PAST PRESENT. Fragments of memory. Bucharest-Pompeii-London

Ioana Marinescu with Smaranda Găbudeanu and Iulia Mărăcine

22 July-12 August 2023

Wednesday-Sunday, 12-5pm


PAST PRESENT receives AFCN national award for ‘Promoting Romanian culture in the world’ at the AFCN Gala at the National Theatre in Bucharest on the evening of May 20, 2024.

PAST PRESENT is a moving archive; a research project in motion, gathering history and evolving at each stage of its development. Its components include photographs, the written word, the spoken word, videography, soundscape, living bodies and dance choreography.

Its primary author is the architect and photographer Ioana Marinescu who recuperates cultural memories that have all but been forgotten, exploring ways to bring them to life.

Marinescu, Găbudeanu and Mărăcine are joined by collaborating artists – film maker Laurențiu Calciu, choreographer-performers Andreea David, Hennie Lee and Eliza Trefaș, actress Katia Pascariu, dance choreographer Hanna Gillgren, dramaturg Phoebe von Held, architect Thomas Goodey, and sound artists Doru Apreotesei and David Crawforth – who collectively sculpt images that allow participants, and their audiences,  to inhabit an imaginary space, connecting past with present, remembering with forgetting.

PAST PRESENT. Fragments of memory: Bucharest-Pompeii-London represents a consolidation of many years of research, which are stamped into the galleries of Beaconsfield by inter-disciplinary processes and the physical presence of the collaborators, leaving an exhibition; but the process is not over. In Autumn 2023, the project returns to Romania with evolutions in Bucharest and Timișoara, European City of Culture 2023.

PAST PRESENT is commissioned by Beaconsfield and co-produced with PETEC Bucharest.

Read Joyce Glaser’s excellent review here. (Please note that PAST PRESENT performances and installations are choreographed collaboratively, and that ‘exhillation’ is a word invented by artist-curator Naomi Siderfin in the context of her PhD research, to reflect the complexity of processual artworks, and the curatorial focus of Beaconsfield.)

Read PAST PRESENT newspaper here.

Click links below for documentation.

Performances at Beaconsfield

Opening event: 18:00 Friday 21 July 2023 with performance at 19:00

Saturday 22 July performance at 15.00

Wednesday 19 July, 10.00-17.00; practice-led symposium: Dreams and Guilt. Exhibiting counter-narratives. With presentations by Jumana Abboud, Sohaila Baluch, Hennie Lee and Iulia Mărăcine, Ioana Marinescu, Bindu Mehra, Roxy Rezvany, Naomi Siderfin, Shino Yanai.

Processual residency: 4 – 22 July

London-based Romanian artist Ioana Marinescu is in residence with Bucharest-based choreographers Smaranda Găbudeanu and Iulia Mărăcine. Working with archival image, video, soundscape, testimony and live performance, PAST PRESENT explores ways to recuperate cultural memories that have all but been erased.

The artists say “Past Present proposes a back and forth movement between forgetting and remembering, erasing and restoring. Past spaces, objects and stories are brought into the present. Their reconfiguration produces new experiences, which in turn become new archival sources. What remains when seemingly there is nothing left? What is the potential for generating new perspectives on a challenging historical past?”

Bucharest event:

Sunday 24 September, 18.00-21.00. Past Present. Research lab: CNDB, 80-82 Bd Mărășești, Bucharest.


More about the artists

Past Present was originally commissioned by Beaconsfield London during UK Lockdown 2021 and is co-produced with PETEC, Bucharest.

Beaconsfield commissions 2023

In 2021, PAST PRESENT was commissioned by Beaconsfield, supported by Cultural Recovery Fund UK and the Romanian Cultural Institute (ICR).  The work was further developed by PETEC in collaboration with /SAC (Space for Contemporary Art, Bucharest) in 2022. The current phase is supported by funds raised in Romania and the UK’s Cultural Recovery Fund.

The London project is co-financed by Romanian Cultural Institute through the Cantemir Programme — a funding framework for cultural projects intended for the international environment. The Romanian Cultural Institute cannot be held responsible for the content of this material.

The ongoing project ‘PAST PRESENT. Moving archives’ is co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration (AFCN). The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the financing.