Irina BoteaBucan 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)


2016                PhD Goldsmiths College, London, UK

2004-2006     THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO / Master of Fine Arts in Art and Technologies, US

2001-2002     UNIVERSITY OF ARTS, Bucharest, Romania / Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies

1996-2001     UNIVERSITY OF ARTS, Bucharest, Romania / Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting

1990-1995     BUCHAREST UNIVERSITY, Bucharest, Romania / Bachelor of Science in Geology and Geophysics Department

Solo Shows and Performances (Selected)

2018       Out of The Bear, LOOP Art Fair, Barcelona, Spain

2017       In the zone of transition, the building will have a future, she said, The Philips Museum of Art,Lancaster, USA (including collaborations with Jon Dean)

2017      Apostrof. Totul a început cu o ezitare a portarului, MNAC, Bucharest, Romania

2017     Installation 11: In the transition zone the building will have a future, she said, PhD Installation Series, Goldsmith University

2016      Signal: Invisibility Transmitted, Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2015      Shorts Special: Irina Botea, IFFR (International Film Festival Rotterdam), NL

2014      It is Now a Matter of Learning Hope, ThreeWalls, Chicago, IL, US

2014      Phalanstère, Julius Caesar Gallery, Chicago, IL, US

2012      Picturesque, Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2011      Irina Botea feat. WeAreTheArtists, Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland

2010      Before a National Anthem, Italian Cultural Center, Strasbourg, France

2009      A place for Citizenship – performance, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain

2009      Re-place, Foksal Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2009      A moment of Citizenship, MNAC, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2009      A moment of Citizenship, Satellite Program, Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

2008      Solitdaire, ICR, Paris, France

2006      Auditions for a Revolution, Work of the Month at MNAC, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2004      Human Interaction, New Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2004      Tiempo de la Princessa, Cooperation, Wiltz, Luxemburg

2003      Alice and the Paper Fairy, H’Art Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Light Shadows, WolfKahn Studio, Vermont Studio Center, Vermont

2002      Leonard – Prince of the Musical, DeInterese Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Loading…  – site-specific installation, Atelier35, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Welcome 2 – site-specific installation, Loft Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

2001      Welcome 1 – site-specific installation, Atelier 35, Bucharest, Romania

2001      Irony Venus – multimedia installation, International Center for Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

Group Shows (Selected)

2021    The 4th Mediterranean Biennale. Living Together – Crossing Borders, Haifa, Israel

2019     Ciné Bear, Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature, Paris, France

2018     At Different Angles, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2018     Revolutionize, Mystetskyi Arsenal, Kiev, Ukraine

2018     FILM, WASP, Bucharest, Romania

2018     FILM, ApARTE Gallery, Iași, Romania

2017     The Map Is Not the Territory, The Romanian Cultural Institute, Lisbon, Portugal

2016     D’EST Prologue: O’ Mystical East and West, Martin Gropius Bau, Cinema Hall, Berlin Germany

2016     As If, At Home – Artists in Europe, BOX Freiraum, Berlin , Germany

2016     A Government of Time, Rebuild Foundation, Chicago, US

2016     Salt of the Earth. This is not a stone, MNAR-National Museum of Art, Bucharest, Romania

2016     DADA Games, RKI Galerie, Berlin, Germany

2016     My Father Avoids the Sirens’ Song, Josée Bienvenu Gallery, NY, US

2016     Performing Histories, Timespan, Helmsdale, UK

2016     MonuMental Histories, Arcub, Bucharest, Romania

2016     Few were happy with their conditions, Gallery 400, Chicago, US

2015     Laughter and forgetting, Arcub, Bucharest, Romania

2015     Pocket Revolutions, Korea Foundation gallery, Seul, Korea

2015     Repertoire of (In)Discreetness, Tranzit, Bucharest, Romania

2015      Never Alone, MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest), Romania

2015      Never Alone, Magma, Sf. Gheorghe, Romania

2015      Between Democracies: Memory And Commemoration, Constitution Hill, Johannesburg, South Africa

2014      The Forgotten Pioneer Movement, DISTRICT Kunst und Kulturförderung, Berlin, Germany

2014      Ghost Nature, Gallery 400, Chicago, US

2014      Ghost nature: Le Phantôme de la nature, La Box, Bourges, France

2014      Momentum, Aiurart Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2014      Sights and Sounds, Jewish Museum, NY, US

