Interview: Alexandru Stanescu

003Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

Interview: Alexandru Stanescu

Luca Curci talks with artist Alexandru Stanescu during FUTURE MEMORIES & VENICE EXPERIMENTAL CINEMA AND PERFORMANCE ARTexhibition in Venice on August 2015.

Alexandru Stanescu was born in 1982 in Bucharest, Romania. He graduated at the National Theater and Film University of Bucharest (U.N.A.T.C.), Film and Multimedia Department. While a Film School undergraduate, he produced, wrote, directed, edited and sound designed the short fiction film Clipa asta minunata (This Enchanted Moment), loosely based on a short story by Mircea Eliade. He was awarded for best editing at Tbilisi, Georgia (2005), as well as for best animation shorts (CineMAiubit). Stanescu’s love for film often blends with other passions – fine arts, photography and literature, in various projects. For example, a written study on his grandparents’ ethnic history using interviews for a documentary on the same subject (Intoarcerea acasa2010)

001Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

Stanescu’s love for film often blends with other passions – fine arts, photography and literature, in various projects. For example, a written study on his grandparents’ ethnic history using interviews for a documentary on the same subject (Intoarcerea acasa – 2010). Stanescu became master graduate of The Center for Excellence in the Study of Images (C.E.S.I., Bucharest) in 2009. Stanescu independently produced and directed experimental shorts on various subjects. Zambetul arhaic (The Archaic Smile, 2009) is a study on the ancient Greek statues of korai. Damian (2009, co-directed by Sorin Ceaus) documents Bucharest Contemporary Art Museum’s retrospective of Horia Damian’s work, a major Romanian painter with an international career. No news (2010), a less-than-2-minutes video collage of TV news, places a sensitive mirror in front of domestic politics, but also in front of the international timeliness, recently affected by economic depression and natural havocs. 

002Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

Luca Curci – Can you talk about your personal experience in Venice? What did you think about the whole organization of the event, the artists’ selection, the communication management and opening nights?

Alexandru Stanescu – I couldn’t be present in Venice personally, but I liked the way things were organised online. The communication management was good. However, I love Venice and I consider it to be one of the great European cities of culture.

L. C. – What do you think about the collaboration between It’s LIQUID and Ca’ Zanardi/Venice Art House?

A. S. – The photo reportage of the event showed a nice, cosy exhibition space at Ca’ Zanardi. The collaboration between It’s LIQUID and Ca’ Zanardi/Venice Art House looks good. Maybe It’s LIQUID should consider even wider spaces in the future.

004Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

L. C. – Can you talk about the artwork you presented in Venice? How is it linked with the festival’s theme?

A. S. –  My short experimental film – GRAN VÍA – EUROPEAN DREAMING – was showcased at Venice Experimental Cinema and Performance Art Festival III, event which had a special theme: FUTURE MEMORIES – Reconstruction of new identities. Also, being part of the SELF festival, added a surplus of meaning. I see the reconstruction of identities in the context of European political and social changes of the last decades. Europe seems to have the lost its traditional sense of direction, which used to be granted by the acient legacies of Greek and Roman civilizations, complemented by Christianity. In my film, Eastern and Western Europe are two discrepant realities belonging to one “common Europe” (EU). The unification of the continent is firstly based on spiritual values, and secondly on political and economical reasons.

007Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

The two realities of East and West collide in a puzzle of landscapes, monuments, reveries and recollections, as the vacation of a Romanian couple through Western Europe turns into an inner journey. Cathedrals of Bruges recall cave hermitages in Wallachia and a noisy Madrilenian stadium brings to mind a quiet landscape from back home. Each frame triggers a thought, a reverie, an impossible resonance between civilizations kindred, but foreign, between a flashy present and a misty past. Somehow, my characters resist the reconstruction of their cultural identities. They travel through a space that continuously redefines its ancient values, without fearing that their original meanings risk to be erased from the memory of future generations. The questions and dilemmas raised by this redefinition remain unanswered, and the struggle for keeping identity, memory and faith in sync continues. For me, at least.

006Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

L. C. – What are you currently working on?

A. S. – I’m currently working on a short film which illustrates one of King David’s Psalms, using images filmed with a mobile phone. The words of the psalmist are so present, they continue to reach our souls after thousands of years. That’s why I think even the newest consumer technologies should illustrate them convincingly and even beautifully.

005Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

L. C. – What is art for you?

A. S. – As time goes by, art seems to me more and more like a need, an overwhelming urge to express the profound movements of one’s soul. For someone that feels that way, art becomes an obligation, sometimes intense and demanding, offering little material rewards.

008Image courtesy of Alexandru Stanescu

L. C. – What do you think about International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations? Do you think they can represent an opportunity for artists?

A. S – I definitely hope that International ArtExpo and It’s LIQUID organizations can represent an opportunity for artists. That’s why I addressed the Experimental Cinema Festival in the first place, and I hope that the cultural dialogue that has been opened with this occasion will continue. Thank you very much.

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