How Sebastian Moldovan grew a garden in the gallery’s basement

22 October 2021

It is, probably, the greatest surprise in the exhibition Spacetime’s a Wastin’. Tucked away in the deepest part of the gallery’s basement, the garden grew entirely on site – from the delicate beanstalks to the thriving monstera. As this timelapse video by Sebastian Moldovan shows, the artist nurtured a living organism in a built environment, thus pointing towards the interrelations between people, plants, objects and technologies.

Sebastian Moldovan, Shrine #6, Gaep, 2021

Sebastian Moldovan has been introducing plants in his exhibition venues since 2007. Such irruptions of the elemental into a gallery setting create a space for interaction and direct experiences.

For him, nature is both a medium and a topic. He is captivated by the fact that the seed of a plant gathers all the information and the matter needed to ensure the conservation of the species, and that this physical body reduced to the minimum can reach any place, any time.

The solo exhibition at Gaep (11 September – 6 November 2021) provided him with the opportunity to grow a garden in situ for more than the usual ten days. Nourished by water, artificial light and ventilation for almost two months ahead of the opening, the garden-installation, titled Shrine #6, continues its life during the show.

Instead of using customary grow lights, the artist put the plants in Shrine #6 under LED spotlights specific for art galleries. But although his garden enjoys the art treatment, its life cycle will differ from the one of most artworks. At the end of the exhibition (November 6, 1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., 50 Plantelor Street), visitors are invited to take the plants and replant them wherever they choose. 

Sebastian Moldovan (b. 1982, lives and works in Bucharest) studied Painting at the University of Art and Design in Cluj. His work has been exhibited at Rezidența BRD Scena9 (Bucharest, Romania, 2020), Art Encounters Biennale (Timișoara, Romania, 2017), Georgian National Museum (Tbilisi, Georgia, 2016), and the 55th Venice Biennale (New Gallery of I.R.C.R.U., Venice, Italy, 2013), among other places. Spacetime’s a Wastin’ is his third solo exhibition at Gaep, following The Uncanny Within (2017) and / and / You Never Know What’s Off (2015).

The project Spacetime’s a Wastin’ is co-financed by Bucharest Municipality through ARCUB as part of the program București – Oraș deschis 2021. With the support of: COS Corporate Office Solutions, Signify, KLG Romania. Media partners: Observator cultural, Radio România Cultural, IQads, Designist

The content of this webpage does not necessarily reflect the official position of Bucharest Municipality or ARCUB.

Images: Sebastian Moldovan, Shrine #6, 2021, wooden and metal structure, timers, containers, fan, soil, lights, monstera, ferns, various beans