roMANIAn performing artist Oana Tudoran

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Performing Artist, Oana Tudoran, lives in an enigmatic world that contains thoughts and sensations that are difficult to convey yet are commonly familiar. Her movements captivate a certain mystery of the spaces between definitive actions and the sensations that fall before realization in a constant state of emotional approach. The power of her work lies in the means not the ends and one is taken through an emotional journey that never resolves in a final verdict or statement. Through seemingly pedestrian movements Oana delivers the content that is usually ignored and over looked. Her ability to charge banal moments with concentrated presence dissolves the bookends of dynamics and edges the viewer in a constant threshold of amplified normality. The resounding effect of her work leads the viewer to experience a feeling inexplicable by words.

The following are excerpts from the correspondence we shared during the conception of the videos Oana made for Comune.

Oct 31, 2018

My aim has always been a type of simplicity. Of form, yes, but mostly feeling, and a pure desire to capture that moment. I talk little about what I am creating because every idea, to me, is a prison. So I look at a place and detect a feeling and sometimes this turns into something. How is there more than that? Noise.

So with this in mind, I want to create a story of normal. And I want to develop a type of movement/video that is born from moments of waiting, pauses, boredom, smalltalk, in a cleaner setting. I like the layers of feeling and strangeness that being still contains. The way the body allows itself to fall. And the surprise.

I don't want my activity to come from a purely intellectual place. I go over thoughts and ideas, as we all do, then allow them to blend inside me with what is already there, not via a conscious effort, but naturally, allowing my unconscious functions to rearrange everything. What stays stays, what goes goes.

Nov 5, 2018

It's a clear sky day here in Bucharest, although the morning was cloudy and grey. This has been happening all autumn in Bucharest this year. It's been one of the most beautiful autumns in years. The sun is low and warm and the dying leaves are a multitude of contrasting colours. 

Dancing and movement are just another side of the idea of experiencing something in a pure state of feeling.

I am sure that, as life progresses, we will approach our art in different ways, leaving it, coming back to it with new perspective and so on. Nothing is fixed, I think. 

It's getting dark as I write this, even though it's only 4:30. But a nice atmosphere, and my street is quiet.

Coffee for me, then off to ballet.


Nov 11, 2018

Night is falling again here. Sundays in Bucharest are always unusual to me. The light is different and the air is steady and slow. I walked around today and I met many, many cats. Now I'm back home. 

I remember recording cassettes and how physical the act was, it required mental as well as bodily presence. The effort of the recording process made it special and I think this is one of the points you are getting to as well. Sometimes, my sister and I would simply listen to the radio and keep a cassette handy in order to quickly press record when a track we liked came on. Other times, we would try to incorporate recording into a type of spiritualist practice: we wanted to contact our late relatives and we would record silence, hoping we would find some sign of their presence on the final recording. 

Nov 23, 2018 

I am attracted to similar images or objects, so much so that I am a bit afraid to talk about them, since I can get really emotional about them and they mean so much to me, yet so little. I know every object is nothing and everything is inside, but I'm still attached. Sometimes, I feel like I am far away from everything, just floating somewhere. These objects can bring me back down to a place I remember. And it's never the same, revisiting is such a strange activity. And a decision. 

My bottles of labeled melted snow from three consecutive years are the most important objects in my room, I think. I wish I didn't hold on to anything, though, I truly wish I didn't. It's no use, creating a fortress of images. Images come and go, but what they create inside us is undefinable. So the feeling is what I am after, that's the sacred element to me. Acceptance, listening, being gentle, being tired and vulnerable, all these states inspire me, seeing them in others or detecting them in myself. The images I create in these enhanced states are only vessels, and that is what I think about human creation in general, it is a vessel, a beautiful vessel. When I close my eyes in its presence, something is revealed.

Dec 10, 2018

I feel like we are always looking for the source, struggling to reach it via some type of clue that triggers some process inside. So this place might be it today, but tomorrow it's time to move to something new and maybe when some time has passed, to return. 

Aesthetics or rather the way they are delivered to us, now that is something that tires me as well. The message might be clearer, but it's also wrong most of the time, for me. I guess I'm always trying to fight the category. Childish, or naive. I kind of like it when there is no message to begin with, sometimes that's easier. But I know I can never operate in an oblivious state because of how I perceive the world, so I can only admire the people doing it.

Cloudy again, but yesterday was nice. I tried most of the jeans, the jackets and the tops. I wore the Aberdeen Thrift to my exhibition on Friday evening and again yesterday, while out with friends, just walking around the city. They feel really nice, and both sizes fit. What I really like about the tops is the delicate fabric, they feel like a second skin, and the raw hemline is a detail that's so nice to me. And the jackets are something I will probably be wearing a lot in spring or layered under a big coat for now.

Dec 21, 2018

Sometimes, I feel my body starting to float above the ground. I'm here, but somewhere else as well. It's something I can't explain to well, like a physical sensation and a sense of space. I think this immaterial place I visit is where I get many of my ideas from, but it's not a clear journey and I can only see these ideas inside me when they begin to take a material form. I'm not sure I like this place too much, though I understand it's a part of me and all my explorations hint at it somehow. When I come back, it's often an act of joy or contentment. 

Jan 22, 2019

When I was a few months old, my parents traveled to the village my father was born in and left me there for a while. My grandmother took care of me and I remember a few moments spent with her and my grandfather there. I remember trying to walk and being fed. When my parents returned to take me back home, they told me I was sitting in an old wooden tomato crate under the big pear tree in the yard (the tree was blown away by a storm maybe ten years later) and they didn't recognize me, because the last time they had seen me I could only lie on my back. 

And I remember dreams from when I was 5 or 6. 

Our house was tucked away on a side street, so you can't see it, but this is the atmosphere of summers to me. Villages in Romania are somehow ghosts. They are emptier and emptier now, everyone is leaving to find something that makes their life feel like it matters, but the journey is often short. 

I remember climbing those cement electricity posts higher than any boy in the village.