29 Aug. – 3 Oct. 2020


Trieste, Italy
Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Târgu-Mureș, Romania


Departures From The Sphere represents a series of events that took place online and offline, part of the BOTH WAYS project – a contemporary art exhibition that contributed, within the Science in the City Festival, to the edition of the EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF2020) in Trieste. 

Departures from the Sphere comprised three physical locations – first, the exhibition in Trieste, Italy, then the exhibition moved in Cluj-Napoca and a satellite exhibition in Târgu-Mureș, Romania with the focus on one single artist – one virtual exhibition, and an online talk between artists and scientists.

It was a European co-production project, that Trieste Contemporanea initiated  in March 2019 in partnership with the Central European Initiative (CEI) and the Trieste International Foundation for Progress and Freedom of Sciences (FIT), and proposed to a group of art and science institutions in Croatia, Hungary, Italy, Romania and Serbia, with the aim of bringing into dialogue the positions and specific ways of producing knowledge of art and science.

BOTH WAYS was a physically polycentric exhibition (held in 5 European locations, with headquarters in Trieste), with a replicated and extended online exhibition. The aim of this project was to bring into dialogue the positions and specific ways of producing knowledge of art and science.


The BOTH WAYS exhibition opened on August 29 at Magazzino 27, in Porto Vecchio in Trieste: this was the center that collected the experiences of the entire BOTH WAYS project and brought together 27 artists. These were the representatives of the BOTH WAYS series of exhibitions and activities that took place in parallel, in temporary satellite locations, including Romania: in Cluj-Napoca and Târgu Mureș.

The Romanian artists presented in Trieste were the following: Floriama Cândea, George Crângașu, Sorin Neamțu, Mihai Plătică, Laurențiu Ruță, Catrinel Săbăciag and Ioana Vreme Moser.

Departures from the Sphere exhibition in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, that took place between September 17 – October 3, introduced the works previously shown in Magazzino 27, in a unique architectural setting, a beautiful room of the Franciscan Church. Such a recontextualization played with the interactions of contemplative and innovative thinking and with the different meanings of the cosmic space.

The exhibition presented a selection of 8 Romanian artists of different generations and expressive languages, ranging from photography, drawing and sculpture, to video and installation. It made use of multiple, unconventional media, such as anachronous circuitry and biological materials. The works’ point of departure was primarily the artistic experiment, resulting in different situations of interaction that allow the viewer to recreate the mesmerizing quality lived by the artist/ researcher in the moment of discovery.

The correlation of artistic practice with scientific principle is driven by interests in perception, movement and (physical) phenomena, the static and moving image, and for the transformation of shapes in their transition from the plane to three-dimensional  space. Moreover, they are kindled by fascination with outer space, archaeological research, the history of science or NASA’s discoveries among others. Depending on the type of intervention, the sphere, an iconic element of the Universe, appears in different variations of its perfect form.

The creative universe that emerges reflects the search for a connection between self and the world, between the inner and the cosmic space, revealing an attraction towards a metaphysical harmony and an idealized, atemporal perception of space. The indissoluble bond between the inner and the outer world occurs through conceptual links and ideas orbiting around a mostly invisible, but felt and sublimated human presence.

Utopian objects, nocturnal creatures, piezoelectric vibrations, ghostly vegetation, mesmerizing landscapes and symbolic representations inhabit a territory where utopian conceptions of space contrast sharply with the apocalyptic images that currently flood our earthly, isolated lives.

Artists and Artworks

Floriama Cândea


2020, 5’1”, fullHD video


2020, 28x40x28 cm, decellularized biological tissue, silicon objects, izopropil alkohol

Ghost tissues, white and transparent, move to the pulsatory rhythm of the artist’s heartbeat. A result of the biomedical process of decellularization, the plant scaffold, comprising various parts/organs of several species of plants (leaves, roots, flowers), and the silicone implants follow a motion generated by micro vibration motors that link plant and body. A metaphor for a world of no gender and no species, a territory of substitute objects, reflecting a vision of our declining biodiversity, Flesh-Forward calls for a reconstruction of identity. As Floriama Cândea’s work may trigger questions about the biological unity and the integrity of matter, it also unravels a different kind of bond, that between artist and her work.  

