two artist’s books that deal with “sacrifice”:
The first one tries to capture the moments of aggression itself, and the second one states of retreat of the ego into itself and awaiting of an aggression. The book format contains an essential dimension of violence: Time.
Violence seems to be a shortening of time, and the tension before an act of violence (even an imaginary one) presupposes a dilatation of time.
In the show there will also be three large scale paintings, in the vain of the books. A video will show a real time animal “sacrifice”, and a performance with the participation of the audience will close the chain of aggression begun by the artist. Violence outside of me allows me to deal with the violence inside me.
Translated by Delia Popa, 2007.

Performing Places Festival, October 2003
Wedding in the Sky with Bottles
Proposal Text

Keyword of our project: Recycling
We understand the term recycling as a process of using old material in order to create something entirely new, at the same time preserving its original feature.

The aim:
By making a bride out of old plastic bottles, we intend to offer an example for giving a new life to man forsaken places. Our project will consist as much as possible of used material.

The concept:
The abundance of bridal shops in the old center area made our team, think of conceiving the whole former center of Bucharest as a bride.
We created an imaginary wedding between a beautiful bride with a valuable, but neglected dowry (centuries of history of a once flourishing zone), and a groom, who is to provide for a dignifying future, yet to arrive. The groom shall be impersonated by officials in charge with the reconstruction (e.g. Traian Basescu); Simulation of a wedding banquet.
The bride will be a ten meter high construction made of five thousand plastic bottles found on the site. Their use is related to the necessity of cleaning the streets of old Bucharest, as the urban debris left on the streets hugely contribute to its unappealing aspect of today.
Our project is to be perceived as a story, which takes place at two distinct levels, the concrete and the abstract level:
At the concrete level, the actions taking place in the differently colored and renamed streets represent the steps of reconstruction, as they are experienced by a constructor/architect.
At the abstract level, these stages represent the states of mind of the human being in his journey to heaven.
The bride will be placed in a parking lot, the sky, the centre to which the trail of the six streets shall lead. The colors stand for the states of mind prior to the wedding, the completeness. The sky-metaphor reveals the contrast between the present state of the site and the possibility of its change. By walking through the colored streets, we get closer to happiness.
1. The Physical (stage): On Lipscani street we will arrange beds with heavy, earth filled sacks, as a metaphor of the burden of matter. As we have noticed the lack of benches in the area, visitors will be invited to sit on the beds and rest.
2. The Emotion: On Hanul Soarelui passage, flower-sellers will offer their merchandise free of charge, in exchange for helping the team cover a part of Hanul Soarelui with flowers (=ephemeral improvement of its aspect).
3. The Reason: A net of randomly and complexly arranged strings, similar to the structure of the human mind on Zarafi.
4. The Intuition: On The French Passage path of golden veils to be crosses. (Night attraction.)
5. The Spiritual: On Gabroveni, mock selling of virtues: colored liquids in bottles in exchange for written opinions hung on the Reason Street.
6. The Sacrifice: Repeated performances of building in of a member of the team.
7. The Wedding in the sky: celebration of the future of Bucharest’s former centre. Entering the bride’s interior: visualizing the bride’s memory: projections of former times weddings in the neighborhood.

Wedding in the Sky Team:
Anca Sanpalean
Andrei Margulescu
Cristina Craciun
Cristian Buliarca
Oana Avram
Team Leader: Delia Popa