09.06.2021 - 04.07.2021

Artistic intervention in the EXPO_02_GEN exhibition

Artist Talk

Wednesday, June 9, 2021 / 19.00

Live on Salonul de proiecte’s YouTube channel

Maria Pasenau is the guest artist who will be creating the final artistic intervention in the EXPO_02_GEN exhibition, drawing on materials from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection. Her practice most often includes photography as part of a cumulation of other media—text, performance, film—composing profoundly idiosyncratic and contradictory narratives in which her own subjectivity, the world around her, and interactions with people close to her are constantly subjected to processes of re-signification. Even if her life and her body more often than not constitute the favourite sources on which she draws as an artist in order to produce images, they are metamorphosed within a supra-personal register, without it being possible to distinguish precisely how the junction with our own screenplays and imaginary projections is achieved or even what exactly it is. Part of Norway's youngest generation of artists, Maria Pasenau is fully aware of the omnipresent spectrum of the images circulated by social networks, of the role they play in shaping subjectivities, of the constant pressure to perform identities in order to lend validity to and reinforce the social or professional status of those who adopt them. Although she represents herself and her life, Pasenau moves in the radically opposite direction, however: she does not “glamourise” her life and body, but exposes them in an unfiltered way, as differently as possible to the aesthetic standards or acceptability that we encounter on Instagram, for example. The residues of feeding oneself and everyday life, queer friends whom she photographs in humorous ad hoc scenarios, toys and objects that seem hijacked from their innocuous functions and abruptly become something completely different: all these form a network of beings, materials, and objects, which are simultaneously interconnected and autonomous, imbued with an unmistakable, deeply disquieting and ludic aura.

For her contribution to the EXPO_02_GEN exhibition, Maria Pasenau has chosen to create a number of montages in which photographs from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection are juxtaposed with images from her personal archive. “Browsing” the historical archive that she was able to access only in its digital version, and which was therefore available only in an incomplete form, she opted for a distanced and at the same time disconnected interaction, which resonated with the informal and direct style that Pasenau adopts in her art. From juxtapositions based on formal or typological similarities to contrasting juxtapositions that might even give rise to a certain perplexity, the resulting combinations bring to light the effortlessness and ingeniousness of these associations, while at the same time granding a special place to frames and situations that are seemingly insignificant, frivolous and easy to overlook, situated in the margin of the narratives that the archive, in the classical/normative sense, has aimed to construct.

Maria Pasenau (b. 1994) is a visual artist who lives and works in Oslo. She studied at the Norwegian School of Photography in Trondheim. Some of her recent solo exhibitions include Whit Kind Regrets Pasenau (2018, Makeriet, Malmö), My Name is End, Bitter End (2018, K4 Gallery, Oslo), Pasenau and the Devil (2019, Fotogalleriet, Oslo). She has been part of numerous group exhibitions such as: Early Works (2017, New Galerie, Paris), The Hoodies (2017, Kristiansand Kunsthall), Faithless Pictures (2018, Norwegian National Museum, Oslo), Pinkcube (2018, Tenthaus, Oslo), Sub (2018, Akerhus Kunstsenter, Lillestrøm). In 2018 Pasenau published her first photo book Whit Kind Regrets Pasenau, in 2019, in connection with her exhibition at Fotogalleriet, she published her second photo book Pasenau and the Devil and in 2020 her third book The Hoplesness Of Beeing Alive. She is one of the youngest artists to have work acquired by the Norwegian National Museum for their permanent collection.

This artistic intervention is the result of a partnership between Fotogalleriet Oslo and Salonul de proiecte, the conversations between partners being also aimed at the process of selecting artists from Norway, potentially interested to react to images from the archive and to propose new productions.


The exhibition EXPO_02_GEN / A selection from the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection brings together a wide range of techniques that shed light on the evolution of the photographic medium, from glass plates and film negatives, now scanned for the most part for the first time, to original prints made by photographic studios active in Romania between the late-nineteenth century and the mid-twentieth century, from carefully choreographed official photographs that control the manner in which their subjects are presented to vernacular improvisations in which the freedom of movement in front of the camera is incomparably greater. The selection unfolds like a montage, which brings together themes and typologies linked by visualisation via photography of the gender question, while on the other hand, putting forward unexpected juxtapositions that confound expectations, destabilise meanings that are culturally embedded, and stimulate the interpretative mechanism of each individual viewer.

The exhibition can be visited until July 4, 2021, the guided tours will be announced in advance on social media.

*Visiting hours may differ due to COVID-19 restrictions, please check on social media for updates.

The exhibition, the artistic intervention and the artist talk are part of the project Photographic Image Between Past and Future. Its main objective is to preserve and bring into public circulation an archive of photographs of enormous cultural and historical relevance, and at the same time to organise around it contemporary art activities. The project will unfold from June 2020 to November 2021, in partnership with Fotogalleriet Oslo. The total budget of the project is 170,000 Euros, of which the value of the non-refundable financial support is 152,000 Euros.

This project is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Programme

The EEA Grants represent the contribution of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway towards a green, competitive and inclusive Europe.
There are two overall objectives: reduction of economic and social disparities in Europe, and to strengthen bilateral relations between the donor countries and 15 EU countries in Central and Southern Europe and the Baltics.
The three donor countries cooperate closely with the EU through the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA). The donors have provided €3.3 billion through consecutive grant schemes between 1994 and 2014. For the period 2014-2021, the EEA Grants amount to €1.55 billion.
Further information available here: și

RO-CULTURE is implemented in Romania by the Ministry of Culture through the Project Management Unit. The Programme aims at strengthening social and economic development through cultural cooperation, cultural entrepreneurship and cultural heritage management. The total budget amounts to almost 34 million EUR. For more details: