What is left when there is nothing left? “Past Present. The archive and the body” is an art project that explores the relationship between body, memory and archive in various displaced communities from radically destroyed places.

Through performative means, we activate the remnants of communities immobilised in a traumatic historical time, as well as of disrupted worlds: the demolition in the 1980s of the neighbourhoods around the former Uranus Hill, Bucharest, and the body casts of the ancient inhabitants of Pompeii trapped under lava during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79.

Archival fragments and memories are interpreted and reactivated by the bodies and voices of both performers and participants through in situ research, movement workshops, community gatherings — a continuum in which the past becomes tangible and the present can be reimagined. The layers of our artistic practices will come together in an audio-visual installation that will be systematically activated through performances at /SAC and in various spaces of the Malmaison building, as of 27 October.

In September we invite you to The National Center for Dance Bucharest (CNDB) to explore with us different facets of the possible relationship between the living body and the archival image. Under the title ‘Embodying Archives’, you can participate in

  • Presentations & open talks cu publicul which approaches the topic from the different perspectives of the visual artist, of the dancer-choreographer, and of the researcher of the dance archives; the speakers are Ioana Marinescu (RO/UK), Hanna Gillgren (SE/UK) and Corina Cimpoieru (RO)
    Friday, 16 September, 19:00-21:00 hrs (EET; UTC+02:00)
  • Movement workshop led by Hanna Gillgren (H2DANCE/Fest en Fest) in collaboration with Smaranda Găbudeanu (RO) and Iulia Mărăcine (RO) when we will explore what our bodies tell us about our personal memories and histories and we’ll look into the differences and commonalities between ‘moving’ and ‘static’ archives

Friday to Sunday, 16 to 18 September,  11:00-16:00 hrs (EET; UTC+02:00)

“Past Present. The archive and the body” is based on the doctoral research of Ioana Marinescu — the project’s visual artist and architect, artistic director — who brings to light the phenomenon of repressed, disappeared histories and displaced communities. The artistic process is developed together with Smaranda Găbudeanu (choreographer and performer, founder PETEC) and Iulia Mărăcine (dancer, co-founder Ludic Collective). The project is supported by Alex Radu (president of /SAC, executive director of Vellant publishing).

The project ‘Past Present. The Archive and the Body’ is co-produced by PETEC (Asociația Pentru Teatru și Carte) and /SAC @ MALMAISON (Spațiul de Artă Contemporană) in partnership with H2Dance (London),  CNDB (The National Center for Dance Bucharest), Beaconsfield (London), the community Cartierul Uranus, CESI (Centrul de Excelență în Studiul Imaginii), Radio România Cultural (Romanian Radio Broadcastig Corporation – Cultural National Channel), Igloo.

PETEC is an interdisciplinary platform for production, research and education in contemporary performing arts, with openness to related artistic, social and humanistic fields. PETEC’s productions start from the exploration of some awkward themes and performative languages, by which we test new methods and new forms of work each time. These experiments take shape in various performances, from contemporary dance and theater plays to performing performances in unconventional spaces.

/SAC @ MALMAISON functions / acts as a context-space of co-productions, research and collaborative and transdisciplinary practices in the visual, performing and scenic arts. It is located in a context-community – the Malmaison Studios (an artistic community that includes studios, project spaces and galleries) – recently founded in the Malmaison building. Located on Calea Plevnei, 137C, it has a history of almost two centuries.

The project is co-financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The project doesn’t necessarily represent the position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the project’s content or for how its results can be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the grant beneficiary.


Monica Bumbeș, public relations, PETEC – monica.bumbes@gmail.com, +40723330589