Displayed at MNAC in the exhibition "Moduri de a construi" [Ways to build], the installation Corespondențe [Correspondences] by artist Liliana Mercioiu-Popa is the map of some blood vessels in the human body, made of branches of Salix Tortuosa. In this way, the artist reflects on the irrelevance of the borderline between the human body and the natural world, a physical truth demonstrated at a micro level, which contradicts the common perception of clear delimitations.

"Sadly, recent events make it obvious that a «natural» phenomenon such as COVID-19 can become laden with political importance. These zoonotic leaps of viruses from animals to people, which have become more and more frequent in recent decades, happen due to the intrusion of industry in natural habitats and to the introduction of wild species into the food chains of the consumer society. Of course, the cultural underlayer of culinary customs plays an important role in this." (Liliana Mercioiu Popa)

Liliana Mercioiu Popa. Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC



The installation Vecinătate [Vicinity] by Liliana Mercioiu-Popa is made up of a metallic structure, normally used in constructions, which is put into relation with nursery-grown trees and mineral matter sound in the museum courtyard. The installation represents the visual and conceptual core of the exhibition "Moduri de a construi" [Ways to build] at MNAC and talks about the way people build in relation to nature. The installation also has a participative component: the trees have to be kept alive all through the exhibition.

"I started from the first impression I got of the area around the museum and I looked at the way in which people build at the incidence with nature. At MNAC one can see very clearly how certain types of human actions have a decisive impact on the environment. Some social slippages are also visible: exaggerated physical constructions and the natural habitat that develops unhindered in their vicinity.

Paradoxically, in this case it is nature that "affects" the human intervention. I was fascinated by the way in which the marble tiles on the steps at the entrance of the museum are dislodged by the force of primary forms of vegetation and by natural phenomena. It seems to me that this type of image somehow suggests the most pessimistic scenario of the ones circulating lately about this man-nature relationship: the probability that life on earth may regenerate in the future, in the absence of man." (Liliana Mercioiu Popa)

Liliana Mercioiu Popa. Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC

No name


Made up of several wooden frames put perpendicularly on the wall and set in balance through lateral tensions created by elastic cords, the installation is a kind of mirroring of the society, with all the constructs it creates for itself both collectively and individually. The antagonism of the relationships transcribed directly on the wall brings to attention the imbalance that threatens beyond the permanently tensioned balance.  

Liliana Mercioiu Popa. Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC

Gold sieve


Liliana Mercioiu Popa's Sita de aur [Gold sieve] is based on several paint strainers that look precious. It brings up some cultural core layers, such as the mythological one, (see the Golden Fleece), or colonial incursions and "gold rush".

The provenance and aspect of wool could in itself lead to a discussion of other possible layers: the condition of the Romanian shepherd (an emblematic character), the situation of the wool processing industry at present and the way in which certain natural "unprocessed" materials are rendered unrecognizable by the capitalist whirlwind and the evolution of things today.

Liliana Mercioiu Popa. Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC

Liliana Mercioiu Popa. Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC



In the work entitled Clasificări [Classifications], the artist Liliana Mercioiu Popa uses a fragment of a metal fire escape, which she sets horizontally over a rock which supports some vegetal life forms, as a symbol of the relation between human beings and the mineral and the vegetal. Two of the support legs of the ladder are shorter, and the difference in level is attenuated by stacks of paper sheets printed with excerpts from a dictionary, in which man declares his superiority over the other kingdoms.

The viewers are invited to discover all elements of this installation and to look for the sense of articulation in relation with their own presence.

"There are no hierarchies, and, despite what we think, from time to time we are brutally faced with the truth. We are but a link in a food chain: if we need proof, we need not look further than the current situation created by the «entity» COVID-19, an elementary form of existence - a pathogen dependent on other live cells - that holds absolute power over us." (Liliana Mercioiu Popa)

Living Quarters


Series of assemblages, recovered wall fragments, furniture and family photo frames, 150x100 cm, part from Common Space Exhibition, Art Encounters/ISHO, Timişoara

This ensemble of works is a symbolic reconstruction of the vibe of certain rooms within the living quarters - the dining rooms and the kitchen, using a repertoire of recovered materials that were part of such settings. These are the spaces where family members spend time together; as a rule, they bear the mark of a woman's involvement and devotion, trough activities which many times go without being visible or quantified as social contributions. 

In the extension of the body


Site-specific installation, various objects from the personal intimate space (part from Baroc Urban Exhibition, Art Museum from Timișoara)

This need to map the repertoire of surrounding objects, with which our body interacts over time, and of the sensations felt by these "touches", was motivated by the feeling that our attention tends to be increasingly connected with the "outside". Nothing seems to satisfy us anymore so we lose some of that intimacy with ourselves. This is also noticeable in our personal relationship with the objects that accumulate around us, as if between our skin and these forms appears an indistinct layer that restricts the true "touch".

No mirage?


Site-specific installation - Window and the natural light, existing ramp; an old map of the neighborhood, on the top of that, and one of the world, along the ramp, transposed in stencils; transparent platform, suspended, containing gel microspheres silicone; size 200 x 600 cm, h 250 cm (part from UNIVERSALLOWED Exhibition, curator Maria Orosan Telea, Batteries Factory Tower, with Avantpost)

A former battery factory with its history and abandoned objects, becomes a universe allowed, partially integrated in the artistic processuality by this work, during the "Universallowed" exhibition of the Avanpost Platform in Timişoara, for which it was created.