2014      A Few Grams of Red, Yellow, Blue, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, Poland

2013      55th Venice Biennial, Representing Romania, “Reflection Centre for Suspended Histories. An Attempt,” New Gallery of The Romanian Cultural Institute, Venice, Italy

2013      You only Fall Twice, CCA London-Derry, Northern Ireland

2013      Speak, Memory, Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University, NY, US

2013      One Sixth of the Earth: Ecologies of the image, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

2012      Demonstrations. Making Normative Orders, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany

2012      One Sixth of the Earth: Ecologies of the image, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain

2012      Epic Something, Hyde Park Art Centre, Chicago, US

2012      Overlapping Biennial, The Biennial of Young Artists, Bucharest, Romania

2012      Doina, MNAC (National Museum of Contemporary Art) Platforma Space, Bucharest, Romania

2012      Co- Re-Creating Spaces, Central Trak Gallery, Texas, US

2011      Ostalgia, New Museum, New York, US

2011      El grito, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, Spain

2011      I am a Romanian: The Bucharest – Tel Aviv Route, Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

2010      8th Gwangju Biennale, 10 000 Lives, Gwangju, Korea

2010      Participation, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria

2010      CitiesMethodologies/ Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania

2010      Videozone, Tel Aviv, Israel

2010      Impakt Panorama Matrix City, Utrecht, The Netherlands

2009      Actors and Extras, Argos Center for Art and Media, Brussels, Belgium

2009      Autres Mesures, Centre Photographique, D’Ile-de-France, Pontault-Combault, France

2009      Dada East, Contextes roumaines du dadaisme, Muse des Beaux-Arts,     Tourcoing, France

2009      Subtexts, Multimedia Gallery, The University of The Arts, Philadelphia

2008      Restaging the Past, Baltic/Balkans, Museum of Contemporary Art in Szczecin, Poland

2008      History will repeat itself, Center for Contemporary Art Ujazdowki Castle, Warsaw, Poland

2008      History will repeat itself, Goethe Institut, Hong Kong

2008      U-turn Quadrienale, Copenhagen, Denmark

2008      Polis Adriatic Europe Festival, Pula, Croatia

2008      Dada East, Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw, Poland

2008      Asi se escribe la historia, Casa Encendida, Madrid, Spain

2008      Playground Revolutions, ICR, Stockholm, Sweden

2008      Artefact festival, Leuven, Belgium

2008      U-turn, Copenhagen, Denmark

2007      Dada East, FÄRGFABRIKEN – Center for Contemporary Art and Architecture, Stockholm, Sweden

2007      Documenta, Regensburg, Germany

2007      History will repeat itself, Kunst-Werken, Berlin, Germany

2007      History will repeat itself, HMKV Halle, Dortmund, Germany

2007      Tribes Gallery Show, New York

2007      Directors Lounge, Berlin, Germany

2007      Little Italy Gallery, Milan, Italy

2006      Acidentes, Videobrasil, Sao Paolo, Brazil

2006      Mixed Pickels 2, K3 space, Zurich, Switzerland

2006      Cooper Gallery, Dundee, Scotland

2006      EXIS, Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, Korea

2006      Offset. Underconstruct, National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2006      Coupling, Rosenberg Gallery, New York

2006      Trans:it. Moving Culture through Europe/Now here Europe, MNAC, National  Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest, Romania

2006      Navigation, Negotiation, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago

2006      New Work, G2, Chicago

2006      Live Box Gallery at Nova Art fair, Chicago

2005     51st Venice Biennale, Trans: it. Moving Culture through Europe, Museale Veneziano, Venice, Italy

