Performance with Marina Oprea, 2016, Alert Studio, Bucharest

If you work for a living, why kill yourself working? Forever allured by the idea of working for free and using their own financial resources to make a name for themselves, the artist’s aura oscillates between the starving intellectual and the superstar. The cheap and handy virtual world of self-promoting possibilities comes wrapped with the beautiful ribbon of never enough financial support. Artists become curators, gallerists, critics, organizers, they write applications for funds, scholarships, they start exhibition spaces in basements or in a squat, they write their own texts or for other colleagues.

Gabriela Mateescu and Marina Oprea are hard at work today, blurring the lines between professions, skills and ways of obtaining money in an endless loop of repetitive, mind-numbing tasks, all leading up to that one small window through which art can shine. Will all this hard labor ever pay off?


The work consisted of a room full of application forms for residencies, scholarships, national institutions, on which a video is projected of the artists filling out the forms. The performance consists in the hands of the artists grabbing from behind the file curtain the forms on the table, while the audience can also fill them in.