Blocks of Flats by Mihai Rotaru

20:00 Tue. 18/07

Artichoke Coffee Shop, Calea Victoriei 45, Bucharest, Romania


ARTICHOKE hosts all sort of different exhibitions and now it's Mihai's turn to take over our walls.
Come by on Tuesday to meet him, our gang and the cool guy at Berero Store.
Yup, we'll give some free beers away.


Starting from the ‘60s, large collective housing units were added to the Romania’s urban landscape. In agreement with Communist propaganda, the flats have been designed following Soviet models and their purpose was to host as many people as they could. Built from prefab concrete elements, the buildings have been criticised over time for their repetition and dullness in regard to architectural expression.

Nowadays, housing blocks are refurbished during thermal rehabilitation and receive new bright colors on facades while ignoring their previous appearance. The grey blocks are colourfully painted in an attempt to add more personality. The styrofoam and flashy plaster look like a heavy make up while the flats preserve their low comfort.

Inspired by street front studies used in urban planning, the photographs illustrate street segments. Buildings are sticked together in a montage which recomposes the image of the large housing units. The result shows the uniformity of life the new man was forced to live. Similar to a visual remix, more and more elements arise today overcrowding and changing the landscape in a continuous attempt of the contemporary man to constantly adapt to new living situations.


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