Matei Bejenaru b. 1963
Biography

Matei Bejenaru is a visual artist who lives and works in Iaşi, where he teaches photography and video art at the “George Enescu” University of Arts. In his projects, through photography, video, performance and inter-media installations, he analyzes how the ways of economic production, technological knowledge, mentalities and lifestyles have changed in the last two decades in the post-communist countries. The Romanian workers’ immigration towards the West was analyzed in his artistic projects Travel Guide and Maersk Dubai, selected for various international exhibitions, like the ones in Tate Modern, Level 2 Gallery in London in 2007, The Taipei Biennial in 2008.
His choral music experimental project, started in 2010, Songs for a Better Future, was presented at The Drawing Room and Tate Modern in London, Western Front la Vancouver, Kuenstlerhaus Buchsenhausen Innsbruck, Laakteater Haga. The most recent episode of this project, Ode of the Matter, was exhibited at The National Museum of Contemporary Museum in Bucharest and at the Art Encounters Biennial in Timişoara

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2019
Same Histories, Anca Poterașu Gallery, Spinnerei Leipzig, Germany
2019
Prut, Galerie Art & Essai, Rennes
2018
Prut, The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest
2018
REFLECTOR, apARTe Gallery, Iași, Romania, curator: Anca Mihulet
2016
The Steps, the Words and the Usual, Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest Romania, curator: Anca Mihulet
2014
Songs for a better future, Laakteater, The Hague, Netherlands, curator: Reka Imola Makkai
2013
From A to B, Cupola Gallery, Iasi, Romania, curator: Livia Pancu
2013
Projects 1993-2000, Tranzit Iasi, Romania, curator: Livia Pancu
2012
Matei Bejenaru: Art into Life / Life into Art, The Artery Gallery North Adams Massachussets, United States of America, curator: Izabel Galliera
2011
Battling Inertia, Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
2011
Projects 2008-2010, Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal Museum Sibiu, Romania, curators: Liviana Dan and Anca Mihulet
2009
M3 Work, Memory, Movement, Cupola Gallery Iasi, Romania
2009
Double Stéreo, Galerie ERSEP Tourcoing (F) (with Yves Robuschi), curators: Ivan Polliart and Christelle Manfredi
2007
Ghid de calatorie, Galeria Posibila, Bucharest, Romania
2005
Strawberry Fields Forever, Galeria Noua, Bucharest, Romania
2005
Strawberry Fields Forever, Galeria Noua, Bucharest
2005
INTER (with Robert Fearns), R O O M Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom
2005
INTER (with Robert Fearns), Vector Gallery Iasi, Romania
2005
Travelling Guide, Insert in the IDEA Art Magazine, Cluj, Romania
2002
Mehr Chancen Fur Unsere Jugend, Kulturkontakt Gastatelier, Vienna, Austria
2002
Salut / Ave Bachtalo, Offspace Gallery, Vienna, Austria
2000
Peripheral Routes 2, Space Gallery, ICCA Bucharest, Romania
2000
Peripheral Routes, ATC Space, Chicago, United States of America
1999
Unequal Parallels, “Cupola” Gallery, Iasi, Romania
1998
Archives, “GAD” Photo Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
1998
Interferencies, Palace Of Culture, Tg.Mures, Romania
1996
9 Days, “Cupola” Gallery, Iasi, Romania
1996
Reflex, “Matei Millo” House, Iasi, Romania