2006      Prague Biennale, National Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

2006      Central, Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria

2006      Siemens_artLab, Vienna, Austria

2006      Mixed Pickles 1, K3 space, Zurich, Switzerland

2006      Mash-up, Gallery2, Chicago

2006      Cosmopolis 1: Microcosmos x Macrocosmos, Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

2006      Chicago Filmmakers, Global Super8 day, Chicago

2004      VIPER Basel, International Festival for Film, Video and New Media, video, Basel, Switzerland

2004      Monument Recall, Microcinema, San Francisco

2004      Inauguration of the New National Museum of Contemporary Art, Romanian Artists (and not only) / love the palace!? video, photography, Bucharest Romania

2004      Reading Room, Cubitt, London, UK

2004      ReLocation:Shake Society, video installation, Casino de Luxembourg, Luxembourg

2004      Revolutions Reloaded, video, Play Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2004      Revolutions Reloaded, video, Artra Gallery, Millan, Italy

2004      Atterissage, painting, Paris, France

2003      Docu-Fiction, video, Bucharest Architecture Hall, Romania

2003      Die Zukunft von Balkan ist da, Kunstlerhaus Boswil, Switzerland

2003      In Den Shluchten Des Balkan, Kunsthalle Fridericianum Kassel, Germany; video projection of “Tiempo de la Princessa” during the conference “Romanian Art Now”

2003      Preview – Romanian Contemporary Art Museum, Kalinderu Medialab, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Coop2, Museum of Contemporary Art, Kalinderu Medialab, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Freebiennal, performance, New York

2002      Manifesta 4 Archive, “The Room”, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Germany

2002      Night Shots “Cake Room”, interactive installation, Timisoara, Romania

2002      Coop2, International Media Festival, Kalinderu medialab, Contemporary Art Museum, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Coop1, Atelier 35, video, Bucharest, Romania

2002      Five Stories, New Gallery, installation, Bucharest, Romania

2001      11-11, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria

2001      Periferic 5, International Contemporary Art Biennial, Iasi, Romania

2001      480 Minutes, Public Bath, site specific installation, Iasi, Romania

Published work (selected)

2014     Gagarin 28, independent publication entirely dedicated to the publication of original texts of artists who are now working anywhere in the world, published by GAGA for S.M.A.K (Museum of Contemporary Art Ghent, Belgium) (upcoming)

2011     City Methodologies, “Elena ladybug and re-enactment”, Bucharest, Romania

2011      “Auditions for a Revolution”, Ostalgia Catalogue, New Museum, NY, US

2011      Arta Magazine, “A Moment of Citizenship”, Bucharest, Romania

2009      “Before a National Anthem” – published by Jeu de Paume , Paris, France

2008      “Playground Revolutions”, published by ICR Stockholm, Sweden

Visiting artist (seminars, workshops, lectures)

2006-present    Adjunct faculty at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago

2015      Piet Zwart Institute, Visiting Artists/Professor, Rotterdam, Nederland

2014      MLA (modern language Association), Remains of Utopia: Communist Kitsch, Propaganda, and  Sentimental Artifacts in Postcommunist Romania

2013      Atelier 35 Gallery, workshop, Bucharest, Romania

2012      University College of London, Centre for South-East European Studies, London, UK

2011      Columbia College, Chicago

2011       Ben Gurion University, Beer-Sheva, Israel

2011       Bucharest University of the Arts, Bucharest , Romania

2010      Ecole supérieure des Arts décoratifs de Strasbourg, France

2010      Bucharest University of the Arts, Bucharest , Romania

2010      Ecole nationale supérieure d’architecture de Strasbourg, France

2009      Bucharest University of the Arts, Bucharest , Romania

2008      Bucharest University of the Arts, Bucharest , Romania

2006      DePaul University, Chicago

2002      Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey

Juries and Committees

2014   SenzArt competition, MNAC (National Museum for Contemporary Art Bucharest), Romania

2013   SAIC, Film, Video and New Media Festival programmer,The School of The Art institute of Chicago

2012   New Blood IV: with/on/our labour, Department of Exhibitions and Exhibition Studies, The School of  The Art Institute of Chicago

