From Tears to Ideas

Exhibition, workshop, lectures and artist talk at Atelier 35, Bucharest.
November 15 - December 15, 2021
Curator: Daria Nedelcu

Can mourning be a central part of the urgently needed deepening of our ethical and political relationship towards the current period of anthropogenic mass extinctions and the ongoing pandemic?

From tears to ideas* is a group research project which brings together Christa Wall, sound and performance artist and Andreea Vlăduț, interdisciplinary artist. Their research focuses on professional mourners in Romania while bringing to the fore the role of women as moirologists in different social and political contexts throughout history. The research has at its core the biography of Andreea Vlăduț’s grandmother as a professional mourner. The work unveils the patriarchal social codes encompassing the mourning practice and proposes an empowering feminist appropriation of the mourning ritual.

Nowadays understanding the therapeutic power of grief and mourning is essential in coping with loss. A ritual of mourning is what we need to reflect and accept the produced emotions of the current situation and to leave behind a sanitized view of death. Mourning is a cultural technique that allows and teaches us to house a changing merge of reality and conditions.

*From tears to ideas - words written by Steven Feld in Sound and Sentiment: Birds, Weeping, Poetics and Song in Kululi Expression. He puts it in the context that women are able to turn weeping into controlled lament: ‘from tears to ideas’.

Christa Wall is an Austrian artist based in Vienna.
She studied Experimental Art at Kunstuniversität, Linz and at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux Arts de Lyon in the course of the Erasmus Scholarship Exchange Program.
With her feelers, Christa Wall touches the spaces between performance and singing, between ritual and activism, between folk culture and queerness. Her works are formed of performative research by using her voice, sound, embodied knowledge, poetry and video for aquatic storytelling.
In her artistic research she creates narratives through soundscapes, sound, video, and choreography that open up sites of collective fabulation practices. Christa relates folk customs to queerness and infuses them with a pleasurable process of transformation until new performative rituals emerge.

Andreea Vlăduț


(Förderung Stipendium) Kunstuniversität Linz, Austria

Media partners:

FIFTITU%, Palpabil Studio, Asociația Jumătatea Plină, Revista Arta

Many thanks to:

Bon Alog, Sara Pineros, Sheida Ramhormozi, Florine Mougel, Julia del Rio, Daria Nedelcu, Vlad Albu, Diana Popovici, Ovidiu Toader, Delia Andrada-Popescu
Credits photo: video still image, extracted from the “Pneuma Lamentare” video filmed by Bon Alog and Florine Mougel

Oana Cristea-Grigorescu Performing arts critic, cultural manager, journalist with Radio Romania Jury member

"In the context of the pandemic that humanity is facing, the return to the rituals of passage offers us not only the opportunity to recover traditions, but also a rereading of our relationship with death and the finitude of existence. Traditional societies capitalize on this philosophy of life, and documenting funeral mourning as a form of discharge of extreme emotions becomes a collective support in dealing with these times of uncertainty and threat."