Matei Bejenaru n. 1963

Matei Bejenaru is a visual artist who lives and works in Iaşi, where he teaches photography and video art at the “George Enescu” University of Arts. In his projects, through photography, video, performance and inter-media installations, he analyzes how the ways of economic production, technological knowledge, mentalities and lifestyles have changed in the last two decades in the post-communist countries. The Romanian workers’ immigration towards the West was analyzed in his artistic projects Travel Guide and Maersk Dubai, selected for various international exhibitions, like the ones in Tate Modern, Level 2 Gallery in London in 2007, The Taipei Biennial in 2008.

His choral music experimental project, started in 2010, Songs for a Better Future, was presented at The Drawing Room and Tate Modern in London, Western Front la Vancouver, Kuenstlerhaus Buchsenhausen Innsbruck, Laakteater Haga. The most recent episode of this project, Ode of the Matter, was exhibited at The National Museum of Contemporary Museum in Bucharest and at the Art Encounters Biennial in Timişoara

Solo Exhibitions

2020DIAPOZITIV , Switch Lab, Bucharest, Romania

2019Same Histories , Anca Poterașu Gallery, Spinnerei Leipzig, Germany

2019Prut , Galerie Art & Essai, Rennes

2018Prut , The Museum of the Romanian Peasant, Bucharest

2018REFLECTOR , apARTe Gallery, Iași, Romania, curator: Anca Mihulet

2016The Steps, the Words and the Usual , Anca Poterasu Gallery, Bucharest Romania, curator: Anca Mihulet

2014Songs for a better future , Laakteater, The Hague, Netherlands, curator: Reka Imola Makkai

2013From A to B , Cupola Gallery, Iasi, Romania, curator: Livia Pancu

2013Projects 1993-2000 , Tranzit Iasi, Romania, curator: Livia Pancu

2012Matei Bejenaru: Art into Life.Life into Art , The Artery Gallery North Adams Massachussets, United States of America, curator: Izabel Galliera

2011Battling Inertia , Andreiana Mihail Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2011Projects_2008-2010 , Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal Museum Sibiu, Romania, curators: Liviana Dan and Anca Mihulet

2009M3 Work, Memory, Movement , Cupola Gallery Iasi, Romania

2009Double Stéreo , Galerie ERSEP Tourcoing (F) (with Yves Robuschi), curators: Ivan Polliart and Christelle Manfredi

2007Ghid de calatorie , Galeria Posibila, Bucharest, Romania

2005Strawberry Fields Forever , Galeria Noua, Bucharest, Romania

2005Strawberry Fields Forever , Galeria Noua, Bucharest

2005INTER (with Robert Fearns) , R O O M Gallery, Bristol, United Kingdom

2005INTER (with Robert Fearns) , Vector Gallery Iasi, Romania

2005Travelling Guide , Insert in the IDEA Art Magazine, Cluj, Romania

2002Mehr Chancen Fur Unsere Jugend , Kulturkontakt Gastatelier, Vienna, Austria

2002Salut / Ave Bachtalo , Offspace Gallery, Vienna, Austria

2000Peripheral Routes 2 , Space Gallery, ICCA Bucharest, Romania

2000Peripheral Routes , ATC Space, Chicago, United States of America

1999Unequal Parallels , “Cupola” Gallery, Iasi, Romania

1998Archives , “GAD” Photo Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

1998Interferencies , Palace Of Culture, Tg.Mures, Romania

19969 Days , “Cupola” Gallery, Iasi, Romania

1996Reflex , “Matei Millo” House, Iasi, Romania

Selected group exhibitions

202112 Years After. A Survey of Romanian Art in 180 Works , The National Museum of Contemporary Art,RO

2021The Show That Never Was , Anca Poterasu Gallery,RO

2020In Midst of the Worst, the Best of Times , SUMO – The Odd year at lítost Prague,CZ

2020A Room of One’s Own, NADA Gallery Open NY Harlem CT Collective and DannyBaez,US

2019Historical and cultural perspectives on migration , Presentation of the film ABYSS, Europalia, BOZAR, Bruxelles

2019The Principle of Migration , New York Foundation for the Arts, USA

2018From different angles , The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest

2018Orient , Curator: Michal Novotný; Venues: Kim? Laikmetīgās mākslas centrs, Rīga; BOZAR, Brussels; Galeria Sztuki Współczesnej Bunkier Sztuki, Krakówia

2016The Factory of Facts and Other (Unspoken) Stories , Salonul de Proiecte, Bucharest, Romania

