Ecology of the After Life

“I don’t know what ‘human nature’ is. Maybe leaving descriptions of what we wipe out is part of human nature.” – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Word for World Is Forest

Matei Bejenaru, Ioana Cîrlig, Aurora Király, Iosif Király, Delia Popa 

Curator: Rafaela Bîrlădeanu

May  9  – July 1, 2024

26 Popa Soare Street, Bucharest

Anca Poterasu Gallery presents Ecology of the After Life, an exhibition that revolves around recurrent and obsessive questions regarding human existence, science, nature’s resilience, and the echoes of our actions.

The exhibition serves as a metaphor for the regeneration of life as a whole, exploring not only human existence but also the intricate connections between organisms that sustain life on Earth. From Aurora Király’s landscapes to Delia Popa’s introspective reflections, Iosif Király’s blurring of reality and fantasy, Ioana Cîrlig’s documentation of coal miners, and Matei Bejenaru’s chronicles of forgotten spaces, Ecology of the Afterlife contemplates the interconnectedness of living beings. 

Aurora Király’s latest series of photographic views captures ethereal landscapes where time seems to stand still. The artist transports us to places where the limits between humanity and nature are blurred, inviting us to contemplate our role in the grand tapestry of life. Her photographs serve as a reminder of nature’s remarkable ability to adapt and thrive in the face of environmental challenges. In these tranquil scenes, we witness the timeless beauty of the Earth and the intricate network of life that sustains it. 

Delia Popa’s video work, Letters to a Young Gardener, initiates a conversation that highlights our deep connection to nature. Through her activities in the garden that once belonged to her grandparents and by recounting events in her life, the artist highlights nature’s healing role. She challenges viewers to reflect on the intricate layers of existence and the lasting impact of our actions. 

Aurora Király, Ecology of the After Life, 2022-2024
Aurora Király, Ecology of the After Life, 2022-2024

Iosif Király’s complicates the negotiation between reality and fantasy, inviting viewers to meditate upon the fluidity of perception and the fine separation between past, present, and future, while the visual representation challenges us to reconsider our understanding of time and space.

Ioana Cirlig‘s portraits of miners at the Petrila coal mine in Romania shed light on the human impact on the environment. As one of the last working mines in Romania, the process of shutting down the activities in Petrila signifies not only the loss of jobs but also the end of a period. The closing of Petrila coal mine serves as a stark warning about the consequences of relying on non-renewable resources. It highlights the imperative for transition towards cleaner energy sources. Through this series of photographs, we witness the human cost of industrialization and the need for sustainable alternatives. The coal mines, with their towering structures and vast underground networks, symbolize humanity’s relentless pursuit of resources at any cost. Yet, in the aftermath of the closing out, what remains are scars on the landscape and communities left grappling with economic uncertainty and environmental degradation.

The exhibition serves as a metaphor for the regeneration of life as a whole..
The exhibition serves as a metaphor for the regeneration of life as a whole..
Ioana Cîrlig, Employees of Petrila Mine, 2015
Ioana Cîrlig, Employees of Petrila Mine, 2015

You can download the curatorial text below.