Cristina David

*1979, Bucharest

Happy End for Herman

The Queen of Spades is a novel by Alexander Pushkin written in 1833 in which the author describes the obsession of Herman, an officer in the Imperial Russian army, for the secret about a gambling cards game called Faro.
The German officer succeeds to find an answer for a secure winning. He doesn't know the algorithm behind the solution that he found with the cost of a life, but Herman trusts the information and he proceed to try it in a real game. By a silly twist of events Herman looses at Faro. He goes mad and is committed to an asylum.

I disagree with this sad end of the novel. It is unfair. The officer was only surprised by the possibility of a gambling game to have something so sure as a 100% winning solution. It was not the greed that made him follow his plan, it was curiosity. Scientific curiosity, maybe fascination for the mathematic theory of probabilities.
That is why I prepared a card desk especially designed for Herman. He would not be able to loose now.
Three, seven and ace are the winning cards in the Queen of Spades novel.

In my Age Group
(2013, ongoing - A fresh started book collection)

In my age group is a subjective collection of books, mostly the last ones written by their authors. With two exceptions, they were all in their 30s when they passed away. When I started to collect and read these books I was curios to find out if there are any similarities, any common point, clichés such as a sort of exaggerate pathos or some sort of feeling of anxiety, since all of these writers decided to end their lives. Only some of the books have indeed a sort of pattern, for example the depression as a stable subject, but few are full of wit lines and even great humor that celebrate life rather than undervalue it.

My approach may seem morbid, but that was not at all my intention. The one single biographical common element that connects the authors it was not the goal, but just a starting point. Biography of the writer and literature sometimes match, sometimes the second is mostly fictional. Just as any art piece, the artist may decide how much wants to delimitate the creative process from personal life.


Better, by John O'Brien
The Godwits Fly, by Robin Hyde
A Fool's Life, by Ryunosuke Akutagawa
The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
Chess- A Novel, by Stefan Zweig
The Satyricon, by Petronius Arbiter
A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
Die stille Gewalt der Träume, by K. Sello Duiker
El diario de Geza Csath / Diary of Geza Csath, by Géza Csáth
Murder, by Danielle Collobert
Doctor Dare: Spear of Destiny v. 1, by George Caragonne
Le roman cassé et derniers écrits, by René Crevel
A Gent from Bear Creek And Other Tales, by Robert, E. Howard
Notre besoin de consolation est impossible à rassasier, by Stig Dagerman, Philippe Bouquet
La Déchéance d'un homme, by Dazaï Osamu
Billedpistolen, by Michael Strunge

We seek ourselves on horizontally

First letter- a postcard:

hour 23:19, Vatra Dornei

My dear,

I hope my letter finds you well and fulfilled, just as I felt you at our last meeting. I told you already but I repeat myself, the ceremony of you becoming a monk was moving, I was happy to see you so calm on your choice (n.t. of becoming a monk).
What has changed since you became Isaiah, the monk? You must do heavier works at the monastery?

I promised that I write you from the trip and I keep my word.

We are already the fourth day of the tour, we checked Vatra Dornei. Yesterday we slept in Baia Mare, where we visited the city museum of mineralogy.

I send you a postcard with a quartz, maybe the time at monastery will pass differently if you have a picture of the crystal that has one of the most stable electron frequency.
Tonight I discovered Radautean soup. You should try it, I tell you the recipe next time we meet, maybe you will surprise your brothers from the monastery, that is if you are not fasting all the time.

We have 3 more days, with sleeping in Suceava and Izvorul Muresului. We' ll visit many monasteries, I'll take many pictures to show you.

I hope to see you soon!

Plenty of health for you,

Second letter- the answer:
My dear cousin,

With great joy I received your letter. I want to be for 40 days in isolation from people and events, in uninterrupted silence, to pray and to meditate on all that happened.
The abbot, in his mercy, aloud me to answer your letter on one condition: to be a short answer.
I know you are not close to faith and the Holy Church, but I would like you to visit me and us to chat like we used to do whenever we met on vacation at grandma's. Thank you for the quartz picture.
I see you still seek yourself on horizontally with all your globetrotters, so come along as well to visit me, maybe you will find a piece of yourself here.

God help us!

