With the public art installation PLUG TO NATURE, part of transnational project DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY AND GLORY, the artists pursue the concept of “nature” in the broadest sense. The self-referential investigation of the theme leads to an appropriation and reinterpretation of a particular natural site, the Danube Delta. Capturing the dense, mysterious and quiet atmosphere of a widely unknown landscape, Plug to Nature attempts to go beyond a mere aesthetic relation with a paradisiacal place. Behind the powerful and pristine narratives of the Danube Delta is “hidden” the fascinating story of Ivan Patzaichin, one of the world’s greatest canoeing legends. Set as its perpetual inspiration, the story of Ivan Patzaichin unleashes different levels of spatial experience, temporality and representation.
The title of the outdoor installation testifies an accent given to the role and mission of “nature” to create a new kind of human experience and engagement with the urbanity. In their reflection, the artists’ primary focus was to investigate the relationship between perception and representation, between filmic image and found object, between sound and space, between autobiography and history of a place. Taking the form of a sculptural modular construction, composed of two sequences – a museum-like diorama and a “sound corridor”, PLUG TO NATUREpresents the result of a research and of a direct relationship with the site.
DANUBE CONNECTION. STORY AND GLORY is a pilot project initiated by the Romanian Cultural Institute in collaboration with Association “Ivan Patzaichin – Mila 23, which aims to radically change the image of the Danube Delta, perceived so far as a wonderful place, but underdeveloped culturally, socially and economically. Starting from the local specificity and valuing the cultural and human heritage of the Danube area, this project looks how the encounter between nature, art and sport can encourage oneself to re-imagine a place.
Olah Gyarfas is considered one of the leading fashion designers of Romanian scene. He worked on several independent projects and collections before being the designer of Patzaikin collection, a fashion brand showcasing recurring themes and concepts of eco-technology. Olah Gyarfas was awarded in 2007 with “Kontakt Erste Bank Award” for the most creative designer in Eastern and Central Europe by “Unit F Büro für Mode” (Vienna). Olah previously signed several collections of Rozalb de Mura, which were presented in several editions of the London Fashion Week. He was promoted in international professional media, including Vogue and Dazed. He lives and works in Miercurea-Ciuc, Romania.
Nicu Ilfoveanu is an artist showing an interest in a low-tech approach to mediums such as photography, film and self-publishing. His work is characterized by the interplay between personal and documentary, between sublime and trivial, between evidence and hidden-subjects. He recently exhibited at FotoFestival, Mannheim-Ludwigshafen-Heidelberg, Germany and PotoEspagna, Cuenca, Spain. He lives and works in Bucharest, Romania.
Electric Brother is a musician, producer and DJ from Bucharest, Romania. He released two solo albums EB (2003, La Strada Music) and On ground (2011, self-published) which combines influences from folk music to trip-hop, from the 70’s jazz rock to contemporary classical music. His live performances are centered towards the experimentation of sounds, being connected to the new trends in the underground electronic music.
skaarchitects is a self-managed architectural studio founded in 2008 in Bucharest by Kalliopi Dimou and Sorin Istudor. Focused on participative design and research of urban habitat, the office conducts projects and public interventions that concentrate on the exploration of various types of spatial identities by designing innovative structures, sustainable and flexible.
Teodor Frolu is architect working in the field of creative industries. He is the founder of “The ARK “, a laboratory for creative industries in Bucharest and one of the initiators of the project Transcentral Urban Bucharest (TUB), which promotes a new urban vision on Bucharest, planned to be applied by local municipality. Together with Ivan Patzaichin he initiated the project rowmania, a movement that wants to revive eco-tourism, local design and to refine and distil local traditional crafts.
Alina Serban is art historian and curator living in Bucharest, Romania. She is co-director of Centre for Visual Introspection, Bucharest (www.pplus4.ro). She curated The Seductiveness of the Interval at The Renaissance Society at The University of Chicago, Chicago (2010) and Romanian Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2009. She is involved in research projects, giving theoretical presentations and lectures at various international conferences.