Delta Văcărești, temporary installation in nature 2021

As part of the project Peisaj în deteriorare [Deteriorating landscape] carried out in the park Văcărești Delta, I created 2 installations in nature: The world is on fire and we are celebrating, and one in collaboration with Kiki Mihuță As for this place, history is left behind.

The Văcărești Nature Park is a wetland, formed on the site of a hydrotechnical project commenced by the Communist regime in 1986 and left unfinished. The area is located in Bucharest, 4 km away from the city center.

The world is on fire and we are celebrating

The installation works as a metaphor for the climate’s current state, using as a point of inspiration the 2020 fire blaze (of unknown origins) in the Văcărești Delta. In spite of it, nature is thriving yet again in the natural reservation, seemingly unbothered, offering hope that as much as we destroy it she will always find a way of surviving and take back what’s hers. However, surrounded by sky scrapers that have slowly begun to gentrify the area, domesticating it and forging it to transform, pressures on the natural reservation are increasing. Humans are notoriously unable to get along with The Wilderness. An impractical space in the city is, after all, in the current age, a place without a purpose or a utility, and for the city, it is a place where money is lost. As fires (be they man-made or natural) burn the dry shrubs, it helps to remember human touch will always be more devastating than the simple heat of fire. Fear not, though! Nature will continue to prevail, feeding on our sap.

As for this place, history is left behind

Installations in nature with Kiki Mihuță

As a concept, “Nature” stands for a reality that has evolved and exists independently without human assistance and, in contrast, to the work of man, to human culture. As much as we try to control it, in time, no matter what, “Nature” evades our control. With a long history of violent displacement, Delta Văcărești seems to have found its natural ground and stability. A former trash dump called the Weeping Valley, then a modest neighborhood for gardeners and florists, a reservoir which was abandoned, and a sports-culture complex that never took place, Delta Văcărești seems to be born on the relic of a place that was about to be.

Although nature took possession of the landscape, subtle or obvious traces of the changes and occurrences that happened along the way can be found exploring the area. Inspired by the installation of the artist Sara Sze “The Last Garden” at the Venice Biennale 2015, the project of the two artists makes their footprints on the path so obvious that they are impossible to ignore, emphasizing organic or artificial materials that they encounter on their way. The installations converse with space in the typical human artificial way, moving away from nature, ignoring it or enslaving it to their own purposes, be they decorative or utilitarian. This shapes a tame nature.