2016NON-FICTIONS , Rezidența Scena9, Bucharest, Romania

2016Innersound: Touch, multimedia project, (the project is part of #4 Innersound New Arts Festival) , Bucharest, Romania

2016Industrisemester, Maskinhuset, Grängesberg , Sweden, curator: Johan Norling

2016Clinical architectures for a compositionist future ,Camera Plus Biennial for Contemporary Photography, Iasi, Romania, curator: Catalin Gheorghe

2015Timisoara Art Encounters , curators: Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher

2015Pocket Revolutions , Korea Foundation Seul (South Korea), curator: Simona Nastac

2015In times of Hope and Unrest: Cristical Art from Iasi , National Museum for Contemporary Art Bucharest, curators: Catalin Gheorghe si Cristian Nae

2015Cartographies, McDaniel College, Maryland, United States of America, curator : Izabel Galliera

2015Brave New World Romanian Migrants’ Dream Houses , Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin

2014Showtime, ABC Contemporary Zurich, Switzerland, curator: Olga Stefan

2014Power and Play, De Markten, Summer of Photography ,Brussels, Belgium, curator: Christophe de Jaegger

2014Paralele intersectate / Intersected Parralels : 5 positions in Romanian Contemporary Photography ,Cupola Gallery, Iasi, Romania

2013 , Salonul de proiecte Bucharest, Romania, curators: Magda Radu & Alexandra Croitoru

2013AGORA , 4th Athens Biennial, Greece, curator: Despina Zefkili

2012-2013One Sixth of the Earth , MUSAC Valladolid, Spain, ZKM Karlsruhe, curator: Mark Nash

2012-2013Associate Artists, Kettle’s Yard , University of Cambridge, United Kingdom, curator: Elizabeth Fischer

2011Vector Association at Western Front , Western Front Vancouver, Canada, curators: Livia Pancu & Jesse McKee

2011Songs for a better future , PerformIC Festival, Innsbruck, Austria, curator: Andrei Siclodi

2011Living Today, Glasgow School of Art, United Kingdom, curator: Jenny Brownrigg

2011I work. I produce. I control , Galeria ZONA Lodz, Poland, curator: Livia Pancu

2011Artists’ Film Club , ICA London, curator: Cylena Simonds

2010The Haifa Mediterranian Biennial , Haifa, Istrael, curator: Belu Fainaru

2010Songs for a better future, KNOT project , Bucharest, Romania, curator: Raluca Voinea

2010Over the counter , Mucsarnok Museum Budapest, Hungary, curators: Eszther Lazar, Zsolt Petranyi

2010Image at work , INDEX Stockholm and the Romanian Cultural Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, curator:Helena Holmberg

2010Eurovisions , Vasa Konsthall, Finland, curator: Robert Back

2010Critical Point , Vector Association participation at Frieze Projects London, United Kingdom, curator: Livia Pancu

2010Best Laid Plans , The Drawing Room London, United Kingdom, curator: Cylena Simmonds

2009Performing the East , Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, curator: Hemma Schmutz

2009De Porc , The National Dance Center Bucharest, Romania, curator Ervin Kessler

2009Dacia, Lille 3000 series of exhibitions and events , Galerie Comune Tourcoing, France, curator: Christelle Manfredi

2008Taipei Biennial , Taiwan, curators: Manray Shu and Vasif Kortun

2008Spa Port , Banja Luka, Bosnia, curator: Ana Nikitovic

2008Schengen , Finekost Gallery Berlin, curator: Aaron Moulton

2008Move On , Futura Art Center Prague, Czech Republic, curator: Alberto di Stefan

2007The Irresistible Force , Tate Modern London Level 2 Gallery, curator: Ben Borthwick

2007Social Cooking Romania , NGBK Berlin, Germany, curator: Dan Mihaltianu

2007If you find this world bad, you should see some of the others , Prague Biennial 3, curator: Simona Nastac

2007Blurrr 6 Performance Festival, Tel Aviv, curator: Sergio Edelsztein

2006Journey Against the Current Küba , Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Nestroyhof, Vienna

2006Cities from Bellow , Fondazione Teseco per l’arte, Pisa, Italia, curator: Marco Scotini

2006Check-in Europe Reflecting Identities in Contemporary Art ,European Pattent Office, München, Germany, curator: Marius Babias

2005Situated Self ,Museum for Contemporary Art Belgrade, Serbia, Tennis Art Palace, Helsinki, Finland, curators: Branko Dimitrević & Mika Haanula

