Nona Inescu


“Through my work, I hope to at least make a few people more sensible and aware of their surrounding environment and to look at nature in a non-anthropocentric way”

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

NI: I was born in Bucharest, Romania. I am currently based here. Somewhere between the age of 15 to 17, I started to do all sorts of visual experiments, a mix between digital collage, graphic design and fashion.


AT: When did it become serious?

NI: I could say that my art career started in the year 2015. I was in my last year of art studies and I was offered the opportunity to create my first solo exhibition, which took place during the same year, in October at Sabot Gallery in Cluj, Romania.


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

NI: Yes! I was always supported and encouraged to pursue this path by my partner, Vlad Nancǎ,  who is also an artist. I could say that Daria Dumitrescu, from Sabot Gallery, was among the first people to believe in me and later on, Giuseppe Alleruzzo from SpazioA who also had trust in me and in my work from the beginning of our collaboration. The list is longer, of course, but I see these people as fundamental pillars in my evolution as an artist.


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

NI: I always start by researching a particular subject matter. I look at science materials, art history, theory and literature. I tend to make a constellation of references, both visual and theoretical in relation to the particular element or topic that caught my attention and my curiosity. I gather all these materials. I see it as a learning process, in my own rhythm and on my own terms. During this time, the ideas for works are growing and aggregating. I finally think about what type of materials I could use and the ways in which I could turn these abstract ideas into real objects and environments. I could say that my art practice is interdisciplinary. I work with photography, objects, installations, and video, attempting to define contemporary relationships between the human body and its environment through the lens of posthumanism. Concepts of geological time and our intense interrelation with our surroundings compose an aesthetic of a primal contemporary togetherness in an organic and biological techno-sphere.

Waterlily Jaguar, exhibition view, courtesy SpazioA, Pistoia.

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

NI: Through my work, I hope to at least make a few people more sensible and aware of their surrounding environment and to look at nature in a non-anthropocentric way.


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

NI: I would love to say that I am a hands-on kind of artist, but I mostly work on my laptop. I use my phone a lot for snapshots, that become sort of sketches for future ideas and projects. At the moment, I am very much into metal works. I sometimes feel like a magpie, attracted to shiny, chrome-plated objects.


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

NI: I tend to think of artworks and exhibitions in a very photographic, 2D way. I start by envisioning  the ideal, final outcome and I try to find the best way to achieve that.


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

NI: I know right away. The closer the work is to what I’ve imagined it to be, the more certain I am that it’s ready.

Olev Subbi – Landscape from the End of Times group show curated by Àngels MiraldaExhibition / Exhibition view at Tallinn Art Hall / Photos by Camilla Maria Santini (SpazioA) and Paul Kuimet

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

NI: It’s hard to outline a single source for my inspiration. I like to see these things as sedimentary layers, piling up on top of each other: books that I read, places that I travel to, old museums, historical paintings, nature documentaries and all sorts of natural elements and phenomena, that I’ve encountered or not, all come together as a big sedimentary rock of inspiration.


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

NI: I very much admire the work of Rebecca Horn, Rosemarie Trockel, Pipilotti Rist, Birgit Jurgenssen and Ana Lupas. I don’t know if my work is influenced by them or not, but I’ve always resonated with their strong, feminist, political and poetical way of treating the human body.


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

NI: It is important. I feel like social media platforms become an essential part of making my work visible and more accessible, especially during these times when travelling to see exhibitions in person became a rare privilege. I also use social media platforms as a way to test things, to organize and crystalize ideas and get instant feedback.

Corporealle, exhibition view at Kuenstlerhaus Bremen, 2019

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

NI: In my view, the contemporary art system is a sort of lottery. It is not a fair system, it has its many advantages and disadvantages. I believe it’s important to be honest with yourself and others, to keep your head above water, in order to achieve anything within this system.


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?

NI: The most challenging thing: living with uncertainty, not knowing what will happen in the next months and years. The most rewarding: being able to survive by working as an artist and travelling to new and exciting places, in connection with my practice.


AT: What do you do besides art?

NI: It is a full-time job. However, I do enjoy cooking and try to get better and better at it.


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

NI: My main goal is to be able to continue doing what I am doing for the foreseeable future. I would like to develop my practice further, to be able to do more ambitious and complex projects and to stay motivated.

Vestigial Structures, 2018, single-channel HD video / Sound by Simina Oprescu / With the participation of Andrada Besliu / Camera: Tania Cucoreanu, Nona Inescu, Vlad Nanca / Text based on an extract from “A Land” by Jacquetta Hawkes / aprox. 6’30” / Produced with the support of Frac des Pays de la Loire
Nona Inescu (b. 1991) lives and works in Bucharest, Romania.

She completed her studies in the summer of 2016 at the National University of Arts in Bucharest (Photography and Video Department) after studying at the Chelsea College of Art & Design in London (2009-2010) and at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp (2010-2011). Her art practice is interdisciplinary and encompasses photographs, objects, installations and sometimes video works. Informed by theoretical and literary research, her works are centered on the relationship between the human body and the environment and the redefinition of the subject in a post-humanist key. Lately, she has been exploring the human interaction with natural and prehistoric elements.

Currently represented by SpazioA and Sabot.