Floriama Cândea (b. 1984) is based in Bucharest. She completed her M.A. at the Center of Excellence in Image Studies in 2016 and holds a BA from the National University of Arts, Bucharest. 

New means of expression as well as unconventional materials are constantly expanding her use of mixed media techniques. Drawing, painting, photographic or printed image transfer, kombucha film or found objects are interlaced on canvases or biological materials.

George Crîngașu

Cracked Orb

2017, 50×60 cm, print on French mulberry silk.

Rich in iconographic and symbolic references to art history, George Crîngașu’s work alters, breaks down and re-contextualizes various elements and quotations from historical paintings and sculptures. Having spent some of his teenage years roaming the streets of Rome, the repertoire of images gathered allows him to fuse ‘classic’ art historical reference and digital art. Such entwined timelines seamlessly blend notions of time (past, present, future) that kindles a bizarre, atemporal quality of much of our current, digitalized lives. Cracked Orb shows Hermes guided by an external, godlike force as he begins to transfer his skin of oceans and continents on the glass sphere, bridging the two realms of gods and humanity.

George Crîngașu (b. 1988) lives and works between Rome, Italy and Cluj-Napoca, Romania. His practice focuses on data de/re-contextualization, with work ranging from installation and video to print and painting. The artist’s work has been exhibited in venues such as: Nicodim Gallery, Bucharest; Art Encounters Biennial, Timișoara; Athens Digital Art Festival, Greece; Liste Art Fair, Basel. 

George Crîngașu’s work ranges from installation to animated gifs, and it is mostly comprised of 2D and 3D compositions built on freely available content found rummaging through various corners of the internet.

Horia Damian


1953, 17.5 x 29.4 cm, mixed media on paper


1952, 21 x 30.5 cm, mixed media on paper


1953, 42 x 47.5 cm, mixed media on paper

Selected from a substantial collection of drawings created in the 1950s, the three works by Horia Damian are symptomatic of his preoccupation with craftsmanship and materials, as well as his conceptual approach towards drawing and painting. These compositions delicately depict essential, structural elements such as circles and spheres, recurrent throughout his practice. The subtle use of geometry and symbolic shapes in his works act as „a spatial alchemy.” In search for a mystical harmony, Damian’s an ideal, atemporal, even sacred spatiality touches upon a utopian idea of space. 

Horia Damian (b. 1922, Bucharest – d. 2012, Paris) had his first personal exhibitions in Bucharest, before settling to Paris in 1946. He had encounters and collaborated with artists like Fernard Leger (with whom he studied), Constantin Brancusi, Auguste Herbin, Saldavor Dali, and Ives Klein. 

Selected exhibitions include: Plan B, Berlin (2014); The National Museum of Art, Bucharest (2009); Musée Fabre, Montpellier (2007); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2002; 1980); The Venice Biennale (1993; 1942); Documenta IX, Kassel (1992); Grand Palais, Paris (1983); The Guggenheim Museum, New York (1976); Museum of Modern Art, Rio de Janeiro (1975); Neue Galerie, Aachen (1974); Musee d‘Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1972); Museum of Modern Art, New York (1962); Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (1962); Bridgestone Museum, Tokyo (1957); Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (1957).

Sorin Neamțu

Almost Chair

2012, 80x40x40 cm, ed. 2+1 ap, polished steel.

Action with Almost Chair

2012, 65.4x50cm, lambda print, 3+2AP edition

Retopit |ˈretəʊpɪtˈ|

2012, 2’56”, fullHD video, edition 3+2AP

Preoccupied with the way an image is born, it’s appearance, and the relationship between the moving and the static image, Sorin Neamțu’s three iterations of the same object in different states and mediums, attempt to circumscribe a certain interval of time, one that is essential in understanding the relationship between the object, the maker/author and public/user. Almost chair is part of a series of utopian objects, of which Sorin writes:  

„A utopia sadly always fails. Therefore I am constructing objects that have betrayed me. I push the very meaning of common functional objects to their very limits resulting in absurd, meaningless functions. […] As I wear my body by necessity I try to transfer thoughts towards these almost objects, into an artistic, always dilemmatic, approach. I am trying to isolate the intermediate nature, carrying my almost chair lifted, fighting against the unstable point of my sphere.”

