Upcoming exhibition where you can see the photos at The White Night of the Art Galleries starting October 6 @ AP. 1 gallery in Bucharest.
Thank you here: _________.
Statement and photos below.
Space is the boundless three-dimensional extent in which objects and events have relative position and direction. Physical space is often conceived in three linear dimensions, although modern physicists usually consider it, with time, to be part of a boundless four-dimensional continuum known as spacetime.
A person or a social group transforms space into place through direct experiences, interactions and emotions, it becomes part of the person’s or group’s “self”. This may bring about a sense of responsibility for that place, as its loss or damage threatens the group’s or person’s self-identity (Breakwell 1986).
People turn space into place. Further on, places modelate man who creates new places. When people dissapear, places go back to their initial space state. Geographically speaking, you can exchange spaces that have the same characteristics, but you cannot misplace a space that is linked to a place.
Hometown is where one spends the most part of his childhood and the places that hold most of the memories from back then. Some people develop a sense of belonging to their hometown, and some people don’t, but yet one cannot deny the connection with the places from childhood. My hometown is called Orăștie, a small Transylvanian city with 15 thousand inhabitants. As a kid I would spend all my spare time riding bikes, walking in the the city’s river, fishing or just exploring the natural surroundings. I start to explore the concrete (cement) part of the city at twelve, when I start skateboarding. Starting then, I was staying outside all day after school, going home just for homework, eat and sleep. I got to know all its little parts and cracks like the back of my hand. There are places we’d go to skate, drink, smoke or have sex, just like a house has a living room, a bedroom or a yard. To some extent I can see the city as a house, a home, my hometown.
It's been 4 years now since I've been constantly taking photos of my hometown, without being able to explain to myself why. I found out just recently, while working on this book. The answer is: I feel homesick. Obvious? Rather not... For me, the feeling of homesickness is not about the romantic image of a sunset at the hangout place, nor the smell of baked pies made by my grandmother. My feeling of homesick lies beyond, floating somewhere around all those familiar places.
Massive industrialization and the prohibition of abortion during communism decreased rural population while strongly increasing the urban population. After the regime fell, most of the factories were sold and led to bankruptcy or they were simply outdated. People started leaving small cities for the big ones but most of them went abroad. Population decreased to the initial pre-industrialization rates and going down because of mass migration and low birth rate combined with high death rate. The aging of the population is almost irreversible at this level. Statistics in Romania say that by 2060 the number of retired people will represent one third of the country’s total population, unlike now, where they represent only the seventh part of the total population. The aftermath are deserted or abandonned cities. Poland, Latvia, Bulgaria and Slovakia share the same future. What are the chances of my hometown to survive when it already has a ghostly feeling?
Distance is not important as long as you are leaving. When I say migration, I am not thinking of the destination, I am thinking about what is left behind. It’s more than family or friends. You leave behind places you identify with. I've always felt the ghostly atmosphere of my town, but now, after years of being away and visiting only once in a while, I became aware of the impact that migration has had on small cities. I realize I've also contributed to it myself, the day I left my hometown. Therefore, this project became like an archive where I store the places that keep my memories, my identity.
There's a whole universe inside the photos, inside the book. It's the world of hometowns and that's why I believe that other people can relate to it as well. It is something that I can't explain through words and it should stay like that, like being homesick. You can't judge it; you can only embrace it.
Twenty pictures were already exhibited in May 2016 @ Die Faerberei in Munich along with Happy Holidays video installation.
This is a limited edition of 12 Fine Art prints of each photo. Get them here.
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