The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre in London invite you to the
GAZES AND FACES: ROMANIAN PORTRAITS
by Adrian Cherciu
Thursday 3 February to Friday 18 March 2011
The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre, Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ; Tel. 020 7486 0295 ext. 108
Opening times: Mon – Fri 12.00 – 18.00. Admission free (booking essential, by phone or e-mail at email@example.com)
during the ROMANi-ONLiNE.co.uk anniversary event
Saturday 12 February 2011, 15.00 – 18.00, The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre, Manchester Square, 18 Fitzhardinge Street, London W1H 6EQ
Admission free (booking essential, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)
For one week in October 2010, Adrian Cherciu, a keen photographer and founder of the Romanian community portal ROMANi ONLiNE, has wandered across Romania with English photographer Mike Sweeney in tow, in search for the “ineffable Romanian spirit”. They have found some of that spirit distilled in more than one location along the more than 1,700 kilometres route through the country, but the real essence of the places could be best read in the faces of the people they encountered.
The Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre is happy to present a special selection of portraits to give you a flavour of the trip, but also to offer a glance at the people (and in one instance, a horse) who go about their daily lives without making the news, trying to make the best of the times of crisis we are all living through. Woodcutters, monks, a forester, a souvenir seller, an old lady knitting woollen socks to make ends meet – they are all part of the cast of characters. An unskilled camera will reflect the reality in front of its lenses in a cold light. However, in these pictures, the photographer shows a high degree of empathy with his subjects, managing to imbue each image with a spark of the life force of those portrayed. To be sure, the characters are all representatives of a rural way of living, but this is not a romanticised look at life in the country. This collection may well become sooner rather than later an archive of typologies and occupations that one day will disappear for good, even from Romania.
The larger series of images collected during this trip was taken in locations as diverse as the big cities of Bucharest, Iasi or Brasov, and the picturesque small towns and villages of Voronet, Putna, Moeciu, Bicaz. Meaning to see not just the touristic part of the country, the two photographers have visited, besides the well known painted monasteries of Northern Moldavia or the natural reservations of Vrancea county, some of the lesser known places such as the disaffected Tarnita industrial ruins or the trout farm of Cheita.
The trip would have been impossible without the assistance of guide and driver Mugurel Costache, who showed the photographers unknown spots of natural beauty and places of pure wonder.
Organised by the Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre and ROMANi ONLiNE, with the support of Albinuta.co.uk