b. 1963 in Romania
Matei Bejenaru is an artist and an initiator of the Periferic Biennial that takes place in Iasi, Romania. Established in 1997 as a performance festival, the Periferic Biennial has since transformed into an international contemporary art platform for discussion about the historical, socio-political and cultural context of Iasi. In 2001, along with a group of artists and philosophers from Iasi, Bejenaru founded the Vector Association, a contemporary art institution which supports the local emerging art scene to provide visibility locally and internationally. Bejenaru is also member of the editorial stuff of ‘Vector’, an art and culture publication that focuses on the regional artistic and cultural context of the South East European countries.
As an artist, Bejenaru is socially engaged in analysing the way globalisation effects the labour force of post-communist countries and the corresponding rapid changes in mentality and lifestyle. Some of these projects include the installation of a water distribution post in the centre of Tirana during the 2nd Tirana Biennial that offered free water to those passing by. In 2004, he initiated the cARTier project, a socio-cultural project aimed at regenerating a workers district in Iasi and a year later he published a travelling guide for Romanian illegal workers in the 'Idea' Magazine, with the work also exhibited at Thyssen-Bornemisza Contemporary Art in Vienna. In 2007, in collaboration with Romanian communities in the UK, he developed the project Impreuna (Together) and the resulting work was presented at Tate Modern, London. Other exhibitions that Bejenaru has recently participated in include NowHere Europe, Fondazione Adriano Olivetti, 2005 and The Third Prague Biennial, 2007.