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Alexandra Tatar

Born in 1989 in Romania. Since 2011 lives and works in Vienna

studied with Francis Ruyter, Daniel Richter and Ashley Hans Scheirl at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and painting at the University of Art and Design Cluj Napoca, Romania. Currently she is a doctoral candidate at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna, researching on the topic of post-soviet subjectivities. In her work, she deals with processes of becoming, expending onto objects and other non-human beings, seen as an extended geography of subjectivity. She is also interested in the landscape of ‘problematic subjectivities’, those forms of individuation where the complicity with a hegemonial regime can be questioned.

Her work has been exhibited at FLUCA - Austrian Cultural Pavilion Plovdiv, Bulgaria (2019), RAUMSCHIFF Linz (2019), VBKÖ Vienna (2018) and at the Vienna Art Week (2018), amongst others. She is recipient of the Red Carpet Tribute Award in 2017 and the Art Start Scholarship from the Academy of Fine Arts in 2018. Besides her artistic practice, Alexandra also curated a number of exhibitions to date, with the most recent ones “cooking the city - artists as contingency architects” at Traktorfabrik (2018), and “#viennaintransylvania” in the frame of Cluj Napoca Europeean Youth Cutural Capital (2015).


For the residency I will start working on the topic of Coapparation*, by recuperating a family history of ‘temporary’ migration to Germany. My grandfather was a ‘guest worker’ in FRG (West Germany) at the end of the 70s, mediated to a German company, by the communist Romanian state enterprise, where he was employed. He was a welder, and in FRG he mainly worked at expanding the gas pipeline infrastructure. His personal history was of course made possible by the west Germany’s Ostpolitik ambitions, matching with those of the Romanian government at that time, and the resulting economic treaty between the two countries.

notes and drawings from my notebook
notes and drawings from my notebook

In my recent practice, I have a focus analyzing systems and interdependencies in the geographical space we call Central and Eastern Europe and the inter-imperial relations that have historically shaped these spaces. The working project at Thealit is part of this body of work.

A portrait of a socialist good working man, and his adventures in the west. The specific social class infrastructure of migration: passport was taken upon arrival! Freedom was experienced elsewhere. The body. His stories of glory, and the things that were left unsaid. The cracks in the footage. macroscale <> microscale levels: the informal carpet commerce that my grandfather made being as important. Economy of cold war dynamics. Humor as surviving mechanism, but an underlying sadness becomes stringent. Landscapes. Buried in landscape. A minor history. Marginal. The company I requested if they still have his welder permit don’t keep the files from the 70s anymore. Memory: why does he remember exactly each detail of those 3 years and 3 months, but has to look into his notebook for the birthdates of his two children?

I will use the Arbeitszimmer at Thealit as a metaphorically welding workshop, thinking of *Coapparition from the perspective of migration. I will put together the video footage I have. I will revisit the spaces he has been to and weld my experience of them onto the footage. I will think of the migrant workers experience from the pandemic. I will research and write. If I find ‘found’ materials on my road trips, I will probably weld them together sculpturally. I will open the room for discussions and present the result of my work as it goes.

Live online presentation
LIVESTREAM October 28, 7 pm
at Virtual Arbeitszimmer

Now available at the MEDIATHEK

This Project is funded by the Federal Ministry Republic of Austria, Arts, Culture, the Civil Service and Sport, The Romanian Cultural Institute in Berlin (RKI Berlin), Cultural Department City of Vienna, Bildrecht Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung visueller Rechte and thealit. Frauen.Kultur.Labor., Bremen