Your humble Isaiah- September 15, 2012

(2013 - 154 x 21cm - unique edition + 1 artist proof)

My personal statistics based on an experience of living in a collective for 2 months
(July – August 2013)

I learned 34 new words in French, 2 words in Slovakian, 2 in Polish.

I repeated 87 times the 3 words I knew in Hungarian.

I ate

- 54 breakfast meals;
- 41 lunch meals;
- 52 dinner meals.

I took 56 showers.

I lived in 7 rooms.

I talked to 76 people I didn't know before

- with 21 people I had pleasant conversations;
- 6 people made me angry;
- with 3 people I had conversations that made me smarter.

I laughed 100 times, only 2 persons made me laugh in the therapeutic sense of laughing.

I saw 11 new movies.

I read 3 books.

I swam in a swimming pool 7 times.

I was all alone in a semi-Olympic swimming pool 4 times.

I cried 3 times, for 3 different reasons:

- first time out of pity;
- the second time out of disappointment caused by someone dear to me;
- the third time because of a lie.

I fell in love 2 times, I fell out of love 1 time.

I listened to music I didn't want to listen to for 34 times.

I got lost 1 time in the mountains, 2 times in the city.

I wrote 30 txt messages.

I watched TV 5 times.

I took 14 pictures.

I filmed 2 hours of raw material.

I got melancholic 8 times.

I used 7 rolls of toilet paper.

I fixed my watch 5 times.

I envied 3 people.

I said the “F” word 53 times.

I crossed 7 bridges.

I lost 1 thing.

I got sick 2 times.

I was alone for 50 hours.

I drank 6 coffee cups.

I though of committing murder 1 time.

I wrote my full name 9 times.

I still have 10 fingers on my hands.

I smoked 1 cigarette.

I got soaked by rain 5 times.

I opened a window for 48 times.

I closed a window for 20 times.

I saw 87 different cloud shapes.

I felt ashamed 3 times.

I washed my clothes 7 times.

I talked with 4 police people.

One bird shit on me.

I built one nonfunctional mini-wagon.

I had 6 different currencies in my wallet.

I saw 13 excavators.

I flew once.

I drank 36 litters of water.

I imagined 5 people falling down from a tall building.

I bought 2 identical dresses.

I throw 3 times garbage on the floor.

I met one perfect couple.

I biked 3 times.

I was afraid one time.

I visited 2 libraries.

3 boys made me start liking mustaches.

I wrote/ said “I” for 489 times.

(site specific installation)

Libraries - project

libraries - element 1

Libraries - element 2

libraries - element 3

2005- 2007 : MFA from the Art Academy Of Bergen, Norway
2000- 2004 : BFA Foto-Video Department, National University of Arts of Bucharest, Romania 1998- 2000 : Faculty of Mathematics, University of Bucharest, Romania

Solo Exhibitions:
2014 : 14.53% of the Story I never Tell - amt _ project (Bratislava)
2013 : The Quarter of the Story I never tell - Futura Gallery (Prague) curator: Michal Novotny 2012 : Third of the Story I never Tell - Ivan Gallery (Bucharest)
2010 : Half the Story I Never Tell – Kurant Gallery (Tromsø) curator: Kåre Grundvåg
The Wrong Version of the Story- Kulturamt (Dusseldorf) curator: Michael Voets 2007 : Tingvoll Kunsthall (Tingvoll) curator : Paolo Manfredi
2003 : Size Doesn't Matter- Gallery Atelier 35 (Bucharest) curator: Alina Serban