The work proposes a game of perception and understanding in relation with the multiple meanings of the word "mirage", the aim being to reflect on the immigration phenomenon, to which the work is visually referenced.

Under the direct influence of the public who can interact with the small spheres (which grow and float in a water film) they are spontaneously reconfigured into new community forms. The atmosphere created by this arrangement is meant to maintain the mirage idea needed for these reconfigurations.



Site-specific installation,Galateca Gallery, Bucharest

This project is an example of drawing which later became a site-specific installation and was also re-discussed through painting is what I grouped under the name Spaţiu medial [Medial space], irrespective of the ways of expression used.  



Installation by two-piece (re)write exhaust signals disposed one inside the exhibition, one at the way out; approx. dimensions 20 x 30 cm (work exposed in the dark during the Night of the Galleries, Exhibition Nightshiftt, Plan 0, Timişoara).

Starting from the almost identical appearance of two words - Exit and Exist, I set out to make a visual game, a sort of ophthalmic test of difference.

In the darkness offered by the concept of the exhibition, both as a means of expression in cooperation with the new technologies and as a subject of reflection, I propose to use an EXSIT visual / luminescence mark above the entry as a perfectly justified element in conditions of low visibility of a space closed, except that it will have an extra letter... The presentation of this will depend, in the first instance, on the perception of the viewer, and then, by referring to a similar indication elsewhere in the exhibition, discovering of the other signal - COEXIST, to be offered a further evidence of the work.

By the two signals the two EXSIT - COEXIST expressions, with the spatial distance between them, I wanted to provoke the creation of the connections and the sensations in this space, according to each viewer.

Coexistence is a choice in an immediate context, but from a larger perspective it's a fact that must automatically involve responsibility for the others. The too, coexistence and existence, are connected.

Liliana Mercioiu Popa.Methods of building (MNAC Bucharest, 06.02. - 03.05.2020) installation view
photo: © Serioja Bocsok / MNAC

Recent Culture


Site specific installation, overturned easel, debris, plant culture suggesting together all the meanings of the word culture in the dictionary, (part of the group exhibition Avantpost - Connection with the present, curators Nathalie Hoyos & Rainald Schumacher, Art Encounters Biennale Appearance and Essence, Memorial of the 1898 Revolution, Timişoara)

In spoken language, phonemes give words the opportunity to look for their meanings, sometimes revealing surprising analogies and interpretations. This is the case of the word "culture", which in Romanian has certain meanings when it is pronounced/written correctly - cultură (crystallization over time of all values of the humankind, care for harmonious physical development, crop production), and totally different ones when wrong spelling is employed intentionally, for instance cult ură (cult - exaggerated admiration for someone or something, and ură - hate, strong feeling of hostility).

The artwork bring in a context that talk about the recent history, the period after the revolution of '89 until now, visual references for the word "culture" (also meaning physical or plant culture), causing the public to observe and meditate on the interactions between them, but also on the "pronunciation / understanding" of the word in relation to this context.

Recontextualizing the work would bring with it a wider perspective on dehumanizing and polarizing constructs of cultural separations through which new borders have been fabricated.

What about you?2015

Public space installation, size 400 x 400 cm, exposed in the Art Encounters biennial -Appearance and Essence in the Artwork in Public Space section in 2015.

This artwork is meant to be an existential question. Rather than "signifying" something in a formal way, its aim is to challenge the viewer to perceive the meaning of the question itself. Its ambiguity can have a diverse impact: in front of it, one can stop and wonder about the sense each individual gives to their own existential journey.

For me it's an ars poetica work, the possibility of establishing a dialogue between art and public being essential for my approach.

The place where it was exhibited - Theresia Bastion, a landmark for the history of Timişoara, after architectural rehabilitation, it stands for valuing the past into the construction of the present. Another reason for choosing this particular place (a passageway) was my specific wish to facilitate/trigger reflexive dialogue with the passers-by. Through the question that it asks the public, it requires the continuation of the proposed discourse.



Modular installation of wooden frames and elastic cords, dimensions 80x80 x 500 cm / module(To consolidate, "to strengthen, to make more durable", where con- is a prefix meaning "together", contributing to noun formation; solidary - 1. Connected to someone or something with a shared responsibility and interest; 2. Connected, in a construction, to another piece or object.)

By means of the gesture multiplying a spatial construction, by now emblematic for a series of artworks in my portfolio, I wish to make a reference to the notion of abutment, in a symbolic gesture of solidarity/appreciation/support of the efforts made to carry out the project of this museum.

In a symbolic key, the spatially structured module I start from stands for the need to reach a state of balance, to shape up a positive environment, to set, at an individual level, a number of coordinates in the relationship with the outer world.

Shedding Light


Geometric wooden structures arranged spatially, varying sizes between 150 and 170 cm high and between 180 and 270 cm length

Starting from the projected shadow of a cube (geometric solid that defines a certain perfection), which varies depending on the different directions the light comes from, I want to highlight the degree of subjectivity/distortion that certain points of view have in relation to an essence (or concepts, ideologies in general).

By giving physical consistency to shadows at the level of three structural constructions (achieved by flattening and stretching the cubes until they become bi-dimensional) and by perceiving them simultaneously, I intend to convey how hard it is to capture essence in a certain shape.

This artwork is an attempt to give visual consistency to the fact that what we perceive can only be subjective/distorted. Essence will not have a precise shape, it eludes our eyes and all other organs of perception, and perhaps that is the reason why it does not belong to anybody in particular, but to us all, because it is ingrained in us in the form of aspiration, and each of us has a choice to make whether or not to follow the inner need to find it.