A FACTLESS BIOGRAPHY
Screening and conversation with Tudor Bratu
This encounter is the fourth 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. Tudor Bratu will present and discuss with the public his work, A Factless Biography, which originated with his experience at the Keleti Station in Budapest in the summer of 2015. It was one of the sites where refugee families arrived, living in miserable conditions on the square in front of the railway station. After spending a week in Budapest, Bratu decided to accompany some of the refugees on their trail into Austria and Germany. Their stories of hardships resonated with those of the artist’s family: his grandmother escaped Moldova when the Soviets invaded the country in 1940, his father was forced to leave Romania in 1986, being a persecuted anti-communist activist, and he himself moved to the Netherlands in 1987, where he encountered a deep-seated xenophobia, realizing that equality existed on paper only.
Bratu’s current practice is focused on projects that interweave documented stories of contemporary migration with the artist’s own family history and archival footage. A Factless Biography continues to expand on the idea of ethical responsibility, which, according to the artist, stands at the heart of the global emergencies of today. The failure to recognize that the human subject is part of a larger scheme leads to alienation, othering, and the abuse of the environment and other human beings. The work introduces quotes by several authors, such as Simone Weil, James Baldwin, W. G. Sebald, or Mina Loy, which are activated through connections with photographs made by the artist or images taken from his family archive.
The production of the artworks as well as a research residency at De School van Gaasbeek (BE) were supported by the Romanian Cultural Institute.
Tudor Bratu lives and works between the Netherlands and Romania. He graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy (2003) and the Rijksakademie voor Beeldende Kunsten (2009) in Amsterdam. Selected exhibitions: For Cigarettes, A Note Would Say, With All My Love, Akademie Graz, AT (2015), The Dissidents’ Travel Guide, Joey Ramone Gallery, Rotterdam (2014), A Disquieting Suggestion, the 15th International Architecture Biennale, Venice, the Greek Pavilion, The Measure of our Travelling Feet, Marres, Maastricht (2016). His works are included in various collections, such as the Allard Jakobs Collection (Amsterdam) and the collection of the Kandinsky Library of the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Since 2010 he manages the artist-in-residency platform www.bucharestair.com and he is also involved in teaching and curatorial projects. For further information please visit www.tudorbratu.com.
Image: Tudor Bratu, A Factless Biography, 2019, video-still