Selected Group Exhibitions:
2014 : SenzArt – National Museum of Contemporary Art (Bucharest)
2013 : 1813. Siege, fire and reconstruction of San Sebastian, San Telmo Museum and Donostia San Sebastian ( San Sebastian), curator: Pedro G. Romero/ Archivo F.X.
Involuntary Memory- The University of California Irvine University Art Galley/Room (UAG/R), curators: Allyson Unzicker (Los Angeles)
2012 : Plug to Nature. National Library (Bucharest), curator: Alina Serban
Cage100: Opening Spaces for Action- Galerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst Leipzig,
curator: Franciska Zolyom
Global without Globalization: From Mathematics until China - Salonul de proiecte (Bucharest) curators:Alexandra Croitoru, Magda Radu
Objects and disintegration- Gdanska Galeria Miejska 2 (Gdansk) curator: Patrycja Rylko Eleventh Hour - Futura gallery (Prague) curator: Michal Novotny
The Discovery of Slowness- Tabaka (Kosice) curators: Dorota Kenderova, Jaro Varga
2011 : Dump Time. For a Practice of Horizontality-Shedhalle (Zurich) curators: Anke Hoffmann, Yvonne Volkart
No One Should Call You a Dreamer- Gallery F15 (Moss) curator: Kjersti Solbakken 2010 : Manifesta8, Contemporary Art Biennial (Murcia, Cartagena) curators:
Monument to Transformation- Montehermoso Art Space (Vitoria) curators: Vit Havranek, Zbynek
2009 : Good times/ Bad times – Futura Gallery (Prague)
2008 : Norwegianess – Nils Aas Kunstverksted (Straumen) curator: NOR group
Transreport, Rathaus Galeriet (Munich, Sibiu)
Arrivals/ Departures, KMR (Molde) curator: Paolo Manfredi Vestlandsutstillingen08 (main cites of the West coast of Norway) curator: Oestein Hauge
2007 : Points de vue - ICR (Paris) curator: Alina Serban Artism- MA exhibition, Kunsthall (Bergen)
2006 : Blind Date- Kiasma, Museum of Contemporary Art of Finland (Helsinki) The Great Fall, Nod Gallery (Prague) curator: Members Club
2005 : Motion Parade, Fotogaleriet Wien (Wien) curator: Alina Serban Necc Kogard Gallery (Budapest)
2004 : AoRTa Gallery (Chisinau)
Gallery NOVA-Speak up! Workshop initiated by Mika Hannula (Zagreb) 2003 : Portofolios Review, Gallery “Galeria Noua” (Bucharest)
2001 : The studio of Contemporary Art TOACA (Bucharest)

Selected Film Festivals:
2010 : Video Biennial (Tel Aviv)
2009 : Emergeandsee (Berlin)
2008 : Alternative Film/ Video (Belgrade)
2007 : Portobello film festival- side prog. from Terminal00 festival 2005 (London) 2006 : Alternative Film/ Video (Belgrade)
2005 : OffSET, National Museum of Contemporary Art (Bucharest)
Terminal00 Balkan Art Festival (Ljubljana) 2004 : Brazilian Student Film Festival (Rio de Janeiro)
The Ideal Festival (Pancevo)
2003 : The International Film Festival from Gyor (Gyor)
2002 : The International Film Festival “Cinemaiubit” (Bucharest) 2001 : Studentfest(Timisoara)

Video Screenings:
2007 : Pocket Revolutions- video program initiated by the Romanian cultural Institut (Poland) 2006 : Regarding Others-side prog. Momentum 2006, Contemporary Bienal of Norway Video show gallery Barutanu (Osijek) curator: Ron Sluik
2003 : Periferic- Romanian Contemporary Art Biennal- side program (Iasi)

Selected Residencies& Awards :
2014 : 2 months full residency at contamporary art organization (Iasi)
2012 : 2 months full residency at 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, California
2011: amongst the five FINALISTS nominated for the Henkel Art.Award.2011
WINNER of Henkel Art Award -Romania
artist in residency in MoKS, the Center for Arts and Social Practice in Mooste, Estonia. collaborative project with Matthias Neumann, architect& artist (based in NY) residency in HIT gallery from Bratislava, Slovakia.
2009 : Sinaia, Centrul European de Cultura, full residency 1 month.
2008 : STIPENDIATUM OF KULTURREFERAT, full residency 4 months in Villa Waldberta, Feldafing. 2007 : ALTERNATIVE FILM/ VIDEO 2006 (Belgrade)- First Prize : one month residency at the AFC (the Academic Film Centre) and the right to realize a new film/ video produced by the AFC with full use of all production facilities and technical equipment
2006 : UNESCO- ASCHBERG full residency 2 months at Projecto/ Bienal de Cerveira, Portugal 2006 : Winner of BKH stipend for MFA students in Norway
2005 : FULL SCHOLARSHIP for 2 years Master at the Art Academy of Bergen.
2005 : TERMINAL00 BALKAN ART FESTIVAL (Ljubljana)- second prize.

14.53% of the story i never tell 7 Nov 2014 - 27 Dec 2014