Interview: Alexandru Buescu
Luca Curci talks with Alexandru Buescu during BARCELONA CONTEMPORARY 2021, 3rd Edition, at Valid World Hall Gallery.
Operating as performance artist, actor, writer and director, Buescu’s artistic praxis combines autobiographical elements with techniques of research and documentary mainly staged as live performance art pieces. Alexandru Buescu was born in 1985 in Bucharest, The Socialist Republic of Romania, under the communist regime of Ceaușescu. His work questions social issues related to: freedom of speech, fake news, internet, individual or collective memory, distribution of the sensible, human alienation due to technology, rituals, family, adulthood, isolation, fear, loss of individuality or the duality and problem of the ego. At the same time, it challenges assumptions, perceptions and expectations related to his own art practice and research. To this the live dimension of his performances aims to create inspiring or provocative experiences for the audience, where the vitality of the (rebellious) human body as opposed to fixed, rigid structures (buildings, concrete floors, machines, the earth) is always displayed as a declaration of freedom against oppressive treatments.
Luca Curci – What is art for you?
Alexandru Buescu – For me art is an elaborate process of finding a suitable communication frequency for sharing the ideas and concerns that I have. Art is not only about emotions, about the aesthetics of a product or about a classic storyline. It has an entire process behind it and it takes time to develop. Art has the ability to open and create new perspectives of understanding life. So I try to interact with a diverse audience by exploring in my works topics related to freedom of speech, individual or collective memory, human rights, adulthood, fear or the distribution of power in society. I prefer to detach myself from the iconic old school romanticized profile of the artist. Many politicians intentionally try to diminish the role of the artist in society, in many ways. That’s why I strongly advocate for creating a system where the professional artist is a full time job, with access to all the facilities offered by a healthy economic environment. Perhaps I am wrong but if we have universities that prepare students to become professional artists, it means there are practical solutions in creating and defining a strong legislation for the status of the artist as well. Sometimes, making art is a psychological mechanism of coping with daily life difficulties, a mechanism similar with dreaming.
LC – What’s your background? What is the experience that has influenced your work the most?
AB – My background is in Theatre and Performing Arts. Recently I have graduated with an MFA degree in Performing Arts at the Danish National School of Performing Arts, in Copenhagen. These two years of studies and the meetings with a few great professors had a good influence on me. Also a few changes in my personal life affected my work. I am a performance artist, writer and director. The mediums I operate with are performance art, installation, video and written works.
LC – Where do you find your inspiration?
AB – I prefer to undertake long periods of artistic research, in fields opposite to my training, in order to have a better understanding of what I wish to create further. In many of my works, the inspiration comes from the research I do, or from unpleasant life experiences, manifestation of oppressive systems, power exchange customs deeply embedded in society, traumas, inequality (economic, social and spatial). We usually have the tendency to learn much more from these situations, unfortunately.
LC – How is being an artist nowadays?
AB – Being an artist today is a tough profession, which requires a lot of work, research, study, tenacity and patience. In most cases, unfortunately, these actions are supported only by the passion, the love and the curiosity of each artist. Not necessarily by a well thought out economic system. I wish one day to be able to pay my monthly bills from doing my profession only, not something else. This tells a lot about the society we live in. A professional artist nowadays is constantly pressured to get out of his/hers comfort zone, much more than other professions. If there are people who believe the situation is the opposite then I would like to hear some valid arguments of their statement.
LC – Did your style change over the years? In which way?
AB – Yes, my artistic praxis and style have changed, especially in the last 3 years. In the past I was not able to frame my research so that I could deliver my works properly. I assume this happened also because I was at the beginning of my development. Now I have a keen interest in various work procedures and methodologies, from fields such as journalism, marketing research or law.
LC – What do you think about the concept of this festival? How did it inspire you?
AB – The relationship between body and space is a permanent factor that I think of in my work. That’s why I applied to the Barcelona Contemporary Art Fair. In my recent project I have created a site-specific performance, where a conventional business meeting room was transformed into an archive chamber from a (very) possible future. Due to the technologic and scientific developments, we live now in the “future landscapes” and, perhaps, the concept of human identity is questioned, explored and understood more than ever before.
LC – In which way the artwork presented in our exhibition is connected with the festival’s theme?
AB – “The Archivist” video work that is displayed at Valid World Hall Gallery is part of a larger research I did on the concept of the archive. Moving forward from Plato’s “Theory of Forms” philosophy to a present investigation, the materiality of this research raises questions about the relevance in today’s hectic society for finding answers to fundamental issues such as: identity, collective memory, authenticity, the law of evidence, time and space. The “action” in this video performed by the unusual trans-human character, happens in a possible future landscape, where the constant fight for power control (all means) has much more visibility.
LC – Do you think ITSLIQUID GROUP can represent an opportunity for artists?
AB – Yes! If everything is well prepared, scheduled, organized and presented, the quality level of the event will increase each time and it will help the work of artists to be seen by a larger audience. This is the purpose, right? It is a great practical initiative. I am happy to be part of this edition.
LC – Did you enjoy cooperating with us?
AB – Yes! I wish I could do a video installation, perhaps in the future.