La blouse Roumaine

Two-channel video installation, 2005, HD, format 4:3, 16 min.

"(...). Telling stories, and thereby intertwining fiction, documentary, imagination, historical elements, reality, and dream, are characteristics of Aurelia Mihai’s video and photographic work. The scenes of her films and pictures are often ordinary contemporary places where she makes her figures appear who seem as though they are from another world. In the two- channel video installation La blouse romaine - 2005 a young woman rides a white horse majestically through the deserted streets of a village in the Lower Rhine Valley. Long before the horse and rider actually appear – first, in some shots there are flashes of their reflection in the window panes of the single-family houses – the sound of the horse’s hooves is heard. The female rider, dressed almost entirely in white, wears the ornately embroidered “Romanian blouse” of the title, which also refers to a famous painting of the same title by Matisse from 1940. The same blouse is also worn by a much older woman, who is seen simultaneously in the second picture of the double projection on the small balcony of an apartment block handling a spindle. This is Aurelia Mihai’s grandmother; who as a young woman and expert craftswoman could have stood model for Matisse and could also have made the traditional folk blouse immortalised by the painter. Together, the two images of the different women create an enigmatic emblem, which synthesises models of femininity and artistic practice. (...)''

Excerpt: An Incredible Picture. Show and Tell in Aurelia Mihai’s Video From the Heart, by DORIS KRYSTOF, Ansichten – Views. Kerber Verlag, Bielefeld 2008.