2005NowHere Europe ,Polo Museale Veneziano alla Misericordia, Venice, Italy, MNAC Bucharest, Romania, curator: Bartolomeo Pietromarchi (Fondazione Adriano Olivetti)

2005Motion Parade ,Fotogalerie Vienna, Austria, curator: Alina Serban

2005Just a Doubt , Manhattan Gallery Łodz, Poland, curator: Ivan Polliart

2004The Roma Show , Minoriten Gallery Graz, Austria, Jana Koniarka Gallery Trnava, Slovakia, Skuc Gallery Ljubljana, Slovenia

2004I Am Here You Are There… , GFZK Leipzig, Germany, curator: Barbara Steiner

2004U-Topos, Tirana Biennial 2, Albania, curator: Branislava Dimitrevič

2003Superbia, Dublin, Ireland, curator: Stephen Brandes

2003Palpable Disequilibrium , LIPA Gallery Chicago, curator: Olga Ştefan

2002Personal-Public Space , Čačak, Serbia, curator: Zoran Erič

2002Mope 02 , Performance Festival, Vasa, Finland, curator: Markus Lerviks

2002Ebent Performance Festival , CCCB Barcelona, Spain, curator: Maria Cosmes

2002Akt 2,Performance Festival , Brno, Czech Republic, curator: František Kowolowski

2001Fabs Show , Poznanski Factory, Łodz, Poland, curator: Malgorzata Sido

2001Never Stop The Action , Steirischer Herbst Festival, Rotor Graz, Austria, curators: Margarethe Makovec & Anton Ledere

200149th Venice Biennial , Context Project, Romanian Pavilion, Venice, Italy, curator: Alexandru Patatics

2000Via Bucharest , Eforie Gallery, Bucharest, Romania

2000Transferatu , Ifa Gallery, Berlin, Germany, curator: Dan Mihălţianu

2000Peripheric Roads , Around the Coyote Gallery, Chicago, curator: Olga Stefan

1999Jünge Rümänische Kunst , Bayerische Stadtkanzlei, München, Germany

1999At Home , French Cultural Center Iasi, Romania

1999Zone 3 Performance Festival, Timisoara, Romania, curator: Ileana Pintilie

1999Periferic 3 , Festival, Iasi, Romania

1999Annart 10 Performance Festiva l, St. Ann Lake, Romania, curator: Gusztàv Ütó

1998Periferic 2, Performance Festival , Iasi, Romania

1998Gioconda’s Smile , Performance Festival , Kishinew, Republic of Moldova, curator: Octavian Esanu

1998Contemporary Concepts , Art Museum, Oradea, Romania

1998Alternatives Experimental Film Festival , Tg. Mures, Romania, curator: Joseph Bartha

1997Altfest , Alternative Theatre Festival, Iasi, Romania

1997Soare cu dinti , 35 Studio, 3/4 Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessle

1997Periferic 1, French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania

1997Civitas Solis, Civitas Artis, The Soros Center for Contemporary Arts Annual Exhibition ,Calnic Castle, Romania, curator: Maria Rus Bojan

1997Ad-Hoc , Romanian Art of Today , Ludwig Museum, Budapest, Hungary, curator: Erwin Kessler

1996Interferencies and Experiments from the 1960s until the 90s in the Romanian Art (The Soros Center For Contemporary Arts Annual Exhibition) ,3/4 Floor Gallery

1996GATA young graduating art students exhibition, 3/4 Floor Gallery, National Theatre, Bucharest

1995Object- Objective , 35 Studio, Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessler

1995Neotraditionalism & Neoavanguard , 35 Studio, Caminul Artei Gallery, Bucharest, Romania, curator: Erwin Kessler

1995Inter(N) , Art Museum of Arad, Romania, curator: Judit Angel

1994Art Unlimited Ltd, Art Museum Of Arad, Romania, curator: Judit Angel


2015Ode of the Matter ,Timisoara Art Encounters, curators: Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher

2013My Head / My Street , AGORA, 4th Athens Biennial, Greece, curator: Despina Zefkili

2013From A to B (together with Paul Gradinaru) , transit Iasi, Romania

2009ZäuberJackl Quest , Salzburger Kunstverein, Austria, Curator: Hemma Schmutz

2009ISO, Thessaloniki Biennial 2, Grecia, curators: Demostenes Agrafiotis and Eirini Papakonstantinou

2007Impreuna / Together , Tate Modern London, curator: Ben Borthwick

2004Speaking 5, House of Writers Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, GFZK Leipzig, Germania, curator: Barbara Steiner

