The Racovăţ River
For over four years, artist Ghenadie Popescu walked across the basins of several rivers traversing the Republic of Moldova. He started in the summer of 2012, tracing by foot the Ichel river and continued with Racovăţ, Camenca, Răut, and Ciorna. Following the flow of the river, the artist used storytelling to address political, social, and ecological concerns that impact everyday life in the Republic of Moldova. Each river’s story is the outcome of modest production means. The artist works with what is around him, creating intimate handmade animations. In his performative journeys, he collects stories of people living by the river. Puppets crafted by the artist from various materials become the characters of his stop-motion animations. In The Racovăţ River, two women puppets, one dressed distinctively in a folk costume and another in modern clothing are crossing the river on a flying carpet. This touch of magic life brings to mind the history of stop-motion animation and its ability to create moments of illusion through simple techniques. A common trope in folktales and fantasy fiction, the flying carpet allows Popescu’s characters to overcome their own limits, immerse into a shared dream.
Ghenadie Popescu (b. 1971, Gura Căinarului, Florești district [raionul Florești], Moldova) lives in Chișinău. He is interested in the local (post-communist) particularities of common views on the mixture of identity, tradition, and geopolitics. Using different forms of expression such as performance, video, and animation, he calls out to the absurdity of the world he lives and works in. He was awarded an unpaid seat at the Chișinău Academy of Music, Theatre and Fine Arts, where he studied in the Painting Department. Since 2012, he has mostly been working in individual stop-motion animation projects. Selected group exhibitions: Expanded Space #7, Volum Art Association, Bucharest (2017); Attention! Border, Labirynt Gallery, Lublin and Arsenał Gallery, Bialystok (2017); CRONOGRAF Documentary Film Festival, Chișinău (2013–17); One Sixth of the Earth, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León—MUSAC (2012); Ein Sechstel der Erde. Über die Beziehung des Bildes zur Welt, ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst, Karlsruhe (2012–13); Shaping the new, Kosice (2011); Rencontre de la performance, Le Générateur, FRASQ, Gentilly (2009); Un pas de côté, Die/Grenoble (2006).