/ Dani Gherca / Photo story

A Diagram of Utopia

The places and the people that I have photographed in this project provide an access to my childhood’s memories. A Diagram of Utopia is a subjective radiogram of three working-class neighbourhoods in Bucharest. Through this project I am trying to find the meaning of the urban space which I inhabit, but where I do not find myself anymore. Around 2011 I started questioning myself about the urban area in which I have been living for 27 years. What is this space representing with its landscapes and traditions? What are the places that are familiar to me, but strange at the same time? These neighbourhoods were built between the 1970s and the 1980s, in order to accommodate the people that had left the villages and had moved to the new industrial centres looking for better living conditions for themselves and their families. Attracted by better living conditions my parents, too, moved to Bucharest in the 1970s. In 1983 they moved in this apartment house at Dristor neighbourhood, where I have been living until now. I grew up surrounded by apartment buildings with enforced community among inhabitants. The walls separating the apartments are very thin, debasing the idea of privacy. Over the years I have developed a necessity to speak quietly, so that the neighbours could not hear me. As a result of this habit my behaviour has changed as I feel the need to isolate myself. Study of my behaviour as a result of urbanisation is one of the goals of this project. Photography helps me to look at the space, which I apparently know, from a distance. Through photographs the reality acquires a new significance. By means of photography I become more objective in relation to the real space and the space that exists only in my perception. The photos are taken in Dristor, Pantelimon and Titan neighbourhoods, but you will find also isolated images taken in places where I used to go with my parents when I was a child.

Dani Gherca (1988) is a visual artist, who lives and works in Bucharest, Romania. He has MA (2015) and BA (2013) degrees in Photography from the National University of Arts, Bucharest. Trough photography he is exploring the nature of emotions, trying to find out whether the anxiety is triggered by actual events or by his cultural interpretation.