OANA TUDORAN

Performing Artist, Oana Tudoran, lives in an enigmatic world that contains thoughts and sensations that are difficult to convey yet are commonly familiar. Her objection towards any form of definition ensures her art remains in a state of in-between and never arrives to conclusion. Her movements captivate a certain mystery of the spaces between definitive actions and the sensations that fall before realization in a constant state of emotional approach. The power of her work lies in the means not the ends and one is taken through an emotional journey that never resolves in a final verdict or statement. Through seemingly pedestrian movements Oana delivers the content that is usually ignored and over looked. Her ability to charge banal moments with concentrated presence dissolves the bookends of dynamics and edges the viewer in a constant threshold of amplified normality. The resounding effect of her work leads the viewer to experience a feeling inexplicable by words.

The following are excerpts from the correspondence we shared during the conception of the videos Oana made for Comune.

Hi Brian,

 

My aim has always been a type of simplicity. Of form, yes, but mostly feeling, and a pure desire to capture that moment. I talk little about what I am creating because every idea, to me, is a prison. So I look at a place and detect a feeling and sometimes this turns into something. How is there more than that? Noise.

 

So with this in mind, I want to create a story of normal. I want to wear double denim, boots and maybe a belt. And I want to develop a type of movement/video that is born from moments of waiting, pauses, boredom, smalltalk, in a cleaner setting. I like the layers of feeling and strangeness that being still contains. The way the body allows itself to fall. And the surprise. 

 

Let me know how that sounds to you. I hope you understand that I take some time to process things, because I don't want my activity to come from a purely intellectual place. I go over thoughts and ideas, as we all do, then allow them to blend inside me with what is already there, not via a conscious effort, but naturally, allowing my unconscious functions to rearrange everything. What stays stays, what goes goes. 

 

I'm also curious about your work at Comune and how you developed your style and what you dream of with it.

 

How I see it, this would be a special collaboration. And I want it to be this way because it feels like a better idea than an interview, it feels richer in meaning and less of a simple tool for validation or definition. 

 

It's nighttime in LA and it's already morning here. So goodnight and good morning! I hope this light finds you well.

 

Oana

 

 

 


Hi Oana, 


I admire the way you view your work and process. It resonates within your images and videos. There is a secret language and context in your work that is very captivating and alluring. I would like to honor your process in any way possible. 


I like the denim story and it's relation to simplicity and the idea you have for the seemingly trivial moments in between. Those pauses and space carry alot of nuances for me as well. Reminds me of an audio piece i once made by cutting up and isolating the sounds between words and phrases. I wanted to reveal the transitions in between as I believe they also carried emotive weight. 


I am first and foremost a painter at heart but for me painting requires pure isolation and removal of environmental influences. I decided 15 years ago that I would focus on disciplines that were less egocentric and engage in the world, and later take this perspective back to painting in isolation at an older age. I am constantly reminding myself of this long view and to collaborate, learn and be open to others as much as possible. I enjoy clothing as it is a physical form of language with associations and meanings that are individual yet collective and in turn emotive. For me making clothes and building brands is about this relationship and language. My directives are about assimulating unique points of view and servicing a collective of individuals. 


I understand it takes time and am completely open. I will have the new line in January but would also love to send you some denim for now just for you to have. Let me know if this is ok. 


I enjoy seeing your images and videos very much and they are freshly charged and inspiring. Thank you for your integrity and sharing your art with the world.  


- B

Mon, Nov 5, 2018, 6:36 AM


Dear Brian


It's a clear sky day here in Bucharest, although the morning was cloudy and grey. This has been happening all autumn in Bucharest this year. It's been one of the most beautiful autumns in years. The sun is low and warm and the dying leaves are a multitude of contrasting colours. 


I'm really excited about this story we are creating, so I know it's something good, something we should reveal. 


And I can also relate to the feeling of moving from the egocentric creation to something that involves more openness and sharing. This is precisely what I am going through right now, and my direction is based on that desire for connection, offering and generosity. I feel like we're on the same page here, you with your clothing line, and me with my dream of creating scents. I haven't told you about this one, but it's consuming me as we speak. Dancing and movement are just another side of the idea of experiencing something in a pure state of feeling. This applies to scent as well, so I am basically revolving around the same center with everything I do. 


I am sure that, as life progresses, we will approach our art in different ways, leaving it, coming back to it with new perspective and so on. Nothing is fixed, I think. 


Returning to our project, January sounds like a very decent time frame, we will get it done with time to spare. 


