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f o j t aje lio r
andreahajtajer @ gmail.com
wood, rope and iron rails
Cynical and playful, the installation describes love-affairs as a double game of pleasure and danger, with no definite beginning and leading nowhere. Set into the universe of (mostly feminine) childhood games, this work commemorates the careless state of mind, out of daily routine and caution, specific for these unusual situations which call for a bitter and sometimes tragic ending in reality. As in many of Andrea Hajtajer’s works, it represents a temporal moment and a situation rather than a specific narrative, suspended between reverie and premonition.
iron mouse traps and candies
By simple and minimal means, the work explores the inner tension contained in the seemingly innocent invitation to experience pleasure. It exposes candies as an emblematic element for objects of desire and, at the same time, it highlights the dangerous conditions the desired objects are usually set into. As a cynical comment upon the act of choosing, the work both invites and rejects the spectator from the space it creates, prompting it to reflect upon the usually hidden mechanisms that sustain seduction.
Losing Is Beautiful
plexiglass and personalized bottle caps
In a neo-pop reference, the installation plays with the marketing devices framing the everyday, capable of wrapping virtually any content. It disrupts the lucky expectances of the public by the endless repetition of the same statement, ironically announcing the “beauty of losing”. The glamorous, kitsch-like exposure device, a grandiloquent accumulation of personalized bottle caps from various juices on the Romanian market, is clearly contradicted by the banality and uselessness of the objects exhibited. However, in the hands of the public invited to take a piece as a souvenir, these personalized remains turn into precious traces of an artwork constantly “evaporating” during the exhibition. Therefore, the artwork actually commemorates transiency, reflecting beauty as a collective consumerist illusion.
print on clear sheet, nylon bag and pregnancy test
The work emphasizes the situation of all women who have chosen, for different reasons, to interrupt their pregnancy. It exposes in juxtaposed prints the condition of an uncertain “before” and an irreversible “after”. The absence of the pregnancy period from the narrative is supplied by exposing the “legal” proof of the positive pregnancy test. This absence alludes to the multiple states of mind women pass through before and after taking the choice of an abortion, which are usually intimate and publicly unrevealed.
2007 Redistributed Resources
(a project by Andrea Hajtajer and Cristian Nae). Multimedia installation: handmade book of photographs, video projection, e-mail archive
The project contains an archive of aesthetics, art theory and history of contemporary art books (digitally photographed illegally in MMU), edited with the support of Cristian Nae in a reader exhibited together with an e-mail conversations archive showing the process of making the book archive. The intention of the reader is to comment both upon the local educational artistic system and upon the situation of contemporary post-conceptual photography. It turns a private practice of learning into an alternative public strategy of collaborative education.
The idea is simple. Given: 1) the context of lack of information on recent art history in Romanian academic educational system 2) the specific means of copying books for private use by means of photography, replacing scanning as a technological device for recording and transporting information 3) the opportunity of building a private library by personal collaboration, the project resulted in an archive of texts and images which made up a simulated reader commenting upon the context of its own making. This reader contained a selection of excerpts on conceptual art and conceptual photography, institutional critique and art education. However, this personal strategy of education was made public in an attempt to raise questions on authorship, copyright vs. shareware vs. open-source, distribution and circulation of information. Also, it questioned the making up of an educational tool without reiterating the canon or self-institutionalizing itself as ”alternative”. Last, but not least, it highlighted the way private relations, usually invisible, make up an alternative network often far more efficient than the official one in the artworld. It was a radical way of curating an exhibition: making up a simulated reader with a little help of your friends, and educating in return by means of private, e-mail based conversations.
