Xandra Popescu, Larisa Crunteanu
area: Video, Performance
residenceBucharest, Berlin (GER)
recommending institutiontranzit.org/ERSTE Stiftung
time periodApril 2014 - April 2014
Xandra Popescu works as a writer, filmmaker and artist. She holds an MA in Dramatic Writing from the National Theater and Film University in Bucharest and has a a background in Political Science.
Larisa Crunțeanu has studied Photography and Moving Image and is currently a PHD candidate at the National Arts University of Bucharest. She works as a performer, video-maker and sound collector.
Together, they currently power Atelier 35, a project space in Bucharest.
Larisa Crunteanu and I have been working together over the course of four years- and our work has invented its own method. In recent times, we have channeled our collaborative energy into powering Atelier 35, a project space in Bucharest dedicated to experimental and collaborative practices. My relocation to Berlin one year ago has challenged the dynamic of our work-flow and personal relationship. Although some of our projects were left in a “work in progress” stage, our relationship continued with a renewed effusion through correspondence. Through trial and error we managed to form a suspended common ground. Negotiations and disclosures, rational and sentimental analysis of our common history were poured into the pool of our working relationship. In the waiting-room of correspondence, through anticipation, improvisation and feedback loops a new working method was harnessed. We each started gathering bits and pieces of our separate lives allowing them to develop into a new body of work.
“Things for Money” appeared as a consequence of our new working configuration and consists of a collection of disclosures around generating income. We gathered them from friends, family and extended group of acquaintances. In spite of the project ́s archival aspect, we resisted nostalgic temptations. When it comes to memory there is an inclination to reconciliation. In an impulse to re-edit our experience we delude ourselves to forgive and forget. Conversely, “Things for Money” explores such feelings ranging from regret to self-irony. In the process of conjuring these disclosures we prompted confessors to give into their mixed feelings.
“I decided I had to get something in exchange for my misery.”
“No, employment wasn't going to work. I needed to make some real money fast.”
“I called my parents and told them I wasn't coming home for Christmas. This was supposed to be the most profitable time of the year in this business.”
“A new life was to begin and I wanted to have all of my accounts in order.”
“I tried to negotiate but they said it was a standard contract.”
“I Lost my parent ́s lifelong savings.”
“He wasn't doing anything and yet he was getting half the money and on top of that the glory.”
“It ́s too bad because the money was good. But I have my pride and yes, it does keep me warm at night.”
“To me, this was irrefutable proof that in this city, even if it ́s a piece of shit that you decide to cook and eat, others will try to steal it from you.”
“One day I stumbled upon an interesting ad in our local newspaper. A Romanian-German business was looking for a communications specialist with a sound knowledge of German and a vivid imagination...”
“I came to the bitter realization that the only jobs out there involved either selling something or promiscuity.”
“I knew it in my mind that this was the last time I would see these people and it gave me such a feeling of triumph.”
The project started out from the acknowledgement of an increasingly volatile relationship between work and money as well as the radical changes in nowadays working world. These changes have affected especially what we call the creative class, which we are part of. Since income is viewed as a compensation for the inconvenience of working, “creatives” are often expected to work voluntarily.
For us, the next step is to put together our collection of stories and develop its dramatic potential into a performance script.