THE HORIZONTAL WALL
We are delighted to present the exhibition THE HORIZONTAL WALL, a collaboration between artists Bora Baboci (AL) and Vlad Nancă (RO).
Growing out of the artists’ shared interest in architecture as extension of the body and organization of the senses, the exhibition takes as title and mental model a vernacular practice that exists throughout the Mediterranean basin: the building of horizontal walls that act as barriers between this world and others, that guard the passage between house or garden and the netherworld. An apotropaic construction, looking like a fragment of a sunken building that houses the dead and prohibits their return, a horizontal wall is a point of intersection between forms of being in the world, axes of inhabitation and haunting, selves and ghosts defined in antithesis – a demarcation in a multiplanar nexus that both imagines the continuity of life and death, and seals off the points where their separation could be transgressed. The artists’ conversations revolved around this architectural membrane – horizontally oriented to grant reality to the very realm it makes impregnable, to the presences it screens off – which they extrapolated as a symptom and a condition. (fragment from Mihnea Mircan's curatorial text)
Bora Baboci (b. 1988) was born and lives in Tirana, Albania. She studied architectural design and theory at the University of Toronto, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires, and has a master’s degree from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. After some years of work experience in architecture, since 2015 she has been a researcher and academic assistant at the Technischen Universität in Berlin. Since 2017 she has developed an independent practice of diffusing her spatial research with visual and performative arts. Her practice entails drawing, sculpture, performance and photography, and her research is drawn to the connection between landscape and constructive elements, spatial and affective encounters, and embodied memory through time and space.
Vlad Nancă (b. 1979, Bucharest) undertook studies in the Department of Photography and Moving Image at the National University of Arts, Bucharest, Romania. With works spanning the past two decades, Vlad Nancă’s recurrent use of grids, ceramic tiles, mosaic, houseplants, mirrors, and slightly distorted vernacular objects from Socialist Romania set numerous layers of history and materiality in motion. In this juncture between abstract and concrete, between reflection and landscape, memory and construct, his recent practice references at once utopian architects like Italian Superstudio and their continuous grid, ideas of flat earth maps, as well as predefined notions of the former East and former West. His early works employ political and cultural symbols, evoking nostalgia and investigating the tension between public and domestic spaces, all against the backdrop of Romania and Eastern Europe’s recent history and the aggressive capitalism of the early 2000s. His current body of works examines the notion of space (from architecture and public space to outer space) through forging constellations of subjectivities, sculptures and installations.
This project is financed with the support of EEA Grants 2014 – 2021 within the RO-CULTURE Program.
Special thanks to: Andreea Ilie, Matei Emanuel, Valentin Stroe, Ionuț Predescu, Ana Țecu, Ana Ciobanu, Despina Bădescu, Agim Baboçi, Uniunea Arhitecților din România, Florăria Iris.