Belu-Simion Făinaru

b. 1959

Belu Simion Făinaru, an Israeli sculptor and installation artist, was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1959 and in 1973 moved to Israel. 

“Făinaru’s work uses a wide range of media, such as sculpture, installation, drawing and video. The works contain several layers of meaning that touch upon Jewish-Romanian history, text, and issues of identity and territory. Although his predilection for these subjects is indisputable, Făinaru’s oeuvre also unmistakably addresses several universal human themes.​”

“Throughout his career, Făinaru has employed authentic objects to engage with the concept of home, personal and collective identity, and the components of memory. He disrupts the objects’ original functions or draws inspiration from them to create new objects.” Jerome Rothenberg

Belu-Simion Făinaru, Black Milk, 2018
Belu-Simion Făinaru, Black Milk, 2018

”For many years, Fainaru has been conducting a creative dialogue with authors and poets, with Celan prominent among them. The encounter with Celan’s poems entails a fusion of opposites, the discovery of a symbolic reality in everyday life, and a charged connection between the secular and the sacred. Like Celan, Fainaru embarks on symbolic quests in search of the map of his childhood, longing to find a “place that is not a place.” In this process, he combines objects and images that create an internal and external journey in the search for that identity and place.

The sense of threatened domesticity, the familial that is destabilized and ceases to exist, and the connection with Celan evoke thoughts of the Holocaust and lives that were cut short. Only objects remain, attesting to a full, rich past, bearing silent witness to the life of the individual and a rich family and community life. 

The installation is also relevant to contemporary reality. The family structure and the “family meal” are no longer unquestioned, and the concept of “home” is no longer consensual. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus crisis the domestic space has become, for many, a prison, a stressful environment of individual and family existence. Faced with this unique human condition we can see the installation as a capsule – a familial and human cell that fulfills physical, biological, and psychological needs – the wish to be close to others, feeling family warmth and a sense of belonging.

The black oil stain inside the white porcelain holders suggests a human future that is shrouded in mist. The holder is a kind of “escape capsule” in a human spacecraft that has lost its way – a capsule containing a flaw that can destroy the stable, familiar past and undermine the possibility of a future.

Black Milk offers a metaphor for global and national collective anxiety. The moment in which the connection between the memory of the past and the promise of the future cracks is the moment when domesticity falters and fails; humanism faces a crisis in which self-evident human values collapse, raising open, frightening questions.” – Dr. Daniel Weiman

The black oil stain inside → The black oil stain inside →
The black oil stain inside → The black oil stain inside →
Belu-Simion Făinaru, Untitled, 2018
Belu-Simion Făinaru, Untitled, 2018
Belu-Simion Făinaru, Untitled, 2018

Belu Simion Fainaru, an Israeli sculptor and installation artist, was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1959 and in 1973 moved to Israel. During the 1980s, his work used motifs taken from Jewish culture, through which he raised questions of identity and historical memory. In his works, Fainaru created concretization of metaphysical concepts such as “light” or “name”, into artistic objects that make use of the text.

Detachment, social issues and characters from the margins of Israeli society, are typical in many of Fainaru works. In the exhibit “The homeless” (1999), for example, Fainaru created a temporary living environment for the homeless in the art exhibition space. Fainaru also works as a curator. In 1993 he was the co-founder of the Pyramid organization in Haifa and in 2010 was one of the initiators and curators of “The Mediterranean Biennale”.

Belu Simion Fainaru lives and works in Haifa.

Solo Exhibitions

2018 No One Is Home , Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2015 The Fullness of the Void , Galeria Plan B, Berlin, Germany

2013 4 Broken Walls , Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2012 Nothingness –The Poetics of Void , Galeria Plan B Cluj, Romania

