Matei Bejenaru works with photography and experimental film, in long-term projects that explore both the poetics of imagery, as well as the social, documentary aspect of social shifts during the last 32 years in Eastern Europe. Matei Bejenaru’s works were part of important exhibitions in events and institutions such as Tate Modern London,49th Venice Biennial Venice, Museum Europäischer Kulturen, Berlin; The Drawing Room London, Taipei Biennial, Taiwan; Athens Biennial, Futura Art Center Prague and Prague Biennial 3, NGBK Berlin, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, The National Museum of Contemporary Art. His artistic commitment to reflect the post-communist condition by experimenting with social practices of art, has gradually developed towards an analysis of the medium of photography, of the possibilities to communicate within it through a visual language, while being considerate of the ethics of representation and agency of others. Matei Bejenaru is the founder of Periferic Biennial in Iasi, Romania. Established in 1997 as a performance festival, Periferic transformed into an international artist-run contemporary art biennial defined as a platform for discussions on the historical, socio-political, and cultural contexts of the city. With a group of artists and philosophers from Iasi, Bejenaru founded the Vector Association in 2001, a contemporary art institution that supported the local emerging art scene to become locally and internationally visible. Together with a group of artists and professors he founded in 2015 the Center of Contemporary Photography in Iasi and organizes the Camera Plus Biennial for Contemporary Photography.


Modele / Matei Bejenaru at Paris Photo 2023

Main Section, Booth D27

9 November – 12 November 2023
Grand Palais Éphémère


“Models” is a series of photographs in which the artist Matei Bejenaru depicts models of plants, handmade from paper, cardboard and plastic, acquired in the 1980s from Germany by the University “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” in Iasi, Romania. The photographs explore the relationship between scientific image, art, and speculative fiction that can appear through the camera lens, connecting the analytical thread of photographic technique and rational knowledge with that of imagination and the mysterious world. The viewer is confronted with a representation of an representation through imitations of the natural world, in which the expressiveness of the forms and structures of the plant world are depicted. These are given an overwhelming dimension, far beyond human stature, becoming landscapes or phantasms of our imagination. The works bear reference to the  photographic aesthetics of Karl Blossfeldt (1865 – 1932), known for his series of plant portraits.

The project ”Modele” is financed by Departamentul pentru Românii de Pretutindeni and supported by  Institutul Cultural Român 
The content of this website does not represent the official position of the Departamentul pentru Românii de Pretutindeni.

ARAC is a non-profit organization founded in June 2012, in order to produce and promote contemporary art in Romania and abroad. The initiative of the 58 Plantelor Residency belongs to Anca Poterasu, gallerist and ARAC President. The first edition of the Residency took place in 2015 and it was financed through a grant offered by Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Romanian Government.