I've researched your pieces on the Comune website and I feel like I most identify with either the Aberdeen Thrift (but less distressed, since I usually just let my jeans wear down naturally and the distressing becomes part of the process of wearing) or Seattle Revival. I don't wear super skinny, although I do like them, since I like freedom of movement, and a high waist has always been my thing. I'm also really into classic colourways. I have a few denim jackets I thrifted a while ago and could wear it with the jeans, and I think a neutral top (beige or white, not black) would work best with the styling I have in mind. There is, I think, a type of delicate nostalgia to a classic look, especially in today's fashion landscape. Maybe I won't even wear a jacket, who knows. It all depends on what the piece adds to the story. If it doesn't or is distracting, I might lose it. I am aiming at a 45s - 1min video, but it might be longer, it totally depends on the energy and the choreography. I have to get in the studio and see how it goes, then I'll let you know. 


It's getting dark as I write this, even though it's only 4:30. But a nice atmosphere, and my street is quiet.


Coffee for me, then off to ballet. Hope you're good, have fun! 


Oana 

Nov 7, 2018, 1:10 PM 


Dear Oana, 


I love hearing about Bucharest from you. You paint such a lovely picture. Iv'e never been but I imagine it to be romantic city. 


It's wonderful you are creating scents. It's such an intimate experience and so rich and empowering. Scents are euphorically tied into our memories and often trigger deep from within. It's like creating new landmarks for experiences. Some of my favorite scents will always be with me and are both quantitative and qualitative in defining who I am. I would love to send you a scent I hold dear and only share with those who I feel would understand it's potency. Again speaking of language, another way to communicate through the senses. 


I can select a few different cuts and washes of denim based on your suggestion. Also we have a denim jacket I'd like to send. I will send over a catalog of our collection that will be available in January in a separate email. If you see anything there let me know and I can send them as well. 


I am enjoying the process of working on this project with you and it interests me very much to see how you work and your process of digestion, cultivation, and deliverance. I believe everything you touch and reveal is truly beautiful and resonates with such thoughtful prediction and the sublime essence of the moment. 


Hope you are having a wonderful day and that beauty and light surrounds you. 


Brian

Sun, Nov 11, 2018, 7:54 AM


Dear Brian


Night is falling again here. Sundays in Bucharest are always unusual to me. The light is different and the air is steady and slow. I walked around today and I met many, many cats. Now I'm back home. 


I would keep your scent secret and special. It's very hard for me to allow my favorite perfumes to be known or touched by someone else, so I consider it a gesture of intimacy and trust. 


I remember recording cassettes and how physical the act was, it required mental as well as bodily presence. The effort of the recording process made it special and I think this is one of the points you are getting to as well. Sometimes, my sister and I would simply listen to the radio and keep a cassette handy in order to quickly press record when a track we liked came on. Other times, we would try to incorporate recording into a type of spiritualist practice: we wanted to contact our late relatives and we would record silence, hoping we would find some sign of their presence on the final recording. I feel like your recording has that feeling of contacting a different world as well. And everything we experiment with is important on the journey, so maybe your abstract contemporary sound pieces are part of a bigger scheme and have a significant meaning. 


Thank you for the catalogs as well. Since I am totally for intent and purposefulness, I will keep my selection/desires to a minimum. I'm in this space, having only what I need/feel should be in my life, so to me jeans and a jacket are more than enough. I like other pieces as well, but it feels wasteful to receive too many. I hope that doesn't sound strange. 


Since this is overseas and the postal service here is an unpredictable affair, please make sure you are sending the package out with a tracking number. I usually use a private courier company like DHL, but I don't know how expensive it would be. In any case, the tracking will assure that the package does not get lost, which would be such a shame. 


Hope your week starts off like a beautiful dream.

Thu, Nov 15, 2018, 12:41 PM


Dear Oana,


Your memories of tape recording bring back many similar memories for me. The intimacy and awareness of time, and of course the stillness and waiting. We used to move differently in this world. The patience required to find what you desire creates space to conjure intent and vision. Letting intent build is an art I believe is being overshadowed by today's immediacy. Intent creates substance that resonates in actions and objects made. It's a part of the invisible beauty in all things I hold dear. The photograph hanging on my bedroom wall, My favorite poem by E.E. Cummings, the salt a farmer harvested in Izumo. The rewinding of tape and the waiting is a beautiful visual. I too have searched the static of the particles of magnetic tape as a child. Longing for ghosts. This too me is why longing is so tender and intimate. It's a love or desire that is singular or at best shared individually. Thank you for this image and transporting me to another time. 


I have ordered some scents that will take a week to arrive. One is coming from Japan and another from France. They are my bookends and reminders of where I am in this expanding world. Once they arrive I will send out a package including denim. I will send a tracking number through DHL to help ensure its arrival in your hands.. 


What are your visceral landmarks you hold inside, your points of inspiration? Those that have created a parallel in you. 