2010 Everything is going to be alright , Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum, Sibiu, Romania

2009 Penny for Nothing , Ram Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands

2008 Tikun Ka’la , Artist House Tel-Aviv, Tel-Aviv, Israel

2008 Dust & Ashes , Danon Gallery, Tel-Aviv, Israel

2007 Black Canopy-Kaddish for the Child that Was Never Born , Bar-David Museum, Baram, Israel

2006 Jewish time , Ein Harod Museum, Ein Harod, Israel

2006 Canopy – in the image of god , Wizo Art Gallery, Haifa, Israel

2005 I have no place , Cabri Gallery, Cabri, Canada

2003 Jewish Kitchen: A Visual Text , Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Herzliya, Israel

2000 First Love Life Live , Akiyoshidai Art Center, Akyoshidai Artists Village, Yamaguchi, Japan

2000 Timisoara Museum of Art, Timisoara, Romania

2000 Out of Place – Belongs Nowhere and to Another Time , Museum (MUHKA), Antwerpen, Netherlands

2000 Everything is going to be alright , Gabriele Rivet Gallery, Köln, Germany

2000 Jewish Kitchen , Herzliya, Museum, Herzliya, Israel

1999 Belongs Nowhere and to Another Time , Gabriele Rivet Gallery, Köln, Germany

1998 Bait , Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

1997 A Place of Light , Sara Levi Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel

1997 Connection to Aleph , The Israel Museum, Israel

1995 Footsteps , Gabriele Rivet Gallery, Köln, Germany

1995 If the world Aleph , Staten Gallery, Den Haag, Netherlands

1994 Presentation of the Bride , Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Germany

1994 Memories of the Future , Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo, Japan

Group exhibitions

2019 May You Live In Interesting Times , The 58th Venice Biennale, Italy

2019 Unlimited , Art Basel, with Gallery Plan B, Switzerland

2016 BERLIN SHOW #4: Inventory , Galeria Plan B, Berlin, Germany

2015 Mapping Bucharest: Art, Memory and Revolution 1916 , MAK – Austrian Museum of Applied Arts / Contemporary Art, Vienna, Austria

2014 The SEA –salut d’honneur Jan Hoet , Mu.ZEE –Kunstmuseum aan zee, Oostende, Belgium

2013 The Second Mediterranean Biennale , Sakhnin – Mediterranean Biennale, Haifa, Israel

2012 Salonul de vară , Galeria Plan B Cluj, Romania

2012 Objects / Subjects , The Art Museum Cluj, Romania

2010 Vandværker / Waterworks , Randers Kunstmuseum, Randers, Denmark

2010 The first Haifa Mediterranean Biennale , Mediterranean Biennale, Haifa, Israel

2009 The End of it is to be found at the Top , Pyramida Center for Contemporary art, Haifa, Israel

2008 MoBY Hosting , Bat-Yam Contemporary Art Museum, Bat-Yam, Israel

2008 Feeling&Meaning , The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Gallery, Israel

2007 Balance or Imbalance , Macondo Art Space, London, United Kingdom

2007 Connected , Mönchengladbach Museum, Mönchengladbach, Germany

2007 More or less in the same place or another , Galeria Plan B, Cluj, Romania

2006 Extension.RO – Romanian painters , Triumph Gallery, Moscow, Russia

2006 Body-present and absent , Bat-Yam Museum of Art, Bat-Yam, Israel

2006 Girls , Gabriele Rivet Gallery, Köln, Germany

2006 Visual action , Hebrew Union College, New York, United States

2006 Etching with the Brain , Israel Museum, Israel

2006 What is Sculpture? The Century of Modern Sculpture , Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

2006 Between Eco&Ego , Kawaguchi City, Saitama, Japan

2006 Suitcase , Kunsthal Brænderigården, Viborg, Denmark

2006 Objekt und Skulptur , Kunstverein Kreis Gütersloh e.V., Gütersloh, Germany

2006 9. Bienal de La Habana , Havana, CUMädels, Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