Selected group exhibitions

2018
From different angles, The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest
2018
Orient, Curator: Michal Novotný; Venues: Kim? Laikmetīgās mākslas centrs, Rīga; BOZAR, Brussels; Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Bunkier Sztuki, Krakówia
2016
The Factory of Facts and Other (Unspoken) Stories, Salonul de Proiecte, Bucharest, Romania
2016
NON-FICTIONS, Rezidența Scena9, Bucharest, Romania
2016
Innersound: Touch, multimedia project, (the project is part of #4 Innersound New Arts Festival), Bucharest, Romania
2016
Industrisemester, Maskinhuset, Grängesberg, Sweden, curator: Johan Norling
2016
Clinical architectures for a compositionist future, Camera Plus Biennial for Contemporary Photography, Iasi, Romania, curator: Catalin Gheorghe
2015
Timisoara Art Encounters, curators: Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher
2015
Pocket Revolutions, Korea Foundation Seul (South Korea), curator: Simona Nastac
2015
In times of Hope and Unrest: Cristical Art from Iasi, National Museum for Contemporary Art Bucharest, curators: Catalin Gheorghe si Cristian Nae
2015
Cartographies, McDaniel College, Maryland, United States of America, curator : Izabel Galliera
2015
Brave New World Romanian Migrants’ Dream Houses , Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin
2014
Showtime, ABC Contemporary Zurich, Switzerland, curator: Olga Stefan
2014
Power and Play, De Markten, Summer of Photography Brussels, Belgium, curator: Christophe de Jaegger
2014
Paralele intersectate / Intersected Parralels : 5 positions in Romanian Contemporary Photography, Cupola Gallery, Iasi, Romania
2013
From the Plastic Arts to the Visual Arts (together with Dumitru Oboroc), Salonul de proiecte Bucharest, Romania, curators: Magda Radu & Alexandra Croitoru
2013
AGORA, 4th Athens Biennial, Greece, curator: Despina Zefkili
2012-2013
One Sixth of the Earth , MUSAC Valladolid, Spain, ZKM Karlsruhe, curator: Mark Nash
2012-2013
Associate Artists, Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, curator: Elizabeth Fischer
2011
Vector Association at Western Front, Western Front Vancouver, Canada, curators: Livia Pancu & Jesse McKee
2011
Songs for a better future, PerformIC Festival, Innsbruck, Austria, curator: Andrei Siclodi
2011
Living Today, Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom, curator: Jenny Brownrigg
2011
I work. I produce. I control, Galeria ZONA Lodz, Poland, curator: Livia Pancu
2011
Artists’ Film Club, ICA London, curator: Cylena Simonds
2010
The Haifa Mediterranian Biennial, Haifa, Istrael, curator: Belu Fainaru
2010
Songs for a better future, KNOT project, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Raluca Voinea
2010
Over the counter, Mucsarnok Museum Budapest, Hungary, curators: Eszther Lazar, Zsolt Petranyi
2010
Image at work, INDEX Stockholm and the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, curator:Helena Holmberg
2010
Eurovisions, Vasa Konsthall, Finland, curator: Robert Back
2010
Critical Point, Vector Association participation at Frieze Projects London, United Kingdom, curator: Livia Pancu
2010
Best Laid Plans, The Drawing Room London, United Kingdom, curator: Cylena Simmonds
2009
Performing the East, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, curator: Hemma Schmutz
2009
De Porc, The National Dance Center Bucharest, Romania, curator Ervin Kessler
2009
Dacia, Lille 3000 series of exhibitions and events, Galerie Comune Tourcoing, France, curator: Christelle Manfredi
2008
Taipei Biennial, Taiwan, curators: Manray Shu and Vasif Kortun
2008
Spa Port, Banja Luka, Bosnia, curator: Ana Nikitovic
2008
Schengen, Finekost Gallery Berlin, curator: Aaron Moulton
2008
Move On, Futura Art Center Prague, Czech Republic, curator: Alberto di Stefan
2007
The Irresistible Force, Tate Modern London Level 2 Gallery, curator: Ben Borthwick
2007
Social Cooking Romania, NGBK Berlin, Germany, curator: Dan Mihaltianu
