Pavel Brăila: ‘Casa Mare’

A new three channel installation commissioned by Centrala and produced by the artist during the pandemic will be shown to the public for the first time.

Upon entering the gallery space on the first floor, the viewer is immersed in original film recordings of weddings from private households in Moldova, taken throughout the last four decades 1970/80/90s and 2000. We hear loud brass band music and violins alternating with popular hits from that time, shouts, cries of joy and happiness, different layers of noises are overlapping. Sounds and moving images of guests toasting and clapping their hands according to local wedding ceremonies – recorded by amateurs without praise or evaluation.

These uncommented intimate moments enter into a dialogue with the three-channel installation where the subject is an insight into the Moldovan cultural scene in 2020/2021. Through interviews with participating actors, the video installation explores the state of mind of the cultural scene, for which wedding is one of the most reliable and well paid source of income. Many cultural workers in Moldova earn their living as lighting technicians, make-up artists, animators, dancers, musicians, photographers or video makers at such events due to the enormous demand.

Brăila focuses on the artistic existence and reveals the economic framework conditions of misery in the entire system: free economic structures take over the support of artists, which the state refuses to provide. Sectors such as the wedding industry, which is booming in Moldova, contribute to an already small number of cultural workers and cultural life. The juxtaposition of these two installations has a disturbing effect: the attention given to the bride and groom at these intimate events in the 1990s is giving way to commercialization to such an extent that the happy moments of the couples are no longer the event, but the industry itself is the centre of attention.

Curator: Berenika Partum

Pavel Brăila
* 1971 in Chişinău,Moldova / lives in Chişinău and Berlin.
Pavel Brăila is an internationally renowned artist. He was invited twice to Documenta (2000/2017) and he participated in Manifesta 10 (2014). Phaidon included him in the list of the 100 best artists in the world (CREAM 3) in 2003. His works have been shown in numerous international group and solo exhibitions. Brăila works in various media, such as video, photography, performance and installation. In his films and performances he invites the viewer to participate in his world of cultural observation of Moldova, for which he often investigates things, social absurdities that escape the global geopolitical discourse. Braila’s works have been included in numerous group shows including those at Museum Boijmans, TATE Modern, The Renaissance Society, Chicago, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Palazzo delle Stelline, MUMOK, Moderna Museet, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam and many more.