It’s a Friday night when we ride our bikes through the hazy orange lit Maastunnel. Our destination is at the other end of the tunnel at the very tip op Zuid – the Wolphaertsbocht. The area is a mixture of typical infamous Rotterdam Zuid elements and a new emerging art scene. We’re here for the latter. There is an opening of the exhibition Hubbub le Scope at Wolfart Projectspace. We seem to be the first visitors of the evening.
As we enter, we’re greeted by two girls living in the neighbourhood singing pop songs. The room is filled with real life glitch art and video screens projecting incoherent images. The exhibition is described as:
As light changes direction while passing from one medium to another, the exhibition aims to create refractions: Hubbub le Scope describes artists’ attempts of avoiding established correlations, specifically those resulting from the dissonance between what is real and what has been manipulated.
Hubbub Le Scope promo-image via
Oana welcomes us with a beer and starts telling: ‘The concept for my part of this expo comes from Kurt Vonnegut’s book Player Piano. This book is about a near future society where almost all labour is done by machines, machines replacing humans and taking their work.’
Anthropolabour, animated GIF featured at the Hubbub Le Scope exhibition. GIF via
There are four tablets at the expo with Oana’s work. Three of those portray different GIFs chaotically looping together. These artworks look at first sight like they’re the result of the Google inquiry ‘ancient gifs.’ But there’s definitely work and thought behind them. The flashing images loop into an endlessness. Thinking about Vonnegut’s original themes, it’s quite appropriate that Oana used ‘simple’ images and never-ending loops. Seemingly random, but composed for the machinely & droney effects.
Is it dystopian?
‘That’s for the audience to decide.’
One of Oana’s artworks at the expo
Oana’s fourth work is different than the others. It is a text from Player Piano, visible on a tablet. Multiple words are written in blue. When you press those words, you can replace them with different GIFs. Oana plays with the ever-changing meaning of words and images in this artwork.
All the GIFs and the interactive piece Oana used for these artworks are from a project she has done with a friend of her in Vancouver. Oana was last summer there for a trio exhibition. Now they want to do at least on expo together a year, anywhere in the world.
Illustration the cover of Vlad Pascanu’s phd book ‘Catalytic Processes Mediated by Metal–Organic Frameworks’. Image via
The expo we’re at isn’t just a solo by Oana, also Mihai Gui, Lavinia Xausa and Nikos Kostopoulos have their work on display. It’s Lavinia’s birthday. We sing, there’s cake and beer. There’s a good vibe, this evening is fun.
Artwork at the expo by Nikos Kostopulous
What about the artwork you’ve made for us? What’s the concept behind it?
‘Rotterdam is becoming very cool,’ she explains. ‘That’s why I’ve put the eyes in. The rest of the images are all inspired by Rotterdam and its icons.’
Is it about surveillance?
‘That’s a fact which is intertwined with it. Everything is public nowadays, all that info is used for promoting to sell more. Moreover, privacy seems to decline more and all data gathered is used in the development of the ‘smart city’, a direction where Rotterdam seems to be pushed in. This is by the way not specific for Rotterdam.’
Artwork made by Oana Clitan for Rotterdam Art and Radio. Image via
Which technique did you use?
‘I’ve found all the images online at random places. I usually use stock images and work with clichés. After I select the images I merge them together. For this piece of work I used all Rotterdam clichés on purpose.’
Oana in front of one of her artworks
What do you think about Rotterdam?
‘I think Rotterdam is not pretty, it’s no theme park and I like that. There’s a lot of concrete, but it’s still very lively. It’s cool.’
What places do you like to go?
‘Ha, there are a lot of places where I like to go out. WORM or café De Schouw at the other side of the street. I like BAR and Bird for the parties and I like going to concerts. Café De Bel is also a good place to go, because you always meet familiar people. I like Rotterdam because it’s small enough to be ‘cozy’ and be comfortable, but big enough to have all different resources at hand.’
Artwork made by Oana Clitan for Forage Press. Image via
One last question. What’s the best of Dutch cuisine?
Thank you very much Oana, we’re looking forward to your next expo!
05-01-2017 pictures by Jolanda, images by Oana and text by Wouter