2007
If you find this world bad, you should see some of the others , Prague Biennial 3, curator: Simona Nastac
2007
Blurrr 6 Performance Festival, Tel Aviv, curator: Sergio Edelsztein
2006
Journey Against the Current Küba , Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Nestroyhof, Vienna
2006
Cities from Bellow, Fondazione Teseco per l’arte, Pisa, Italia, curator: Marco Scotini
2006
Check-in Europe Reflecting Identities in Contemporary Art , European Pattent Office, München, Germany, curator: Marius Babias
2005
Situated Self , Museum for Contemporary Art Belgrade, Serbia, Tennis Art Palace, Helsinki, Finland, curators: Branko Dimitrević & Mika Haanula
2005
NowHere Europe, Polo Museale Veneziano alla Misericordia, Venice, Italy, MNAC Bucharest, Romania, curator: Bartolomeo Pietromarchi (Fondazione Adriano Olivetti)
2005
Motion Parade, Fotogalerie Vienna, Austria, curator: Alina Serban
2005
Just a Doubt, Manhattan Gallery Łodz, Poland, curator: Ivan Polliart
2004
The Roma Show, Minoriten Gallery Graz, Austria, Jana Koniarka Gallery Trnava, Slovakia, Skuc Gallery Ljubljana, Slovenia
2004
I Am Here You Are There…, GFZK Leipzig, Germany, curator: Barbara Steiner
2004
U-Topos, Tirana Biennial 2, Albania, curator: Branislava Dimitrevič
2003
Superbia, Dublin, Ireland, curator: Stephen Brandes
2003
Palpable Disequilibrium, LIPA Gallery Chicago, curator: Olga Ştefan
2002
Personal-Public Space, Čačak, Serbia, curator: Zoran Erič
2002
Mope 02, Performance Festival, Vasa, Finland, curator: Markus Lerviks
2002
Ebent Performance Festival, CCCB Barcelona, Spain, curator: Maria Cosmes
2002
Akt 2,Performance Festival, Brno, Czech Republic, curator: František Kowolowski
2001
Fabs Show, Poznanski Factory, Łodz, Poland, curator: Malgorzata Sido
2001
Never Stop The Action, Steirischer Herbst Festival, Rotor Graz, Austria, curators: Margarethe Makovec & Anton Ledere
2001
49th Venice Biennial, Context Project, Romanian Pavilion, Venice, Italy, curator: Alexandru Patatics
2000
Via Bucharest, Eforie Gallery, Bucharest, Romania
2000
Transferatu , Ifa Gallery, Berlin, Germany, curator: Dan Mihălţianu
2000
Peripheric Roads, Around the Coyote Gallery, Chicago, curator: Olga Stefan
1999
Jünge Rümänische Kunst , Bayerische Stadtkanzlei, München, Germany
1999
At Home, French Cultural Center Iasi, Romania
1999
Zone 3 Performance Festival, Timisoara, Romania, curator: Ileana Pintilie
1999
Periferic 3, Festival, Iasi, Romania
1999
Annart 10 Performance Festival, St. Ann Lake, Romania, curator: Gusztàv Ütó
1998
Periferic 2, Performance Festival, Iasi, Romania
1998
Gioconda’s Smile , Performance Festival, Kishinew, Republic of Moldova, curator: Octavian Esanu
1998
Contemporary Concepts , Art Museum, Oradea, Romania
1998
Alternatives Experimental Film Festival, Tg. Mures, Romania, curator: Joseph Bartha
1997
Altfest , Alternative Theatre Festival, Iasi, Romania
1997
Soare cu dinti , 35 Studio, 3/4 Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessle
1997
Periferic 1, French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania
1997
Civitas Solis, Civitas Artis , The Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Annual Exhibition, Calnic Castle, Romania, curator: Maria Rus Bojan
1997
Ad-Hoc , Romanian Art of Today, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary, curator: Erwin Kessler
1996
Interferencies and Experiments from the 1960s until the 90s in the Romanian Art (The Soros Center For Contemporary Arts Annual Exhibition), 3/4 Floor Gallery
1996
GATA young graduating art students exhibition, 3/4 Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest
1995
Object- Objective, 35 Studio, Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessler
1995
Neotraditionalism & Neoavanguard, 35 Studio, Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessler
1995
Inter(N), Art Museum of Arad, Romania, curator: Judit Angel
1994
Art Unlimited Ltd, Art Museum Of Arad, Romania, curator: Judit Angel