2011   Undergraduate Film festival, Film, Video, New Media and Animation Department, SAIC, Chicago

Reviews, articles, press (selected)

2013   Picturing Revolution in the Middle Voice, Kelly Presutti, Thresholds 41, MIT

2012   Flash Art-“We are beautiful-The Beauty of Mankind” Oliver Kielmayer,  Something Epic catalogue, Chicago, IL

2011      New York Times, When Repression Was a Muse, by Holland Cotter

2011      Clare Hurley, “Ostalgia”: Art from the Stalinist and post-Stalinist bloc, 1960s to the present

2011      Ostalgia catalogue, Massimiliano Gioni

2011      Kansas City Star, Alice Thorson, ‘Ostalgia,’ at New York’s New Museum, draws back the Iron Curtain

2011      Art 21 Guest Blog, Caroline Picard, Reenacting a Many Possible Past: An Interview with Irina Botea

2011      Art Clue, Irina Botea: re-enactment of a subjective history, Silvia Pintilie

2011      I am Romanian: the Bucharest – Tel Aviv Route

2011      Irina Cios, Romanian Video Art

2010      Art International Radio/ Gwangju Biennale, Marisa Katz

2010      Art as a rewriting program, Peter Weibel

2009      Mihnea Mircan, The Auditions Will be Televised, Multitud Singular, El Arte de Resisitir

2009      Art daily, Second Edition of the Annual Satellite Programme at Jeu de Paume Features Irina Botea

2009      Kenny McBride, Turing over the Graves / Artists: Irina Botea (Romania), Anri Sala (Albania), Monika Sosnowska (Poland)

2009      Katarzyna Krysiak, Re-place, Irina Botea

2009      Sharon Hayes and Irina Botea: conference and performance in Reina Sofia

2008      Art papers, RETRO/NECRO: From Beyond the Grave of the Politics of Re-Enactment, Text / Pil and Galia Kollectiv

2008      Frieze Magazine, Alice Planel, History Will Repeat Itself: Strategies of Re-  enactment in Contemporary Art

2008      Art Review issue 19, Luke Heighton, History Will repeat Itself

2007      History Will repeat Itself, Inke Arns

2007      Incidently the Revolution Will be Televised, Inke Arns

2006      Playground Revolutions, Sinziana Ravini, artists: Irina Botea and Fia-Stina Sandlund

2004      Mihnea Mircan, Idea, Docufiction

Awards / Grants / Fellowships 

2016      CHASE, AHRC (Arts and Humanities Council) fellowship / Senior Artist in Residence-Institute for Advanced Studies, CEU (Central European University), Budapest, Hungary

2016      Camargue Residency, Cassis, France

2015      Visegrad Fellowship, OSA, Budapest, Hungary / “It is now a matter of learning hope”- Nominated for best solo time based show in US by AICA (International Association of Art Critics United States)

2014      3Arts Visual Arts Award for exceptional woman artists, Chicago, US

2013      Krems AIR, Artist in residence, Krems , Austria

2013      THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO / Faculty Enrichment Grant for “ Film Postale”, and participation at Venice Biennale

2012      THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO / Faculty Enrichment Grant for “ Impersonation”

2011      THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO / Faculty Enrichment Grant for “Picturesque”


2011      MOB European cultural cooperation project artist in residence fellowship for   “Photocopy”, “15 May Movement” and” Quick Reply”

2009     THE SCHOOL OF THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO Faculty Enrichment Grant for “Before a National Anthem” exhibition project  at Jeu de Paume, Paris, France

2009     CONSTANTIN BRANCUSI FELLOWSHIP, ROMANIAN CULTURAL CENTRE IN PARIS, France / artist in residence fellowship, for “Before a National Anthem” Cite des Arts, Paris, France

