Lucian Bran’s latest exhibition at Galeria ElectroPutere thematises the concept of migration by linking two different islands located along the Danube: one that was submerged—Ada Kaleh, and one that is arising—Insula K.

The Ada Kaleh island, dubbed by the Ottomans “the Key to Serbia, Hungary and Romania”, was first mentioned by Herodotus, inhabited by Teutonic Knights in the 15th century, and later on disputed by the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires for over two centuries. In 1923, through the Treaty of Lausanne, the island became independent and was voted to join Romania. In 1970, Ada Kaleh was submerged during the construction of the Iron Gates hydroelectric plant. The Romanian communist regime planned to move the population of the island and most of the buildings downstream, on Șimian Island, but the attempt failed. Almost all of the inhabitants of the Orsovostrvo, the Serbian name of the island, relocated in Dobrogea and a small part to the neighbouring towns of the island.

Ada Kaleh

The exhibition focuses on the geophilosophical aspects of de-territorialisation and re-territorialisation relations, what was once the Jewel of the Danube and how this label began to shift after its immersion. The river continuously transports earth from the former island downstream, to the mouth of the Sulina branch, in Musura Bay. Here, the dark soil brought by the river mingles with the yellowish sand of the Black Sea and subsequently forms the Island K.

For the moment, this small piece of land stands at the middle, between the former island Ada Kaleh and the Turkish shore of the Black Sea, and merely represents a safe, resting place for migratory birds. The works that make up the exhibition were made on the basis of an artistic research that documents this permanent transition, physical and conceptual alike, through image, object, and installation.

From Centuries Ago to Eons to Come
Lucian Bran
Galeria ElectroPutere
11 Alexandru Ioan Cuza, Craiova, Romania, inside the Marin Sorescu National Theater.

Project realised with the support of National Theatre Marin Sorescu.

Lucian Bran, b. 1981, lives and works in Bucharest. Solo shows: Borderline Art Space, Iași (2019) Galeria Posibilă, Bucharest (2015), Museum of Municipal Engineering - Krakow Photomonth - Show OFF (2014). Group shows: National Museum of Contemporary Art, Bucharest (2018),  Fotogalerie Wien (2018), Salonul de Proiecte Bucharest (2016). He was selected at Plat(t)form – Fotomuseum Winterthur (2019) and nominated for The Unseen ING Talent Award (2016). Publications: Borrowed Territories, ed. Galeria Posibila (2016), Săgeată, floare, foc, CDFD Grants (2018).