Performances

2015
Ode of the Matter, Timisoara Art Encounters, curators: Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher
2013
My Head / My Street, AGORA, 4th Athens Biennial, Greece, curator: Despina Zefkili
2013
From A to B (together with Paul Gradinaru), transit Iasi, Romania
2009
ZäuberJackl Quest, Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, Curator: Hemma Schmutz
2009
ISO, Thessaloniki Biennial 2, Grecia, curators: Demostenes Agrafiotis and Eirini Papakonstantinou
2007
Impreuna / Together, Tate Modern London, curator: Ben Borthwick
2004
Speaking 5, House of Writers Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, GFZK Leipzig, Germania, curator: Barbara Steiner
2002
Zona 4 Festival, Timisoara, Romania
2002
Strawberry Fields Forever, Ebent Festival, CCCB Barcelona, Spania
2002
Sauna Speaking, Mope 02, Vasa, Finland
2002
Salut / Ave Bachtalo, Akt 2 Festival , Brno, Czech Republic
2002
Looking For Caslav, Čačak, Serbia
2002
A Methamorphosys of Speaking, live radio broadcast, ORF Kunstradio, Vienna, Austria, organizer: Jeanette Pacher
2001
Walzer der Dinge, Never Stop The Action Festival, Graz, Austria
2001
Speaking 4, Fabs Show, Łodz, Poland
1999
Personal History, The Zone Performance Festival, Timisoara, Romania
1999
Body Spray, French Cultural Center, Iasi, Romania
1999
13047, Annart 10 Performance Festival, St. Ann Lake, Romania
1998
To The Center, Periferic 2 Festival, Iasi, Romania
1998
Speaking 3, Gioconda’s Smile Performance Festival, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova
1997
Speaking2, Altfest Festival, Iasi, Romania
1997
Somebody Up There Likes Me, Periferic 1 Festival, French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania
1997
Pilotage, French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania
1996
Speaking1, Live TV performance, Europa Nova Studio, Iasi, Romania
1995
Alexandru cel Bun, Iasi, Romania
1994
The Mirrors, Piatra Neamt, Romania

Videos

2016
Wall, 16mm b&w film, 3min.
2014
The Wall of J.O., HDV, 30min.
2013
The Band Without a Name, HDV, 30min.
2010
From afar, HDV, 5min.
2010
Battling Inertia, HDV, 14min.
2009
A.S.B.T, HDV, 14min.
2007
Maersk Dubai, DVD, 8min.
2005
1982, DVD, 1min.
2004
Speaking 5, DVD, 11min.
2003
Alexandru cel Bun Epilogue, DVD, 6 min.
2002
Salut / Ave Bachtalo, Hi8, Colour, Sound, 43 Min.
2001
Conversations 15, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 10 Min.
1996
Duo, Svhs, Colour, Sound, 6 Min.
1995
Struggle, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.
1995
All, Svhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.
1995
Alexander The Good, Colour Sound, 5 Min.
1994
Transience, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 3 Min.
1993
Noncommunication, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.

Professional experience

Founder and Artistic Director of Periferic Biennial, Iasi, Romania
Between 2003-2007, director of VECTOR Gallery in Iasi, Romania
Since 2005, editor of Vector visual art magazine, Iasi, Romania
1998-2004 graphic designer of all the Periferic Biennial publications (catalogues, posters, invitations…)
Between 2003-2007, he was the initiator and manager of the cARTier project (a social culture project which tries to rehabilitate an esplanade in a worker’s district in Iasi-Romania). The cARTier project was a pilot project of Pro Helvetia in Romania.
Between 2004-2008, he wrote weekly art articles at the Supliment de cultura (the visual arts page), a cultural magazine with a national distribution in Romania.

Fellowships and awards

2012-2013
Associated artist at Kettle’s Yard Cambridge, United Kingdom
2011-2012
Visiting Professor at the University of Quebec, Montreal, Canada
2008
Artist in residence at Futura Art Center in Prague, Czech Republic
2007
Artist in Residence: Tate Modern London Level 2 Gallery
2002
Kulturkontakt Fellowship Vienna, Austria
2000
Artslink Fellowship (Artist In Residence Around The Coyote Chicago, United States of America
1997
Soros Center For Contemporary Arts First Prize, Bucharest, Romania
1997
British Council Fellowship, Belfast, United Kingdom

Conferences

2014
The Mobile Biennial, National Museum for Contemporary Arts Bucharest
2012
Western Front, (Conference Institutions by Artists), Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada
2012
California College of the Arts, San Francisco, United States of America
2011
Université du Québéc à Montréal
2008
Institut National d’Histoire de l’art Paris (Conference „Art contemporain et territoires)
2007
Flaggfabrikke Bergen, Norway
2007
Courtauld Institute Londra
2007
Contemporary Art Center Tel Aviv
2006
Romanian Cultural Institute New York
2006
Moderna Museet Stockholm
2006
Middle South European Meeting, Pristina, Kosovo
2006
Cabaret Voltaire Zurich
2005
Institutul Goethe Bucureşti (Conference After The Happy Nineties)
2005
University of South Florida, Tampa, United States of America
2005
Muzeul de Arta Contemporana Belgrad
2004
Manifesta Cofee Break – Liverpool Biennial