Mălina Moncea

Mălina Moncea is an artist from Iași, having completed her undergraduate and master’s studies at George Enescu National University of Arts, Faculty of Visual Arts and Design, specializing in Photo-Video in Iași. She is currently a doctoral student and an associate lecturer at the same institution. She received a scholarship to study in Paris at Université Paris 1 Panthéon Sorbonne and has been working in the field of visual and multimedia arts for 8 years. Her specific areas of interest include installation, assemblage, photography, video, and sound.

In her artworks and research, Mălina explores a blend of extrapolating the concept of recovered or lost objects between space and local mythologies, as well as the post-medium, specifically post-photography, as a tool for infiltrating her own docu-fictional realities, ranging from so-called ideologies, collective post-memory, and narratives.

You can follow Mălina on her Instagram profile: https://www.instagram.com/malinamoncea/

Q&A with Mălina Moncea

When did you discover your passion for art, and what does art mean to you?

I discovered my passion for art when I was 15 years old and got hold of a compact digital camera. I found that imagery has authorial qualities and can be molded according to one’s personal perspective, capturing and cropping reality almost without remorse. Later, I wanted to apply to a university where “applied philosophy,” as I called it in high school, was possible, and that was George Enescu University of Arts in Iași. Here, I met a group of fellow students who have remained a source of inspiration and fond memories for me, as well as a collective of dedicated professors engaged in cultural and educational causes who guided our visions. For me, art now means a personal mechanism for communicating perspectives on the world we live in, always providing me with an immense bridge of knowledge about human nature, a precious accumulation of information, and a constant reevaluation of optics, which inevitably does not allow me to be immobilized in fixed concepts and visions.

Describe yourself briefly: what do you like, what moves you, what revolts you?

I consider myself an emotional person; I am easily impressionable, although I believe that this is something that must be managed. There is always personal curiosity, study, and hope regarding human qualities, and I am fascinated by both the observer and active participant aspects of these qualities in others, without disturbing the balance of the ecosystem I enter. I am moved by most artistic expressions, especially those that tell personal stories, recover and revitalize cultural expressions, and bring diverse perspectives on existence in nature and the cosmos, surprising us with micro-experiences that help us position ourselves.

In general terms, what revolts me are social injustices, political irregularities, and arbitrary rules within Romania’s systems. More specifically, it’s the aggression against gender, ethnic, and racial minorities, the devaluation of the “usefulness” of elderly individuals in the economic and social system, the lack of equal opportunities for candidates in positions and opportunities, nepotism, corruption, the absence of education within the system (informational, emotional, behavioral), deficient funding in culture, the culture of mass image consumption and social media, which establishes a value system based on appearances and instant gratification.

Describe your artistic vision: sources of inspiration, methods, messages you want to convey to the public.

My sources of inspiration are diverse, often coming from dialogues with those around me, especially those engaged in similar creative processes and various artistic practices, as well as those who want to share personal narratives. Additionally, I aim to continually research the visual and audio environment, read and consume high-quality materials in the field of contemporary art, and participate in and view exhibitions, fairs, and artistic initiatives. I believe that my personal method of creation can be summarized as “piling up and defragmenting,” accumulating information that I mentally organize into layers, and then defragment it to extract a personal artistic product, like a metaphorical game of “jenga.” A message to the public would be not to fear curiosity and engaging in dialogue with each other, as this is where the most surprising and valuable results emerge.

Who has influenced you on your journey so far and how?

I consider Professor Matei Bejenaru to have been both a positive influence and a consistent source of support and motivation, fundamentally shaping my artistic path. Irina Botea Bucan, who offered new and engaged perspectives in a multidisciplinary artistic practice, with immense warmth and generosity, has also been influential.

Which of your works do you like the most, and what does it mean to you?

“One-armed race against memory” is, I believe, my most representative work, one that I always look back on with nostalgia for what it represents. It’s a recovered and recontextualized car door from a Dacia, which becomes a support by filling the rearview mirror with white resin, serving as a screen for a video projection. The story behind it is linked to why the Dacia is a leitmotif in many of my works. I grew up in the Dacia neighborhood of Iași, and my grandparents, to whom I was deeply attached, had a car with the same name at the time, which they later passed on to my parents. That car holds very vivid and sensory memories that are dear to me.

What has been the most joyful moment in your career so far?

I believe a moment that brought me great joy was in 2022, during a workshop with Irina Botea Bucan and Jonathan Dean at the WASP space in Bucharest. I felt a connection and synergy within the group I was part of, a sense of belonging and inspiration from the practices we shared with each other, or the way we “contaminated” each other, as we used to say.

What do you expect from the Accelerator Brașov program?

The Accelerator Brasov program represents an opportunity for dialogue and mentorship in advancing in the artistic field, and I believe that the valuable information that can be imparted by professionals in various areas of the field is an asset to my personal growth as an artist. I also hope for a possible long-term collaboration, from which all parties involved in the process will benefit harmoniously.

Which other artist do you like and find inspiring, and why?

Another artist who impresses me is Katie Paterson because I resonate with her themes related to art, science, and technology, as well as her multidisciplinary approach in defining a personal, poetic, and profound perspective on what is happening in the world today. For me, Katie Paterson represents an infinite source of inspiration, just as she speaks about the vastness of the universe and involves surprising objects and fascinating ways of perceiving and representing the human experience in an absurd and sometimes humorous perpetual motion.

What are your future plans?

Currently, I work as an associate professor at George Enescu University of Arts in Iași, where I am also a doctoral student. I am also concurrently developing a collaborative hybrid initiative called Vernacoolar Collective. In the future, I plan to complete my doctoral studies, work as a contemporary artist for the long term, continue teaching at the university, and expand this hybrid business model both culturally and in terms of generating income through image-focused services.

Work of the Artist

in Fabulating About a Gelato Machine Exhibition