Maps of Everyday


Maps of Everyday 
Multimedia Installation – National Museum of Maps and Old Books, Bucharest, Romania 
26 September – 20 October 2019
visual identity/design: Elena Dobîndă
Under the history of the outstanding national and international events, a parallel history is being written. A history which is both individual and collective, of day to day life. A history representing the ”trivial” structure against which the ”unusual” is identified and which documents the sequence of routine events that sometimes seems to be the background of life, other times - life itself.
Maps of Everyday presents an ”archive” with the traces of these repetitive daily activities that organize the intimate world: notes we write so we don’t forget, shopping lists, hand-drawn maps of the city with landmarks to guide us from A to B, imprints involuntarily cumulated by collectively occupying the same space.
The project documents the daily use of handwriting in a time where it is slowly replaced by electronic devices. Imagining herself as an anthropologist who tries to gather traces of this practice before it disappears, Raluca Băjenaru looks at the present as already being the past and at the society as already being part of a post-literary era. 
Already objects belonging to a museum – the handwritten notes lost on the street or the maps drawn on paper - give access to an individual level of codification through the personal script. A diffuse voyeurism comes through trying to imagine who is the person who wrote that post-it found on the street or who used certain graphic conventions in drawing a map.
Eroding the urban spaces used in common, like the chairs in the metro station Unirii 1 creates involuntary maps photographically documented within the project. Traces that people leave, repeatedly sitting in the same place and creating a common imprint become relevant for their habits and preferences.
Searching for these traces of daily existence, Raluca Băjenaru becomes an explorer of the city, creating huge drawings by recording with an application her walks in Bucharest (searching for lost notes) and by reinterpreting them through animation. Extracted from the context, these tracks create an aesthetics of walking and a gestualism at the scale of the city, made with the artist’s steps.

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