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Cristian Raduta intervention at This is not an art space



Opening: Thu, 1.9.2022, 18:00–21:00

Visiting schedule: 2.9–1.10.2022, Thu-Sat, 16:00–19:00

Erou Ion Calin 19, Bucharest

In the frame of THIS IS NOT AN ARTSPACE, we are opening the series of artistic interventions „Mimicking/Mining Normality,” dedicated to the Institute of the Present’s working space, with the works conceived by artist Cristian Raduta. The opening event on September 1st is followed on September 3rd by a new edition of the Open House centred on the P+4 Publications editorial programme.


5+5 / interview with Cristian Raduta by Otto Felt / intro Intervention #1

OTTO FELT: I would like to talk about your work environment. How would you describe the artistic context in Bucharest today? What are the limitations and advantages you can see at the moment? How much does the local art scene influence the way you work? What role does education play for you, and also your interaction with other generations at the faculty of arts?

CRISTIAN RADUTA : I think that, in the last few years, a lot has changed for the better in the arts. Artists have found a way to come together and have formed various cultural hubs. The Malmaison studios and Combinatul Fondului Plastic, for instance, are the ones that come to mind right now, although there are many more. My studio is at Combinat, where working spaces are combined with galleries and other types of artist-run spaces. Besides, there are artists from different generations, which gives the space a special charm. Regarding the local scene, I think it is a perfect all-round puzzle that reflects the surrounding world very clearly. Every artist has their own place in it. I have always thought I could help young artists by giving advice on their artistic projects, and schools are the perfect place for that. Every generation of students is different and has its own problems, fears, questions and aspirations.

O.F.: I enjoy observing your characters and making up stories about them. How did you come up with this hybrid style in which any material can have a new life, from the most banal boxes to the polystyrene that dominates the city? What do you want the viewer to experience?

C.R.: I have worked a lot on the idea of transformation; a sculpture becomes another sculpture by association with an object, and when it acquires a new element, it becomes something else, and so on. I was interested in studying works of art as chains of ideas from which the artist keeps extracting ramifications, extensions, without ever knowing where it will stop.

O.F.: I was inspired by one of your titles: Failed Missions. Could this concept be applied to your sculptures?

C.R.: Failed Missions is a series of works exploring the portrayal of failure. The starting point was the failed space missions we have seen over time. In this case, failure is heartbreaking and highlights the dream, the desire, and the attempt to travel through the universe. In terms of my sculptures, I would rather speak of the idea of “mission in progress.” Basically, we do not know where the chain will end. Works are continuously made and unmade.

O.F.: And since we are talking about sculpture, this field, in your case, is populated by non-living creatures and permeated by a surreal sense. Why did you choose this community of creatures in a universe which seems to be all their own? Where is the Anthropocene?

C.R.: There are references to the Anthropocene in some of my works. I am thinking of the various pieces of packaging or the very material they are made of, bits of plastic, remnants, polystyrene, or highly pigmented paint. Even the way they are displayed brings to mind the idea of the Anthropocene. The sculptures are essentially depictions of animals that have to adapt to today’s environment. Many of them are bipedal, which is a reference to forced training and transformation. They no longer follow the original rules and behaviour, and are basically forced to adapt by any means to the current world.

O.F.: I would also like to know more your proposal for THIS IS NOT AN ARTSPACE. What is the idea behind your proposal? There is a sense of drama surrounding the claw that dominates the central space and a certain cynicism of the bat near the entrance. There are also references to surrealist psychism and reverie but also a critique of the state of the cultural worker in Romania.

C.R.: I chose to combine two works. My attention was drawn by the work desk, full of books and ongoing projects like a control panel with lots of tools, and I envisioned the claw of a bird or predator sitting and waiting, terrorising the workers. This single element is enough for people to image what the animal might look like, but everyone will imagine something different. Limits, pressure, constraint, worry… I think we can all relate to this image. In addition to this work, I will also exhibit an open-winged bat with drawings of imagined and yet unrealised projects. I thought of it as a living billboard ready to take off.


CRISTIAN RADUTA lives and works in Bucharest where he co-founded the artist-run space Sandwich. His artistic practice includes sculptures, objects and installations that start from hypothetical, sometimes absurd situations and characters which are humorously employed. Among others, he is interested in the relationships and tensions that form among the various industrial and bricolage materials he uses.

OTTO FELT is a German-born writer based in Rockport, Massachusetts. Felt studied and teaches comparative literature and art history, and aspires to devote himself entirely to writing and publishing his novels. He is a collector of artist books, with a particular interest in Eastern European and South American art.


In the frame of the THIS IS NOT AN ARTSPACE initiative, the Institute of the Present puts forward a series of interventions taking place in its own working studio in Bucharest, addressing the present and triggered by the way in which the independent artistic platforms and artists choose to respond to the energies of the context in which they operate. THIS IS NOT AN ARTSPACE is above all conceived as a place for dialogue, sharing of individual and collective experiences that are hosted in the septic terrain of the white cube, but in a working studio of 50 sqm. THIS IS NOT AN ARTSPACE is conceived by Alina Serban and Stefania Ferchedau in the frame of the artist and theory resource platform the Institute of the Present.

Cultural project co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. Partner: Sandwich.Visual identity: Daniel & Andrew Design Studio (Andrei Turenici)

The project does not necessarily represent the standpoint of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN cannot be held liable for the content of the project or the manner in which the outcomes of the project may be used. These shall devolve entirely on the beneficiary of the financing.


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