(born 1974, Romania)
Acostioaei’s practice is deeply rooted in the history and culture of Romania and the political and social situation of the post-communist period. In Crossroad, he considers the participation of individuals in a ritual that is at once private and collective, observing people making the sign of the cross as they pass sacred sites in his hometown of Iasi. The locations that inspire the gestures remain hidden. Instead, the artist focuses on the action itself, transforming it through the large-scale, looped projections into a choreographed performance. The custom of making the sign of the cross in Christianity serves as a mark of faith, a blessing, a prayer or a desire for protection. However, while Acostioaei documents many people crossing themselves with great reverence, he also captures the automatic and mechanical reaction of others who make the sign as they continue to walk briskly, talk with friends, or even ride their bike. The artist’s apparently simple observation leads us to question what we see. Is the sign of the cross a reflection of deeply held religious faith, or one that is made to conform within the community?
Dan Acostioaei was born in 1974 in Iasi, Romania. He graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from the George Enescu University of Arts, Iasi in 2001. He continues to live and work in his home town, and has been a teacher at the University of Arts since 1999. Acostioaei draws on the situation of Romania’s economic and political transition since the downfall of the communist regime, and integrates a diverse range of media in his work including film and videos, drawing and photography.