Focusing on the permanent state of uncertainty that is surrounding a forever work in progress—Brașov's airport and its runway—, Mihai Șovăială's book Holding Pattern is deftly touching upon other liminal politics: governing and policing, surveillance and neoliberal capitalism, decay and privatisation, post-socialism and the public space.

The images taken between 2017 and 2019 show the surroundings of an airport and its runway in Brasov, Romania. The runway was built in 2014 and since then all the construction operations, such as the terminal, parking lots, or the control tower, have been suspended for various reasons. The runway was later surrounded with a barbed wire fence and guards have been working in shifts in order to protect the structure and the land for the construction of the airport. Holding pattern is a manoeuvre used in aviation which is designed to delay an aircraft already in flight while keeping it within a specified airspace. The procedure involves oval flights, performed by aircrafts, waiting thus for new information regarding the availability of landing.

The book was self-published in a small print run edition of 40 copies in December 2019. Produced at Fabrik, a printing house in Bucharest, the book interior is printed on glossy paper with a digital Xerox printer, while the hardcover is silkscreened. The book was realised in continuous collaboration with Alin Cincă throughout the editing process and design decisions. The project was possible with the support of Centre of Documentary Photography, due to a grant offered in 2019.

Mihai Șovăială was born in 1993 in Brașov, Romania and is currently based in Leipzig, Germany. He received a Bachelor degree in Photography at the National University of Arts in Bucharest and at the moment he is studying at Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst Leipzig within the Meisterschüler program. His work is often engaged with photography, archives, and books. His recent work has been included in Moderne. Ikonografie. Fotografie at Kunstmuseum Kloster Unser Lieben Frauen, Magdeburg, DE; in Circulation(s) at 104 Centquatre, Paris, FR; in Genau Da! at BTV Gallery, Stadtforum, Innsbruck, AT. Check more of his work on his website: http://mihaisovaiala.ro/

Opening: 5 March
Exhibition: 5-29 March
Location: Scena9 Rezidența BRD Bucharest
Exhibition title: Possible Realities
Event here