2008 Daily Reports
hand-made paper series, textile fabric, cuttered folio on plastic, photo documentation, 30x24x34 cm
In Andrea Hajtajer’s work, Romania’s present day representation in national coverage daily newspapers is turned into a cacophony of unintelligible speeches, at the same time exposing their uselessness and commemorating their transiency. The artist is literally recycling a one-week archive of collected newspapers from recent Romanian history, reproducing hand-made paper whose aesthetic meaning lies precisely in the opaque materiality of serial sheets of paper exhibited. Each day is also attributed a funeral plaque and thus archived into nothingness, in a reference to the impossibility of remembering the present. Thus, the artistic project reconfigures in a funeral-like installation the simultaneous inscription and erosion of historical significance of the present. By all these elements, she creates opaque monuments of recent history. A documentation of the making-of process is archived into a hand-made artist book, underlining the performative structure of the work, which can also be regarded as a private gesture of resistance to the influence mass-media has on individuals and their private lives.
2006 Immigrant Hospitality
performance, 1h20’, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK
The work is an approximately 1h performance inviting the passers-by in Chatham Building at Manchester Metropolitan University to take part in the traditional Romanian ritual of welcoming. The Romanian traditional way of welcoming consists in offering bread and salt. By reversing the situation of the typical immigrant from guest into host, it questions the attitude of the local citizens towards immigrants pointing out to the way we are accustomed to see the other by rather ignoring it. The project discusses the condition of the immigrant and the difficult process of integration related to it. Fated to remain a foreigner both to his - her abandoned origins and to the new traditions and cultural background, this social figure becomes exemplary for the present day nomad and globalized society.
One minute couples
By deconstructing one minute of every-day casual behavior in a life of a couple into distinct frames, I tried to reveal the unnoticed moment when the common rhythm of the two characters turns from common action into two distinct acts. Thus, walking together turns into separately climbing a row of stairs, putting hands in the pocket become separate actions etc. The subject of my series of photographs is the unseen moment when a certain gap between individuals comes to light. I am portraying private life as a series of chance encounters, each of them comprising a certain short time when a couple shares common goals and projects, temporarily forming a collective subject. After that, they become once again the separate individuals they had been before. However minutely one can divide time, that exact moment of separation is never to be precisely known, or shown as evidence for a fact.
black and white photography series, 11 photographs
black and white photography series, 7 photographs
, video, 2’13’’
This video is questioning the different kind of human distances that appear in the life of a couple through a visual confession told from the point of view of the neglected and unnoticed one. By measuring different “objective”, concrete bodily items that can be quantified, I metaphorically change the real objects of measurement (the personal body) into symbolic, immeasu-rable features of human relationships, such as feelings and behaviors. Eventually, the intimate narrative presented is meant to take a look at the common lack of communication in people’s private lives. Andrea Hajtajer
Distances is a charming and somewhat childish contemporary haiku that describes the coordinates of a moment in a couple’s history with reflexive simplicity. The measuring tape in Andrea Hajtajer’s hand quantifies the geometry of an absence, computing the unspeakable into measurable units. Her body is nothing else than the transparent vehicle of somebody - the real character of the narration - else’s fingerprints; her own presence mirrors the lines of a profile drawn in negative. Feelings, emotions, behaviors are equated into centimeters in a very fresh visual poem, reminiscent to a mathematical demonstration, drawn in confident lines. Cristiana Radu
2007 Another empty place‚
video, 1’39’’ performer : alina ghervase; camera and editing : alex grigoras, andrea hajtajer
The work approaches the solitary dinner of a female-character with no specific features as an act of fictitious communication with her absent life partner. The last one is portrayed through the agency of a photography which presents the same place seen from the opposite angle, an image which folds the real space. The video work dwells on the total lake of character’s relations with the exterior, trapped in the routine of her own existence. The work creates an isolated space of a domestic, banal and daily ritual. The gesture is repeated until exhaustion: a robotic, mechanic gesture, dissolution of emotions. Andrea Hajtajer
2009 Give me beauty, give me death
video installation, 2 channels, 1’56’’ http://vimeo.com/13669531
performer : andrea hajtajer camera : alex grigoras, bogdan vatavu music : ”fly? away?” (eldbjørg raknes) courtesy of eldbjørg raknes www.myrecordings.no www.eldbjorgraknes.com editing : alex grigoras production assistant : cristian nae
The two-channel video sets side by side the ominous image of an ambulance approaching the viewer in slow-motion in a commonplace and deserted urban setting and the image of the artist performing a circular dance with a meditative expression in a middle of a barren field. She is constantly accompanied by a troubling vocal music suggesting the sound of the ambulance buzzer. The synchronization in negative of the two actions in relation with the viewer highlights the presentiment of fatality and increases tension in the expectancy of the spectator waiting for something to occur. The contrasting relation between the above-described scraps of narratives expresses existential anguish of being trapped in a life with no future, an inescapable and perpetual “in-between”. The dance can be understood either as a sublime and absolute affirmation of life in front of imminent personal death and loss, be it symbolic or real, or as expression of disinterested beauty, meant to counter a meaningless and absurd existence.
