19.02.2020, 19.00

Informal meeting with Iulia Toma

This encounter is the third event featuring several new productions included in the exhibition Displacement and Togetherness (2019), organized by Salonul de proiecte at the Strombeek Cultural Center in the framework of the Europalia Festival. Iulia Toma’s new work will be on display for one evening and the public will have the opportunity to engage in a casual conversation with the artist.

Iulia Toma uses embroidery as a medium for drawing on fabric. Her sewing-machine stitched portraits depict women, men, and children who have recently been forced to flee their homeland due to civil war, political unrest, and economic struggles. The monumental work Migration of Memory / Memory of Migration is part of #orientalswelcome, a long-term project through which the artist explores the increasingly fearful and hostile attitude towards immigration. The Romanian National Council for Refugees in Bucharest assisted the artist in contacting several refugees, the majority from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iran who accepted to share their stories about their background and their current situation in Romania. The textile fresco departs from a series of talks and interviews but abstracts the narratives and highlights various motifs and topics, which are inserted following a mutual agreement between the artist and her interlocutors. The subjects are caught between on the one hand the traumatic memory of military conflict and displacement, and on the other the experience of longing for their former lives, contemplating their unfulfilled possibilities.

Producția lucrărilor, precum și rezidența artistică de cercetare la De School van Gaasbeek (BE) au fost susținute de Institutul Cultural Român.

Iulia Toma lives and works in Bucharest. She uses textile fabrics, combined with photography, installation, and text, as her preferred media. Social themes such as feminism, human rights, interpersonal relations in closed communities, the material reality of living in an urban environment, and social justice are the objects of her pursuits. She teaches at the Textile Arts & Design Department of the National University of Arts in Bucharest. Selected exhibitions: 3rd Art Encounters Biennale, Timișoara (2019); The Web of Fabric, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest (2019); Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Eastwards Prospectus Gallery, Bucharest (2018); Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory and Revolution 1916–2016, Vienna Biennale (2015); Buongiorno Varvara Stepanova, Galleriapiu, Bologna (2016); Dura Europos, Ivan Gallery, Bucharest (2016); Twilled Connections, Tranzit.ro/Bucharest (2015); Salonul de proiecte, Bucharest (2012, 2014).

Imagine: Iulia Toma, Migration of Memory / Memory of Migration, 2019 (detaliu)