2005 Lights , The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel

2005 Spielräume , Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

2004 Stadtlicht -Lichtkunst / Illuminated Cities -Illuminated Art , Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

2004 Haifa Second International Installation , Haifa Museum of Art, Haifa, Israel

2004 Hülle und Idylle , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

2003 Belgian and international art from the collection , S.M.A.K Ghent Museum of Contemporary Art, Ghent, Belgium

2003 Objekt und Skulptur , Galerie Kunsthaus Oberkassel, Düsseldorf, Germany

2003 Arche Noah , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

2003 M_ARS –Art and War , Neue Galerie Graz –Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz, Austria

2002 Socle du monde , HEART – Herning Museum of Contemporary Art, Herning, Denmark

2002 Formen der Gewalt , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

2001 Messages to the new Millennium , Saitama Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan

2001 Sonsbeek 9 , Arnhem, Netherlands

2001 Locus Focus – Sonsbeek 2001 , Museum voor Moderne Kunst Arnhem – MMKA, Arnhem, Netherlands

2001 The very last – Gruppenausstellung , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

2000 Fujino Sculpture Symposium , Fujino, Japan

2000 Het oorkussen van de melancholie , Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Ghent, Belgium

2000 Document Sagacho, Fixed Point Observation , Sagacho Exhibit Space, Tokyo, Japan

2000 Continental Shift , Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, DE small size mixed, kjubh, Köln, Germany

2000 Over The Edges , SMAK Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium

2000 The very first , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

1999 Kulturräume. Sculpture since 1970 , Wilhelm Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, Germany

1999 Papier , Galerie Gabriele Rivet, Köln, Germany

1998 Voor het verdwijnt en erna , SMAK – Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium

1997 Ketav , Ackland Art Museum, North Carolina, United States

1997 Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K.) in Watou, Watou, Belgium

1996 Fluxus: Art without Limits , Artists’ House, Moscow, Russia

1995 Preview of the Arturo Schwarz Collection of Israeli Art , The Israel Museum, Israel

1995 Fluxus: Yesterday,Today and Tomorrow. Art without Limits , Smolny-Kathedrale, Petersburg, Russia

1994 Memories for the Future , Sagacho Exhibition Art Space, Tokyo, Japan

1994 Jahresgaben ’94 , Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg, Kunstverein Bonn, Germany

1993 Über-Leben , Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany

1993 In Between , The 45thBiennale di Venezia, Venezia, Italy

1992 Makom , National Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea

1992 Documenta IX , Kassel, Germany

1992 Fluxus Virus , Kaufhof-Parkhaus, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln; Aktionsforum Praterinsel, München, Germany


2017 Aurora Király. Proiecte recente / New Projects, Artist catalogue , published by ARAC in collaboration with Anca Poterasu Gallery & Editura UNARTE

2012 Photography in Romanian Contemporary Art after 1989. A Cronology, text contribution in Arta magazine , published by the Union of Fine Artists

2011 co-editor of CitiesMethodologies І Bucharest publication, together with Ger Duijzings and Simona Dumitriu , published by Galeria Nouă at UNARTE Publishing House

2010 Social Documentary – a personal approach in the publication The Artist in the Studio , Scientific Session organized by The Faculty of Applied Arts and Design, National University of Arts Bucharest

2006 editor of the bi-lingual book Photography in Contemporary Art. Trends in Romania after 1989″ , published by Galeria Nouă at Unarte Publishing House

Curatorial project

2016 I like / I don’t like… through art , Museum of Art Constanța, organized by Da’DeCe Association in partnership with MNAC, with the financial support of AFCN

2012 Witnesses XXI – Revisiting the Past / A Collection of Video Interviews – exhibition , Platforma – MNAC Moșilor, Bucharest, Romania

2012 StartPoint Prize Romania , Victoria Art Center, exhibition co-curator (together with Petru Lucaci), Bucharest, Romania

2010 Exhibition co-curator (together with Simona Dumitriu) CitiesMethodologies І Bucharest , National University of Arts Bucharest, Scarlat-Ghica House, Bucharest, Romania

2008 curator of Open access pRO_ARCHIVE exhibition , Karlin Studios, Praga, Czech Republic

2008 curator of Bucharest between Melacholia and Hysteria. A Few Artistical Perspective over Urban Space , Czech Center Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic

2008 project coordinator – On Curatorship in Contemporary Art, supported by AFCN. Guests: Maria Rus Bojan (MB Agency, Amsterdam), Matei Bejenaru (Vector, Iaşi), Irina Cios (CIAC, Bucuresti), Dora Hegy (Transit, Budapest) , Bucharest, Romania

2008-2012 counsellor for selecting the Romanian participants at Startpoint Prize competition , Czech Republic

2001-2008 curator for the following exhibitions presented at Galeria Nouă Contemporary Art Space , Bucharest, Romania:

05.03.2008-23.03.2008 gute aussichten , – new german photography

05.12.2007-06.01.2008 Christmas 07 , – Eugenio Percossi

14.11.2007-30.11-2007 Making Movies , – Krassimir Terziev

06.12.2006-21.01.2007 Last Supper / Last Words , – Artists: Bigert & Bergström

22.11.2006-02.12.2006 Persona , – Teodor Graur, Exhibition realized in partnership with the European Cultural Center Sinaia

04.10.2006-27.10.2006 Staged , – Štěpánka Stein/Salim Issa & Dita Pepe/Petr Hrubes, Exhibition realized in partnership with the Czech Center