Sorin Neamțu (b.1977) lives and works in Arad and Cluj-Napoca. He studied painting at The University of Timişoara (MA 2004-2006, BA 1999-2004) and Computer Science at Polytechnic University of Timișoara (1995-2001). Since 2012, he is co-founder and director of Baril Gallery, Cluj. Selected exhibitions include: Neutrasomni, MNAC, Bucharest, RO (2019), De Rerum Natura, Media Art Festival, Arad, RO (2018), Double Head Matches, New Gallery, Budapest, HU(2018), The subject. Edges and bounds, AMT Project, Bratislava, SK (2016), Examples for non-universal chair, Magma Contemporary Medium, Sf. Gheorghe, RO (2015) , Radicalm, 12-14 Schleifmühlgasse Gallery, Wien, AT (2013, Retopit [Remelted], Baril, Cluj, RO (2012).

Mihai Plătică

Moonlight Matters

2018, 33,2 x 23,2 cm, inkjet print

Space Map

2019,  36 x 24 x 21cm, 15kg, resin

Signed Signature

2011, 86 x 44,5cm, poster

Solar luminosity

2018, 60 x 15 cm, neon

Mofette 2

2017, 45 x 60 cm, inkjet print

Selected from a body of work based upon Mihai Plătică’s fascination with space, archaeological research or to the study of NASA’s discoveries, the works on display encompass a few knots in the configuration of a personal, creative universe. Here, telluric and cosmic ideas of space are bound through conceptual and formal studies of gravity, electromagnetic fields, moffets, solar luminosity and cosmological maps. At closer look, meaningful connections unfold between a micro and macrocosm, self and the world, as well as family history and the history of science. 

Mihai Plătică (Born in1983, Brașov, România) lives and works in Cluj-Napoca. Between 2002 and 2006 he studied at the University of Art and Design, Cluj-Napoca.
Solo exhibitions: Pillars of creation, BARIL Gallery, Cluj (2020), The Wide Open Skin, BARIL Gallery (2016), Artissima (2017), Art o Rama (2016). Group exhibitions: ll faut cultiver notre jardin, Centrul de Interes, Cluj (2020), Salonul de obiect mic, Cinema Arta, Cluj (2020), Institute of Contemporary Art – Dunaújváros (ICA-D) 2019.

Laurențiu Ruță

The Stroboscopic Perception of the Convertible Sphere No. 7

1980,photographic paper mounted on plywood, 39 x 39 cm

The Convertible Sphere

1976/2017 – 2 pieces, plastic, variable dimensions

The Convertible Sphere emerged from a remarkable experiment from 1976 resulting in many variations of the ludic object in terms of material, size and type of intervention. Transposing geometric principles into art objects, this “exercise” bears the marks of Ruță’s education with the Sigma group. On a sloping surface, due to its elasticity, the object turns upside-down, leaps and rolls on itself, becoming a continuous action of whirling. In an attempt to document the process, Ruță captured the energy of movement, transformation and discovery in photograms that record with light and make visible the wondrous transforming process.

Having developed in the artistic climate of the Sigma Group in Timișoara, Laurențiu Ruță Fulger (b. 1955) attempts to correlate artistic practice with scientific principles in his activity. His experiments have, in time, made use of multiple artistic media: from performance to installation – to photograms and objects.

