Exhibition ‘The Vital Breath’ by Ioana Vrabie

The exhibition “The Vital Breath. The lungs are trees hanging from the sky” by Ioana Vrabie comes to Visualkorner and which can be seen in our laboratory until July 7. Ioana Vrabie presents her exhibition with the following text:

We slip into this World upside down and with a loud scream we announce our arrival, while letting the first breath to flush our lungs with air and life.

Depending on the availability and strength of the arms that are there to welcome us while we are turning in the upright position, we can experience a soft, a hard, sometimes even a crash landing, in a place supposedly called “home”.

The closer that place is to a Locus Amoenus (an idyllic and pleasant place), the easier it will be for us to trust life, to breathe relaxed, to surrender and allow these human arms – which we perceive as divine – to hold and shelter us like the maternal womb used to do, and to gently support our transition from the inside to the outside.

In this scenario, we can grow and reach our full potential: straight and strong like large trees, with deep roots drinking the nectar of the soil of the ancestors and with huge branches stretching high to be kissed by the Sun.

Our trunk develops solid and flexible to bend and not break and it is well protected by the bark, ready to face all the different weather conditions.

We can communicate with confidence, giving and receiving from our environment, in a constructive way, knowing who we are and what we need. We are well planted.

For some of us the family nest is a noisy and messy place, with no clear support, guidance and answers to our questions about life. We seek information and attention with enthusiasm and curiosity; after a few failed attempts and incoherent responses, we start an internal dialogue that keeps spinning in our heads. It feels like, apart from ourselves,  no one is listening and there’s no one to trust.

The limits between inside and outside, between what is real and what is a fantasy become blurred and we end up struggling to perceive where also our personal boundaries lie: we don’t know who we are and what we need, how to give and how to receive. Better to avoid speaking and isolate in silence.  We look around, trying to “read” and make sense of a chaotic reality.

We wish we had a magic cape to disappear!

Down deep inside we just want to escape, without knowing where. We are dreaming of a beautiful, peaceful place where we can be heard and accepted, so we leave the nest and we keep flying non-stop over different lands and different seas, studying faces and landscapes.

We dangle from the sky with our roots sinking into the air. And we swing over the terrestrial surface like a pendulum, until we realise that nothing is good enough or would be as good as the home we’ve never had.

Then we come to the conclusion that we have no other choice left but to make the decision to land somewhere and to stop holding our breath to finally plant ourselves and relax into growing.

Barcelona is the place I chose for my landing and where I arrived to stay, just a few days before the lockdown that started in March 2020.

It was an intimation to stop and my aerial roots got symbolically cut by the imposition of the face mask.

This exhibition is a retrospective of my artistic, psychological and existential path of self-discovery.A way of investigating life through photography.

By looking outside through the camera lens I have actually got to see my inner world: photography opened the door to that home that has always existed within me, but which I did not know how to access because I hadn’t found the key yet.

I looked for my home everywhere, understanding in the end that it does not depend on the site and that it can be found anywhere; because it resides in the Vital Breath that pushes us into this world, anchors us to nature through a symbiotic process of giving and receiving that roots us to the Earth.

It is enough to learn to trust that Vital Breath, choose the upright position and allow the lungs to keep dangling from the sky.

Ioana Vrabie is a well travelled international photographer known for shooting mesmeric multiple exposure analogue images that at a first glance look “wrong”.

Her images arrest the viewers and invite them to look deeper and deeper to achieve a state of profound presence typical of the analogue era and break free from the hectic scrolling and sweeping of digital images on portable devices.

Born in Transylvania, Ioana Vrabie grew up in Tuscany, Italy and she belongs to the Xennial generation, the one that witnessed the transition from analog to digital media.

She experienced a deep inner conflict while growing up between two opposite realities, the Romanian communist and the Italian capitalist, without feeling completely at home in any of them, experiencing a constant feeling of unsettledness and desire to escape. This feeling pushed her to travel all over the world, to live in different countries, moving 30 times in search of her home, a place where they finally find her peace.

This conflict finds a solution in her work through the creation of a third visual reality where two or more perspectives converge and overlap to synthesize her multilayered vision.

She shoots analogue only and she does not use Photoshop to manipulate the images. Everything happens in camera and the end result is visible only when the film gets developed.

She lives in Barcelona and her works have been exhibited in London, Rome, Budapest and Barcelona and belong to private collections.

Her work has been appreciated in several international competitions and is now shortlisted for the Siena International Photo Award 2021, Covid category, with the image New Swing from the New Normality series.

‘El Aliento Vital’ de Ioana Vrabie

Printing and finishing.

The exhibition prints have been printed on 𝐇𝐚𝐡𝐧𝐞𝐦ü𝐡𝐥𝐞 𝐏𝐡𝐨𝐭𝐨 𝐑𝐚𝐠® 𝐁𝐫𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝗪𝐡𝐢𝐭𝐞 𝟑𝟏𝟎𝐠𝐫., light-white art paper made from 100% cotton. The soft felt structure and soft feel to the touch of Photo Rag® give each print an expressive depth and three-dimensionality. The high degree of whiteness of the paper enables the reproduction of high-contrast motifs with special brilliance, luminous colors, deep black and exceptional detail reproduction.

Four photos on the exhibition are a new series by the author printed on HAHNEMÜHLE BAMBOO 290gr, the world’s first FineArt Inkjet paper made from 90% bamboo fibers and 10% cotton, and represents the paper industry’s respect for nature and the environment. The natural warm white bamboo paper is characterized by its soft, slightly textured felt structure with a pleasant feel. The premium matte inkjet coating provides excellent printing results with fine detail and color reproduction, especially on monochrome and warm-colored prints. This exceptional combination of sustainably produced bamboo fibers, soft textured surface and convincing print quality lends sensuality and soul to each work of art.

They have then been framed in our laboratory, some of them in aluminum frames and others in natural wood frames.


¿What? ‘’The Vital Breath’ exhibition de Ioana Vrabie

¿When? May 27th to July 7th, 2021

¿Where? Visualkorner (Balmes St. 354, 08006, Barcelona)

¿Cost? Free

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