2008      INTERNATIONAL RESIDENCE AT RECOLLETS, Paris, France / artist in residence fellowship

2008      KULTUR KONTAKT, Vienna, Austria / resident artist fellowship

2007      IMPAKT FILM FESTIVAL, UTRECHT, NEDERLANDS / Silver Award for the video “Ladybug“

2006     ATLANTIC CENTER FOR THE ARTS, New Smyrna Beach, Florida / artist in residence fellowship

2006     PRO HELVETIA ROMANIA / artist grant for “Auditions for a Revolution”


2005      PEO INTERNATIONAL / P.E.O. Scholar Awards

2004      AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF UNIVERSITY WOMEN / International Award Fellowship

2004      Casino Luxembourg Forum D’Art Contemporaine, Luxembourg / Re: Location. Shake Society program artist in residence fellowship

2003      KUNSTLERHOUSE BOSWIL, Switzerland

2003      PRO HELVETIA artist in residence fellowship

2003      UNESCO-ASCHBERG 2002-2003 Bursaries for Artist program / artist in residence fellowship at Cooperation, Wiltz, Luxembourg

2002      VSC/Artslink, Vermont Studio Center, Vermont, US / artist in residence fellowship

2002     SEA ELEPHANT TRAVEL AGANCY, Istanbul, Turkey / artist in residence fellowship

2002     ROMANIAN UNION OF ARTISTS, UAP Award / Special prize of Romanian Union of Artists

Screenings (selected)

2016   “Behind the Curtain” Centrala Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK

2016   Cinéma du Réel- Reconstructions as Deconstructions, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2016   Radient Visions , Gene Siskel Center, Chicago, US

2016   Young Artists Studio, Budapest, Hungary

2016   Prioritizing Human Agency as a Vehicle for Meaning. Reenactments. Auditions. Translations, CEU-IAS, Budapest, Hungary

2015      IFFR (International Film festival Rotterdam), Shorts Special: Irina Botea

2015      EMAF(Europeean Media Art Festival), Osnabrück, Germany

2015      Repeat As Necessary: The Art of Reenactment. Political Acts Program. Film Society Lincoln Center, New York

2015      Suburban PS Rotterdam, Out of the Bear

2015      “Run of Life”, Constellation, Chicago

2014      Crosstalk Video Art Festival Budapest, Hugary

2014      Ingràvid Festival, Figueras, Spain

2014     Romanian Film festival Chicago, Facets Cinematheque

2013      Astra Film Festival, Sibiu, Romania

2013      The Next Resistance, FIVAC, International Video Art Festival, Camaguey, Cuba

2012      A Hole is to dig: Performance-Based Film &Video from Chicago, Echo Park Film Centre, LA, US

2012      Four Nights, Four Decades, a survey of video art: reMEdiations, Contemporary Video Art from the Middle East, The Power Station Dallas, TX, US

2012      Radical Footege: Film and Dissent, Nottingham Contemporary, UK

2011      MOB International, Kino Perstyn, Prague, Czech Republic

2011      Kunsthalle Gwangju, Global House, Gwangju, Korea

2010      What is to be done ? Art, film, politics, Centre Pompidou, Paris, France

2010      Impakt Panorama, Utrecht, Holland

2009      Multitud Singular, Reina Sofia National Museum, Madrid, Spain

2009      Stare de Tranzitie, Targu Mures, Romania

2009      La Femis, “Autre mesures” Paris, France

2009      Cinema Apollo, Pontault-Combault, France

2009      Saison Video, “Renewal”, Tourcoing, France

2009      Saison Video, “Characters”, Ateliers 13, Valenciennes, France

2008      Polis Adriatic Europe Festival, Pula, Croatia

2008      Videos About Trust, Brooklyn Museum, NY

2008      Women With Vision Past/ Present, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

2008      U-turn, Copenhagen, Denmark

2007      Rotterdam Film Festival, Bucharest Hot Spot, Holland

2007      Cronograf, Documentary Film Festival, Republic of Moldova

2007      Impakt Panorama, Utrecht, Holland

2006      EXIS, Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, Korea

2005      Chicago Filmmakers, Global Super8 Day, Chicago

2005      Central, Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria

2004      VIPER Basel, International Festival for Film, Video and New Media, video, Basel, Switzerland

2004      Monument Recall, Microcinema, San Francisco