2002Zona 4 Festival , Timisoara, Romania

2002Strawberry Fields Forever, Ebent Festival , CCCB Barcelona, Spania

2002Sauna Speaking, Mope 02, Vasa, Finland

2002Salut / Ave Bachtalo, Akt 2 Festival , Brno, Czech Republic

2002Looking For Caslav , Čačak, Serbia

2002A Methamorphosys of Speaking, live radio broadcast , ORF Kunstradio, Vienna, Austria, organizer: Jeanette Pacher

2001Walzer der Dinge, Never Stop The Action Festival , Graz, Austria

2001Speaking 4, Fabs Show , Łodz, Poland

1999Personal History, The Zone Performance Festival , Timisoara, Romania

1999Body Spray, French Cultural Center, Iasi, Romania

199913047, Annart 10 Performance Festival , St. Ann Lake, Romania

1998To The Center, Periferic 2 Festival, Iasi, Romania

1998Speaking 3, Gioconda’s Smile Performance Festival , Chisinau, Republic of Moldova

1997Speaking2 , Altfest Festival, Iasi, Romania

1997Somebody Up There Likes Me, Periferic 1 Festival , French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania

1997Pilotage, French Cultural Centre, Iasi, Romania

1996Speaking1, Live TV performance , Europa Nova Studio, Iasi, Romania

1995Alexandru cel Bun, Iasi, Romania

1994The Mirrors, Piatra Neamt, Romania


2016Wall , 16mm b&w film, 3min.

2014The Wall of J.O. , HDV, 30min.

2013The Band Without a Name , HDV, 30min.

2010From afar , HDV, 5min.

2010Battling Inertia , HDV, 14min.

2009A.S.B.T, HDV, 14min.

2007Maersk Dubai , DVD, 8min.

20051982 , DVD, 1min.

2004Speaking 5, DVD, 11min.

2003Alexandru cel Bun Epilogue , DVD, 6 min.

2002Salut / Ave Bachtalo , Hi8, Colour, Sound, 43 Min.

2001Conversations 15 , Vhs, Colour, Sound, 10 Min.

1996Duo , Svhs, Colour, Sound, 6 Min.

1995Struggle, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.

1995All , Svhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.

1995Alexander The Good, Colour Sound, 5 Min.

1994Transience , Vhs, Colour, Sound, 3 Min.

1993Noncommunication, Vhs, Colour, Sound, 4 Min.

Professional experience

Founder and Artistic Director of Periferic Biennial , Iasi, Romania

2003-2007Director of VECTOR Gallery in Iasi, Romania

2005Editor of Vector visual art magazine, Iasi, Romania

1998-2004Graphic designer of all the Periferic Biennial publications (catalogues, posters, invitations…)

2003-2007He was the initiator and manager of the cARTier project (a social culture project which tries to rehabilitate an esplanade in a worker’s district in Iasi-Romania). The cARTier project was a pilot project of Pro Helvetia in Romania.

2004-2008He wrote weekly art articles at the Supliment de cultura (the visual arts page) , a cultural magazine with a national distribution in Romania.

Fellowships and awards

2012-2013Associated artist at Kettle’s Yard Cambridge ,United Kingdom

2011-2012Visiting Professor at the University of Quebec ,Montreal, Canada

2008Artist in residence at Futura Art Center in Prague ,Czech Republic

2007Artist in Residence ,Tate Modern London Level 2 Gallery

2002Kulturkontakt Fellowship Vienna , Austria

2000Artslink Fellowship ,Artist In Residence Around The Coyote Chicago, United States of America

1997Soros Center For Contemporary Arts First Prize ,Bucharest, Romania

1997British Council Fellowship, Belfast ,United Kingdom


2014The Mobile Biennial , National Museum for Contemporary Arts Bucharest

2012Western Front, (Conference Institutions by Artists) ,Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada

2012California College of the Arts , San Francisco, United States of America

2011Université du Québéc à Montréal

2008Institut National d’Histoire de l’art Paris (Conference „Art contemporain et territoires)

2007Flaggfabrikke Bergen , Norway

2007Courtauld Institute ,Londra

2007Contemporary Art Center ,Tel Aviv

2006Romanian Cultural Institute ,New York

2006Moderna Museet ,Stockholm

2006Middle South European Meeting , Pristina, Kosovo

2006Cabaret Voltaire ,Zurich

2005Institutul Goethe Bucureşti ,(Conference After The Happy Nineties)

2005University of South Florida , Tampa, United States of America

2005Muzeul de Arta Contemporana ,Belgrad

2004Manifesta Cofee Break ,– Liverpool Biennial