Selected exhibitions: Laurențiu Ruță: Fluidity of Bodies, Quadro 21 Gallery (2019),  Laurențiu Ruță-Fulger, Quadro Gallery, Cluj-Napoca (2014, solo), The artist at work in Romania, Apollo Gallery, Bucharest (2010); The Archetipes Competition Exhibition, Brașov (2010); Art salon, Apollo Gallery, Bucharest (2009 / 2008); “R”- open workshop, Old Gallery, Cluj-Napoca (2008, solo); Art-design interferences, Artexpo Gallery, Bucharest (2005); Street Art Event, Alytus, Lithuania (1995), S.O.F.A. Art Event, Nyborg, Denmark (1994); „Box”, Graz (1990); National design salon, Dalles Hall, Bucharest (1990); Art Design, Mail Art Museum, Einbeck (1989); Atelier 35 Youth Biennial, Baia Mare (1988); Romanian design], Berlin, RDG (1987); Art and action, Trondheim / Bergen / Oslo (1987); Design Triennial, Dalles Hall, Bucharest (1982).

Catrinel Săbăciag

Morfoza Lamp

2019, 30cm x 33 cm x 6cm, glass, resin, plexiglas, gemstones (in baza), cellophane

Catrinel Săbăciag’s work is rooted in the dynamics found in nature and the experimental approach she came across in her grandfather’s chemistry lab. Catrinel’s art is driven by her interests in perception and movement. Created with simple materials such as plastic film and only white light spectrum, Morfoza lamp uses processes of diffraction, refraction, birefringence, and interference. A layered optical device, it displays a wide spectrum of 3D light & color effects from organic to geometrical, fully saturated to pastel and monochrome. By allowing for interactivity, her viewer recreates the mesmerizing quality in the moment of discovery. 

Catrinel Săbăciag (b. 1994) creates projects in between product design, installation, and sculpture. Having a multidisciplinary approach she draws inspiration from the natural world, science, and philosophy whilst the making is oriented towards material exploration.
She has studied Arts in Cluj and 3D Design at Product Design Ba Hons, The University of Edinburgh and Lund University. In 2016 she internship for Nacho Carbonell Studio in Eindhoven. In 2017 she established Catrinel S.tudio in Cluj. Her work was shown at numerous international events such as New Designers, London, Dutch Design Week, Passajen: Interior Design Week Cologne, The Scottish Național Galleries, Milano Design Week, and has taken part in residences such as Scientifica’s Art&Science Residence Trieste.

Ioana Vreme Moser

Zurkubuk . Nux Stridens

2017, sound sculpture/ klangobjekt, 25x25x40 cm 

A nocturnal creature and a city-dweller by nature, the grasshopper inhabits the nutshell of a Pterygota Alatata. Once stimulated, the insect’s pars stridens mechanism resounds. By gently rubbing body parts against each other, a kind of chirr begins. The oscillations are modulated in a cascade of aleatoric piezoelectric vibrations that emerge into rhythmic chants. They vary in expressiveness and intensity and follow the desire for communication and proximity. (Ioana Vreme Moser)

Ioana Vreme Moser (b. 1994 Timișoara) is a transmedia narrator and sound artist engaged with research activities, electronic poetics, and ludic notations. She places electronic components and control voltages in different situations of interaction with organic materials, lost and found items and environmental stimuli. Her works are dominated by sardonic narrations, bits and pieces of garbage, anachronous circuitry and low-tech technologies that resound in sound-sculptures, hand-made instruments or sound-performance setups. She has been closely engaged with the Electroacoustic Music Studio Krakow, Kinema Ikon experimental group and Simultan, Media Art Association, Timisoara. Currently, she is based in the T10 artist collective, Berlin.

Courtesy of Siri Bax private collection

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The satellite Departures from the Sphere exhibition in Târgu Mureș, which took place between August 29 and September 12, presented an uncanny installation by one of the selected artists, Floriama Cândea, in an aquarium-like exhibition space.

 A metaphor for a world of no gender and no species, a territory of substitute objects, reflecting a vision of our declining biodiversity, Flesh-Forward called for a reconstruction of identity. As Floriama Cândea’s work may triggered questions about the biological unity and the integrity of matter, it also unraveled a different kind of bond, that between artist and her work. 

Part of:

Co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration

The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or the way the project results can be used. These fall entirely under the responsibility of to the beneficiary of the funding.