Flavia Albu


“I am interested in the generation and the articulation of an image; contextually and, eventually, in the relation between intention and randomness”

AT: Where are you from and how/why did you start engaging with art?

FA: I was born in Romania, but I’ve always lived in Italy. I started engaging with art when I started the Academy of Arts. In the beginning, it was a temporary choice; I told myself: for the next 5 years I will be dealing with visual arts; after that who knows.I thought it was a valid and interesting field of study, that went far beyond the attitude I’ve always had towards drawing. I didn’t begin with the idea of becoming necessarily an artist.


AT: When did it become serious?

FA: I still don’t know if it’s serious (laughs). I’m joking. Maybe when I started getting confirmation from others/ from other people.


AT: Are there any person who has been significant in your breakthrough as an artist?

FA: Several people… Professors, friends and artists I work with; moreover, surely those who invested in my work.


AT: What is your first approach to the work? How would you describe your practice?

FA: I believe that any work begins by asking questions and by following needs. So, I usually start choosing elements already significant in some ways, that interest me and, then, I interact whit them in various ways, trying to read the meaning of my own actions. For example, I choose a drape because it reminds me the painting canvas or a curtain; I also choose these elements in their symbolic value; I drop the drape, I model its volutes, etc. In doing so, I discover that I’m working with a pictorial subject, the fallen drape, and I wonder about the circularity between staging and accidentality, I reflect on how an image emerges.

Fallen drape, 2020, Silk fabric, variable dimension | “Filters” exhibition view Dimora Artica, Milano.

AT: What do you aim to reach with your work?

FA: I am interested in the generation and the articulation of an image; contextually and, eventually, in the relation between intention and randomness.


AT: What are your favourite tools and materials for working?

FA: I have worked plenty with oil painting, but I’m also dealing with installations, videos, performances: until now I have also used silk, cellophane, fibers…


AT: What do you feel while you work? Do you usually think about the final outcome beforehand?

FA: I have different feelings when I work, when I begin I don’t know always what the result will be.


AT: How do you understand that a work is finished?

FA: When it doesn’t show off any deviations or surpluses according to its own economy of sense.

Untitled, 2019, Oil on canvas, 150×100 cm | “Filters” exhibition view Dimora Artica, Milano.
Untitled, 2019, Oil on canvas, 150×100 cm | “Filters” exhibition view Dimora Artica, Milano.

AT: Where does the inspiration for the work come from?

FA: Research, study and comparison are important, as well as putting yourself in the condition of working and being receptive.


AT: Are there any artists who influenced your works? Why?

FA: Every one of them, in one way or another. During the first years of the Academy, I believe Gerhard Richter probably influenced me, also for his reflections on willingness and fatality…


AT: How important is the role of social media for you?

FA: I gladly use Instagram, it allows me to discover and follow the work of artists, friends and spaces everywhere. Obviously, it’s interesting how this tools affects the artistic experience; for example, I am thinking about the flow of the images of Anne Imhof’s performance, during the penultimate Biennale or about collective exhibitions on Instagram…

Flag, 2020, Video HD, 30’ | “Filters” exhibition view Dimora Artica, Milano.

AT: As an artist, what is your point of view about the contemporary art system?

FA: I don’t think much about the “system” and I didn’t substantiate it; I don’t give it a shape, in order to talk about it as a defined entity. We all have responsibilities and we are the system. I think it’s dynamic and plural.


AT: What do you find to be the most challenging or daunting thing about pursuing art What is the most rewarding part of working as an artist?

FA: The most gratifying thing is the evolution of my work and this is also the result of collaborations
and relationships with people I consider smart, open; interlocutors I could not do without.


AT: What do you do besides art?

FA: Other temporary jobs, in the Academy and in the artistic field.


AT: What are your goals and expectations for the future?

FA: At the moment, getting out of the pandemic.

Untitled (detail), 2020, Pvc, iron, steel, 350cm (length) | “Filters” exhibition view Dimora Artica, Milano.
Flavia Albu (b. 1991) is a Romanian visual artist currently living and working in Milan, Italy.

"Her research is an interrogation on vision, we could say paraphrasing Emilio Garroni, it is a 'look inside a filter from inside the filter'. Both whether it is a pictorial work or an environmental and performing intervention it seems that the question posed relates to circumscribing a place where something happens. Albu's gaze and her 'veil delimit the continuum of things, identify a portion that identify a portion that oscillates between a seeing through and a seeing in front of, the veil modifies its opacity, sometimes becoming a filter that reveals and sometimes a curtain that announces a theatricalization of the experience. This announces a theatricalization of experience" (Teresa Iaria).