05.04.2006-30.04.2006 Your Money or Your Life , – Jan Kotik, Exhibition realized in partnership with: Futura Gallery (Prague) and Czech Center Bucharest

01.03.2006-01.04.2006 Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue , – Călin Dan

12.10.2005-26.11.2005 Documenting Their Dream , – Alexandra Croitoru

13.07.2005-31.07.2005 I am Always Someone Else , – Jozsef Bartha

06.04.2005-15.05.2005 Sharing Solitude , – Frederico Câmara,Exhibition realized in partnership with Akademie Schloss Solitude and Goethe Institut Bucharest

02.03.2005-27.03.2005 Strawberry Fields Forever , – Matei Bejenaru

16.02.2005-27.02.2005 Portfolios Review #4 , – Artists: Ana Alexandra Blidaru, Ana Bănica, Vlad Eftenie, Andrei Fărcăşanu, Wanda Hutira, Helen Jilavu, Alina Şomăndroiu, Roxana Tomescu

12.01.2005-06.02.2005 The People / Boborul , – Radu Vasile Igazság & Visual Art Foundation

15.12.2004-09.01.2005 Superbooks 2004 – The Most Beautiful Books from the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Germany, Great Britain and Romania , Organizers: British Council, The German Book Center, Idea Foundation, Czech Center, Association of Romanian Publishers

27.10.2004-21.11.2004 Public Spaces / Public Bodies , – Karen Kipphoff

06.10.2004-24.10.2004 Monumente , – Misha Pedan, Partners: Swedish Embassy, Swedish Institute

06.09.2004-03.10.2004 Maybe Next Time , – Gheorghe Rasovszky

07.07.2004-27.07.2004 Blue Moon, Black Sea , – Peter Terezakis, Exhibition realized with the support of: American Cultural Center of the U.S.A. Embassy, Project DCM Foundation and The Suitcase Fund of Dance Theater Workshop in NYC

09.06.2004-30.06.2004 Recent Photographs , – Ion Grigorescu

24.03.2004-02.05.2004 The Marshalling Yard , – Artists: Mariana Celac, Iosif Király, Marius Marcu, Exhibition realized with the support of the Swiss Cultural Programme in Romania

25.02.2004-14.04.2004 Black-out , – Alexandru Patatics

21.01.2004-14.02.2004 Portfolios Review #3 , – Artists: Vlad Boşoancă, Adrian Budritzan, Valentin Chincişan, Dina Dancu, Maria Drăghici, Vilhelem Jozsef Hunor, Ioachim Ciobanu, Alexandru Dragomir, Dorijan Milovanovik, Ilinca Nanoveanu, Igor Naumov, Pal Antal, Bogdan Panaitescu, Bogdana Pascal, Horea Pascu, Raul Skopecz, Roxana Szel, Sebastian Zsemlye

10.12.2003-17.01.2004 Human Interaction , – Irina Botea

05.11.2003-06.12.2003 Reconstructions , – Iosif Király

08.10.2003-02.11.2003 Transformative Urbanism. From Almere to Caracas , – Artists: Sabine Bitter & Helmut Weber (Austria), Exhibition realized in partnership with WienKultur

10.09.2003-05.10.2003 Connected Ideas , – Artists: Raluca Băraru, Valentina Belea, Ioana – Teodora Chirtoacă, Mirela Crăciun, Alexandra Dondera, Raluca Dumitru

09.07.2003-27.07.2003 Portfolios Review #2 , – Artists: Adrian Armanca, Alex Axinte, Luminiţa Cochinescu, Cătălina Ionescu, Raluca Noveanu, Dana Postolea, Cătălin Rulea, Anda Runtag, Maria Stan, Cristina Toma

04.06.2003-06.07.2003 Selected Works , – Ola Pehrson, Exhibition realized in partnership with Swedish Embassy, IASPIS

14.05.2003-31.05.2003 Portfolios Review #1 , – Artists: Nataşa Andreska, Andrei Calangiu, Iulius Costache / Andrei Iancu, Cristina David, Olivia Mihălţianu, Oana Manta, Bogdan Marcu, Catinca Mattice, Doru Popescu, Raluca Spataru, Laura Todoran

22.01.2003-16.02.2003 Beyond Photography… the Painting , – Artists: Raluca Noveanu, Sabina Spatariu, Dragoş Burlacu, Răzvan Neagoe

14.12.2002-12.01.2003 There is Fiction in the Space Between , – Artists: Harald Scherz (Austria), Casa Gontz (Romania), Hannes Böck (Austria)

