Irina Botea b. 1970
Irina Botea graduated from the School of Art Institute of Chicago, MFA in 2006 and National University of Arts in Bucharest, BFA in 2001, MFA in 2002. She lives and works in Chicago.
Over the past ten years Irina Botea have been engaged in an art practice that uses multiple media— digital video, film, video installation, performance, photography— to inspect the present socio-political dynamics and the possibility of their transformation. Her work combines reenactment strategies with auditions and elements of direct cinema and cinema verite to look into the role trauma, history, language, and music play in the formation of the individual and the community.
“In her videos, Botea very often refers to modes of re-enactment and role-play; but her main target is not to create a fiction that is taken for reality. Her interest lies in the reality of the performance and the authentic individuality of the performers.” (Oliver Kielmayer)
“Irina Botea’s hybrid practice, encompassing video, film, performance and installation, recasts historical narratives through strategies of role-playing and re-enactment, at the same time questioning the role of the very media she employs in shaping our contemporary consciousness. Drawing upon political events, whether witnessed first hand or filtered through collective memory, Botea seeks to remediate the historical traumas of the past, particularly those of her native Romania. Reality for Botea is constructed both by the instruments of mediation and by what is actually lived; thus her works identify and, at the same time, perform the slippage between the two, one public, the other private. The result is the construction of what artist and theorist Alfredo Cramerotti terms “faction,” or the blending
of fact and fiction, a strategy that belongs to a strain of contemporary art practice he calls “aesthetic journalism.” Artists appropriate the tools of investigative journalism, including documentary and narrative storytelling, to offer alternative views of reality than those produced by mainstream media, a power structure Michel Foucault identifies as part of the “truth regime.”(Susan Snodgrass)