on off structures – a perspective. // drawing a parallel between trees and people, fences and national borders //
In on off structures Vlad Brăteanu’s works, in photography, found objects and sound, open a multisided consideration of
confrontations with limitations. What structures do oțetarii encounter? Who shapes whom in the crossing?
What are the strategies in the face of obstacles?
The Ailanthus altissima follows a natural calling, the light, and steadily strives towards its goal. Never minding the fence in its way, it develops different strategies to overcome and resist.
Some trees pass at one point, some branches weave back and forth between the property lines, others sneak seeds or sprouts to “the other side”.
As the branches and trunks thicken over the years, the fences are swallowed and integrated, embodied, by the tree.
But how is the one side of the fence different to the other side?
While Bucharest’s trees of heaven negotiate private and public spaces, human border-crossers deal with the coincidence of their birthplace on this or that side of a fence. Each border ranges in permeability. And each place of birth comes with different given factors: different degrees of freedom of movement, varying financial and educational opportunities, more or less (human) rights.
text by Hannah Bartels