Interview with Romanian artist Gabriel Stoian
So what do you do?
- Normally I would say about myself that I’m an emerging conceptual artist using different mediums such as: public interventions, installation, assemblage, object, conceptual writing and a few others that I don’t know how to define exactly. I graduated the University of Art and Design from Cluj in 2010, and I’m currently undergoing my PHD with the same university. Although I studied for a long time in Cluj, I believe that I don’t have a lot in common with the so called ‘School of Cluj’. I’m more of an autodidact and not so found of being affiliated to different institutions or places. I have always enjoyed a nomadic existence, working from location to location; I don’t feel the need of having a permanent studio in which to berry myself. My ideas require new backdrops and starting points and this cannot be found in the same place all the time. Right now I live in Bucharest and I enjoy that a lot.
How would you describe your work?
- My practice is constantly evolving; my earlier works have almost nothing to do with my new ones because I have different sources of inspiration all the time. I believe that a general perception that defines my work in the present is the transition between shape and concept. When I started making art I was more concerned with a specific medium but now I’m more likely to use a variety of mediums from which I can find the best one to express a certain idea. The forefront of my research consists of articulating facts that belong to personal experiences and of mixing those with fictional elements, allowing me afterwards to create spaces and objects that are interconnected in a narrative, dramaturgical context. My works are the product of an experimental approach on topics such as: social understanding, instability, questioning authority, politics and potency, absence as a stand, image between perception and imagination.
Do you see yourself as an activist through your work?
- No, not in the sense of being under the illusion that my art will change the world directly or immediately; in the same time, yes, because my work is built as a subversive, ironical and critical reaction towards the instruments of power and its symbols.
Where do you get inspiration for your work from?
- Everywhere, I don’t search for inspiration, it just comes to me as a thought and then it evolves into an obsession which thereafter gives birth to a new work.
Where do you make your works?
- At home and outside, on the streets.
How would you define your relation with your own cultural background?
- My excitement lies only within what I make at the present moment. Romania has a dark history of its own. I believe it is important not to forget about it, but it is also very important not to be confined within the boundaries of the past.
What are you currently working on?
- I am planning a solo show in Bucharest and also working on numerous collaborations with various cultural institutions such as: Pavilion, BB6, Wasp-Working Art Space & Production and others.