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Dan Acostioaei

Born 1974, Iasi, Romania. Using video and photography, Acostioaei investigates the transition in Romanian identity from a traditionalist society to one that has been heavily impacted by consumerism and recently reintroduced in a global setting. Acostioaei’s work has been shown broadly throughout Eastern and Western Europe, as well as in Great Britain and the United States. He is co-organizer of the Periferic Biennale in Romania, and an active board member of the Vector Gallery.

Acostioaei studied Mural Painting at the George Enescu Art University in IaÅŸi, followed by postgraduate studies in fine arts. Since 1999 he has been an Assistant Professor at the Art University while attending a PhD programme in contemporary art theory. His characteristic line-drawn murals, with a debt to 1960s pop art, take a hard-edged approach to contemporary subject matter.

In the series DERO, exhibited in 2002 in IaÅŸi, Dan Acostioaei starts from DERO (ROmanian DEtergent), one of the few Romanian communist era products which have survived through the economic transition. Aggressively promoted, it became a local commercial advertising hero, symbol of the rebirth of a familiar image through the reinvented content and recipe. Now manufactured by Unilever, DERO is seen as a paradigm (and paradox) of the present day Romanian identity crisis.

In much of his practice, Dan Acostioaei addresses the resurfacing of the church following the events of 1989. His new video work, What Goes Around (2011) enacts an image of three middle-aged businessmen seated on a rotating ski lift, as they futilely perform a vague blessing ritual. Through this scene, Acostioaei addresses the cultural condition in Romania, where moral ambiguity is no longer the exception as you move between different social spaces. Another video work referring to how believes intertwine with everyday life is Crossroad (2005). Crossroad gathers gestures that people (from a large variety of social and cultural backgrounds and of different ages) do when passing by churches in Iasi, Romania.

In works like Reconstructionscapes (2005) and Bahlui by Night (2004) Dan Acostioaei explores the unseen connections between power, economy and identity in his hometown IaÅŸi, alongside the emergence of capitalism. 

Address: Str. Ciurchi, nr. 121A, bl. H1, Sc. A, et 4, AP 2, Iasi, 700367, Romania
Tel: 0040 723 710072

Recommended links:

interview with Dan Acostioaei on Tate Channel
Dan Acostioaei's official website


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