Here are two photo-series #șantierînpandemie and #pandemialasat which were part of a joint show in Zalău city, Romania. The exhibition was organised by The County Museum of History and Art (Romanian: Muzeul Judeţean de Istorie şi Artă).
#șantierînpandemie [pandemic construction site]
Masahisa Fukase worked for 13 years on a photo project about his second wife, Yoko. He photographed her from the window as she entered or left the apartment. He dedicated these years to the series of photos in which his wife either smiled at him, ignored him, showed him a nervous face, etc. Sure, unlike us, he could leave his apartment, but despite his freedom, he preferred to take pictures from the window. After the Japanese photographer’s death in 2002 (after being in a coma for 20 years), Yoko said about him that ’when he had the camera in front of his eyes, he could see. Not without, though.’
I had to isolate myself at home for 14 days, a period incomparable to that spent by Masahisa Fukase at the window, but, like the Japanese photographer, the camera created a connection between the world in my apartment and the outside world. I aimed my lens “outside” and followed the movements of those who seemed to continue their lives normally, despite the pandemic. The workers, who worked on the two blocks in front of the apartment, started their day at seven in the morning, had a lunch break at 12:00 and then continued until sunset. Sometimes I woke up with them, other times I wanted to be able to sleep more, despite the noise, and every time I watched them going home. In the 14 days, I took about 300 photos and selected about 6 (for this exhibition). Almost all the photos have a window frame, which reminds me that they are made indoor and inhibits the idea of freedom.
#pandemialasat [pandemic in the village]
In the Romanian villages, there has always been social distance, the villagers carry out their daily activities in their large yards, and when they walk in the fields, they keep the distance. It was always like this.
The only places where more people gathered together were bars, shops and sports fields, but even there you could not find a very large number of citizens. That’s why for many of them, the presence of the virus does not seem so scary. They do go to the store, less often (maybe only once a day), have their personal declarations (because of the fear of being caught by the police) and wear masks. Even not all of them. This is how the virus ‘exists’ in the villages: by wearing a mask. This seems to be the only visible aspect (which, by the way, expresses concern and fear). It is something new, uncomfortable, but mandatory.