Stefan Rusu (b. 1964 in Kâietu, Moldova) is an artist and curator focusing on the processes of transformation and change in post-socialist societies after 1989.
Among his curatorial projects dealing with urban transformations is “CHIȘINĂU – Art, Research in the Public Sphere” (2010) – a cross-disciplinary platform that investigated the connections between political and cultural symbols and the dominant institutional and political discourses that shaped the society and urban landscape of Chisinau. “Spaces on the Run” (2013-15) focused on mapping, activating, and rethinking the status of public spaces in the Central Asian context, produced in collaboration with Dushanbe Art Ground, Tajikistan.
Beginning in 2006, he designed a number of interventions dealing with re-appropriation and reproduction of public space, these included “Flat Space/Apartamentul Deschis” – a functional replica of a socialist apartment reusing concrete aesthetics, commissioned by Oberliht Association (Chisinau, 2009). This was followed by “Block 89”, a sample of socialist housing that features an entrance into a social housing block, realised as part of KNOT for Ursinov district (Warsaw, 2010) and later “Floating Balcony” – a site-specific intervention in Husby district as part of “Performing the Common” (Stockholm, 2012), addressing urgent issues ranging from the segregation of migrant populations, gentrification of the Husby social housing area, to the threat of privatising the “green line” area and its erasure from the urban fabric.
Stefan is the editor of a number of publications: Spaces on the Run (2015), Reimagining the New Man (2014), Chisinau-Art, Research in the Public Sphere (2011)”RO-MD/Moldova in Two Scenarios (2008).
The performative structure presented at TAB is an attempt to re-read the meaning of the socialist habitat and the transformations in societies that occurred after 1989. The core element, and the departure point of the installation, is the entrance into a socialist apartment building from the 1970s in Gldani.
Conceptually the wall divides the structure into two parts: before (Socialism) and after (Capitalism). The situation “before” recreates the daily experience in front of a social house: socialising, cooking barbeque, playing chess or just hanging around. The entrance into the building also bears the idea of a passage through the period of transformations that occurred in Eastern Europe after the collapse of communism.