27.11.2002-01.12.2002 Omulan , – Matei Branea

23.10.2002-24.11.2002 The Black Square , – Hélène Binet (Great Britain),Exhibition realized in partnership with New Europe College, British Council

02.10.2002-20.10.2002 The New Painting , – Elina Brotherus, Exhibition realized in partnership with: Finnish Embassy and FRAME – Finnish Fund for Art Exchange

25.09.2002-29.09.2002 [number one] , – Artists: Adrian Armanca, Andrei Calangiu, Ştefan Cosma, Alexandra Croitoru, Nicu Ilfoveanu, Răzvan Ion, Iosif Király, Vlad Nancă, Ioana Nemeş

17.07.2002-4.08.2002 Interviewing the Cities , – At the Next Station – subREAL

15.05.2002-09.06.2002 Sight & Site / Tracks & Strikes , – Anne-Lise Dehee & Eve Couturier (France) here, now – Ştefan Cosma, Alexandra Croitoru, Ioana Nemeş

27.03.2002-26.04.2002 Walk , – Teodor Graur

27.02.2002-24.03.2002 Interactive Scenes – Zambacalamba net v.2 / Pointview / Pyramidal , – Alexandru Antik & Dragoş Ştefan

05.12.2001-31.01.2002 Five Stories , – Artists: Anca Benera / Irina Bucan Botea, Anca Ignătescu, Dilmana Iordanova, Mihaela Kavdanska, Lila Passima

05.11.2010-25.04.2011 11 artists in Balkon , – Artists: Mircea Cantor, Ştefan Cosma, Alexandra Croitoru, Aurora Dediu, Cosmin Grădinaru, Adrian Ilfoveanu, Daniel Knorr, Zoltan Kovacs, Vlad Nancă, Ioana Nemeş, Gabriela Vanga

Cultural management, artistic counselling

2017 project coordinator: , Art in context: trends and curatorial practices in contemporary art, organized by Joana Grevers Foundation, Bucharest, with the financial support of AFCN

2014-2008 selection for StartPoint Prize , Romania

2013 ACOFIN , – ART.CONSUMPTION.FINITUDE, artistic adviser, supported by AFCN

2012 project coordinator Visual Art in Romania , – Documentary Ressources, National University of Arts Bucharest, supported by AFCN

2012 project coordinator How to Understand Contemporary Art , – workshops for children between 8-14 years, realised by Galeria Nouă in partnership with MNAC, supported by AFCN

2012 member in the working team concerning the financial field no. 17 , – Promoting the spanersity in culture and art in the field of cultural heritage, Financial Mechanism SEE (Romanian Government – European Foreign Affairs), representative of the Cultural Operators Association, Romania

2008-2012 project coordinator of Witnesses XXI , – Revisiting the Past / A Collection of Video Interviews project, produced by Galeria Nouă with the support of Erste Stiftung, AFCN and MNAClab

2008-2011 coach for the Swiss artists invited in AiR programme , organized by United Experts with the support of Pro Helvetia Zürich

2010 project coordinator CitiesMethodologies І Bucharest , supported by AFCN

2007 co-organizer of Are You Experienced? , curators: Nicolas Bourriaud and Paolo Falcone, presented at Galeria Nouă and MNAC

Lectures, presentations, symposia

2016 How school can be a partner for art education? , Discussion organized by Metru Cub Association, in partnership with French Institute Timișoara

2012 lecture on Romanian Photography after 1989 , Scientific Session organized by the Faculty of Art History and Theory, National University of Arts Bucharest

2011 lecture on Cities Methodologies Bucharest in the frame of International Sympozion Urban Games , ENSAD, Strasbourg

2011 lecture on Romanian artists working on urban projects in the frame of Cities Methodologies 2011 , Slade Research Centre, London

2011 lecture on Romanian art scene in the frame of international symposium Binary City , part of the Global Gateway project, organized by Ciant with the support of the Culture 2007-2013 programme, Bucharest

2010 presentation on The Social Documentary – A Personal Approach, in the frame of The Artist in the Studio , – Scientific Session organized by the Faculty of Applied Arts and Design, National University of Arts Bucharest

2006 presentation on my artistical and curatorial activity, in the frame of Global Photography , – The Balkans, Tate Modern, London

2004 Bucharest Days in Vienna , event organized by Wien Kultur la Kunsthalle Wien – Project Space

Other Exhibited Artists