performers : andrea hajtajer, alex maxim, elvys prisacariu, sebastian tiplea; camera and editing : alex grigoras music : ”pipetrang” and ”comforted” (eldbjørg raknes), courtesy of eldbjørg raknes, www.myrecordings.no www.eldbjorgraknes.com; production assistant : cristian nae
video installation, 3 channels, 6’34’’ http://vimeo.com/13669805
The three channel video installation stages, in a hospital-like scenery, a metaphoric representation of intimacy and man-woman relationships as an endless repetition of the same situation. I am portraying the woman as a self-confident and seemingly angelic caretaker of solitary and suffering men, performing a sort of tender ritual, creating an uncanny and profane „Pieta”. The title of the work alludes to the fragile inner balance of the woman when dealing with intimate relationships.
Cristian Nae. Andrea Hajtajer
I’m so tired
video installation, 2’37’’ http://vimeo.com/13657430
The video presents, in a bird’s eye view, a ballerina ”performing” a private ritual backstage. She is literally drawing in chalk a private, intimate and protective space she falls asleep in, accompanied by a lullaby with funeral-like accents. The character tries to retire from the scene of both private and public life in a quiet desperate attempt to reinvent her identity and selfhood. Still, by being watched by the spectators, this intimate space becomes only an illusion.
performer : andrea hajtajer; camera and editing : alex grigoras; music : ”two ways to waltz alone” (eldbjørg raknes), courtesy of eldbjørg raknes, www.myrecordings.no, www.eldbjorgraknes.com; production assistant : cristian nae
2011 Ophelius...in the making
(video)installation, sticker bands on wall, video on mini-DVD player with incorporated screen http://vimeo.com/63957774
This work proposes the reverse of the literary description of this Shakespearian moment. Ophelia will be the man nist, but also the feminine side of the state of affairs reflected in a relationship. Through this change I am not on but also to underline some sort of sensitivity, vulnerability or helplessness in the man. The bottom line is that th themselves in an inextricable situation: they are in a relationship but they cannot have an ordinary, happy life, n
Andrea Hajtajer talks about the difficulties to produce a work, exhibiting the storyboard of a video-essay, intrerrupted by conditions that raise the problem of the functioning of art in parameters that are independent by the art public.
Catalin Gheorghe (curator)
n and Hamlet will be the woman. This will emphasize the feminly intending to highlight the woman’s weakness or strength, he two characters are finding nor can they be separated.
Andrea Hajtajer works especially with narrative video and installation, exploring private life in its singular characters and highlighting the intensity of hidden emotions that seem impossible to communicate otherwise by means of definite narratives and affirmative statements. Moreover, her discourse favors metaphoric expression, interrogation and the modal logic of possible worlds. Using especially performance, materialized either as staged recordings, texts or sculptural objects, she stages or recreates scenes and situations where the narrative, often introspective and elliptic in character, is focusing on various but related themes. The incapacity to communicate, intimate desires, unavoidable illusions and collective projections, remembrance, archiving, documentation and retrospection processes of singular events are among the most frequent. Her works are existential poems expressed with minimal devices. Even when the accent seems to be displaced towards a socio-critical approach, she is actually questioning the possibility of individual resistance to socially induced ways of formatting intimacy. She is constantly observing the subjectivation processes she finds herself trapped in, examining them with cynical lucidity.
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