Romanian French Artist Stanca Soare – Invited at Accelerator Today Podcast

June 09, 2023

Listen to the 7th episode of the podcast on spotify

Stanca Soare is a Romanian and French visual artist. Born in Bucharest in 1995, naturalized in 2008 in France, she conceives installations and performances. She studied fine arts at Ecole Supérieure d’Arts et Médias Caen-Cherbourg, Institut Supérieur des Arts of Toulouse city and Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts of Bourges city (France). She works in the village of Miroși, Argeș county, while spending her time traveling between Paris and Bucharest.

Her Interest in Art

To me, when you’re an artist, it feels like any other profession. Every child is fascinated by the surrounding shapes and maybe that’s where the passion for art stems from. I often think that choosing this “passion craft” is two-fold. So, I believe that it is interesting and healthy for artists to distance themselves from their own work and allow time to be as simple people. I’ve never known anything other than the artistic field, which is to say I’ve only been to art high schools. I was also admitted to art school and went on to other studies in other cities. I went ahead with my creative work, parallel to jobs in the cultural field.

I don’t come from a family related to art, because I have only worked in this field so far, as an artist, I feel the need not to be an artist, that is, to be a simple person. From my experience so far, I have realised that art really needs the real world and the simple dimension of everyday life.

Being an artist in France

There are many layers to the artist’s profession. It’s a profession like any other, in the sense that there are hours of work, that the gestures you make and the things you learn are put into practice afterwards.

I don’t find it problematic that many artists have jobs not-related to art. On the contrary. The technical gestures that are made in other crafts become a source of inspiration for a very long time. It seems to me, on the contrary, much healthier to be able to have a craft that doesn’t always require you to see the world around you through artistic lens. In France as well as in Romania, it is not easy to work in the cultural field. There is a competition, and it is well known that jobs in culture and the arts are very few. Working in culture doesn’t necessarily mean being creative or doing cultural things. Alongside being an artist, I have worked as a technical person in lighting, theatres and concerts. Currently, I work at the museum, at the baseline, so they are not “very fancy” jobs per se. That’s why I would say that I can compare the job of artist to those outside the field, because there are some skills that artists have and have learned. These skills are not only technical, they are also skills that are about brain power, about how to think, how to set up and write a project, or how to manage it.

I think there is this idea that is only true up to a point. Of course, we love making art, but there are some very specific things that are part of the craft, that you don’t invent.

About Stanca’s Work, presented in Gaep’s Bathroom – by far on of the most controversial and exciting artworks in Back to Where It All Began exhibition.

Precarious Tourism is the overall title of the objects found in the Gaep gallery bathroom. The installation is composed of a video performance called I Love Art, but Art Doesn’t Love Me. Then comes an embroidery on textile, which in the installation becomes a carpet, The Object that Suffers the Most in the Museum. And then, the most playful and interactive component in the Gaep’s bathroom installation is the series of “goodies” made from towels and soaps in boxes, called The Dissolution of Art. A model is put to use for the public to wash their hands and wipe their hands. That’s pretty much the description of my artworks.


In dialogue with the artist,  Andrei Breahnă, Accelerator project manager, put the series of works produced by Stanca for the exhibition Back to Where It All Began into context

The artwork is also an institutional critique of one of the most important institutions we all know. We see in the video this monumental tub and this extremely surprising, valuable, and ancient artifact that is caressed and touched by everyone. And we see you – “fighting” the audience not to touch it and chasing people away in a way that is, to me, very funny.

The art work contains these video episodes and runs through a series of extremely impressive figures, which have to do with the power dimension of the institution or power relationship it builds with the public. There is, if I understand correctly, this criticism that you build in the idea that such institutions have the role to protect cultural heritage, but, at the same time, they become cultural malls, that is, they become experiences that integrate different business models. This has been going on for a long time, especially with large museums. How do you think things should happen in such institutions?

In the case of the museum I work at, I have noticed a failure of the economic model it uses. Not only because it was the problem of trafficking in oriental antiquities.

But, with my installation I wanted to approach the subject mainly in a playful manner, with the sense of humor, to involve the public in the issue and to make visitors think more about what they see and how those things are shown. There are some aesthetic codes of the luxury industry there, which are reused in the installation. In the first text I wrote describing the works, I was mostly evoking the trinket sellers around the museum and comparing the soap and towel in the installation to those contraband objects. There’s a whole economic context around these antiques. I can give the example of the Pompidou Museum, which in 2016, manufactured exactly this kind of by-product, i.e. smuggled trinkets and postcards, and hired sellers just like those around the Eiffel Tower to advertise on the streets.

a kind of advertising campaign that the Pompidou team did and tried to attract the same kind of tourist audience that goes to the Arc de Triomphe, for example. It wasn’t very successful, but it’s very interesting to note how the institution tried to strategically use fake vendors that were fake-illegal. Behind the humorous tone that I gave to the works, there are things that make us think. It’s a guessing game, but my intention remains to make the audience think.

Art as a way of freedom – how would art look like in future, from the perspective of the artist

It is not an easy question, especially in the social context we are in today, with the economic crisis and wars. In my opinion, art will continue to follow the trend of moving out of art and invading the rest of everyday life. I deeply believe that it will remain a tool to express thoughts and concepts about the world we live in and the complicated times we are going through. I believe it is a tool for thinking, that has meaning, that will continue to have meaning. I deeply hope that, in Romania, we will be able to get away from painting and images and that we manage to stop and free ourselves from these things.