I hope your days are full of discovery and expanding, feeding, and blessing your mind and soul :)

Fri,Nov 23, 2018, 5:04 AM

Hi Brian,

 

How's your day going? It's pretty gloomy here today, but listening to some calm music and planning things out while occasionally looking out the window is nice. 

 

I was wondering if you had the chance to prepare or send out the package. I am not sure how long it will take for it to get here, and I think I need about a week for the video.  know you mentioned the beginning of December for the launching of the website. 

 

I really loved reading about the little artifacts that you hold dear. The salt harvested in Izumo really resonated with me. I am attracted to similar images or objects, so much so that I am a bit afraid to talk about them, since I can get really emotional about them and they mean so much to me, yet so little. I know every object is nothing and everything is inside, but I'm still attached. Sometimes, I feel like I am far away from everything, just floating somewhere. These objects can bring me back down to a place I remember. And it's never the same, revisiting is such a strange activity. And a decision.

 

My bottles of labeled melted snow from three consecutive years are the most important objects in my room, I think. I wish I didn't hold on to anything, though, I truly wish I didn't. It's no use, creating a fortress of images. Images come and go, but what they create inside us is undefinable. So the feeling is what I am after, that's the sacred element to me. Acceptance, listening, being gentle, being tired and vulnerable, all these states inspire me, seeing them in others or detecting them in myself. The images I create in these enhanced states are only vessels, and that is what I think about human creation in general, it is a vessel, a beautiful vessel. When I close my eyes in its presence, something is revealed.

 

I hope your day is fulfilling.

 

Mon, Nov 26, 2018, 1:52 PM


Dear Oana, 


All is well here in Los Angeles. It's post Thanksgiving so my belly and heart are full spending time with loved ones. We dont have much in the way of weathered seasons here. Only a slight decipherable crispness to the air like its making way for a stillness. Somehow music sounds clearer in winter. I often imagine the sounds from my house floating throughout the neighborhood like a frost of fog. Songs swimming between the autumn, winter, spring, and summer particles of air. 


I have prepared a package for you and will be dropping it off at DHL tonight. I will send a separate email with a tracking number. I hope the package reaches you well and you dont have an issue signing for it. Let me know when you receive it :) If time allows you I am not in a hurry. We dont have to have a strict deadline. Sometime in December or January is fine to release the project. I apologize for taking so long to send the package. I wanted to include the scents as well which took some time to arrive. 


I adore your collection of snow. It's a beautiful way to capture time and space. I imagine you have memories and attachments to these landmarks. Like versions of yourself swimming in the vials. The residual feelings and states of being you mention are important to me as well and I agree are more experiential and impactful than objects or images alone. I can see that in your work. This need to communicate the unspeakable. The attempts to translate the visceral into a language of movement away from words or creating objects. Thank you for sharing these thoughts and studies. They bring another depth and window to your work and I appreciate that. 


I wish you a good day and warmth in the winter.

Thu, Dec 6, 2018, 4:17 AM


Dear Brian, 


The package arrived last night. The day was pretty hectic, because I had scheduled a shooting for that night, and I needed to pick up some lights, plus the traffic was pretty terrible. And I knew I had to get in the cold water of that lake again, its surface now covered with decaying water lilies. I was in the car when it started snowing. And when I got near the lake, I realized its surface was frozen. The water lilies were trapped in the ice, parts of the delicate leaves still peaking out. It was all so beautiful. I've attached a picture for you to see. 


When I returned home it was late and I wanted to sleep. I didn't want to open your package yet, because I wanted to be rested, so I went to bed early. 


I can't explain the emotions I felt when I finally opened it and read your message. It was all too much. Sometimes emotions trickle and sometimes they storm. I peeled off the thin layer of paper so carefully and knew the moment I would smell your two precious gifts would be special. I feel so privileged to be be immersed in that hidden memory that these scents have witnessed, and even though the memory might be a mystery, the warmth and depth are there. I was transported. 


Thank you so much for creating this experience for me, I am truly grateful an I can feel your soul and intent in every element of the gift. I only had a chance to touch and see everything briefly, but it was all so intense that I will come back again for a second analysis. This is when I start trying things on as well. 


Maybe it all sounds a bit over the top, but for me the details around this made everything so so nice. 


Have a wonderful day! 


Oana

Tue, Jan 22, 5:43 AM

It's ready. 

I will send them by tomorrow, I just need to create the stills now. 

And a quick update (continuing your thought process from your last message): We all manifest our ego one way or another, it's unavoidable. But I really really really hope to get rid of it as much as possible, especially in human interaction. It's hard, though, because for me it comes in waves (like basically everything else that influences me). Sometimes it's missing and sometimes I'm immersed. Always a surprise. Heeey, it's me, your ego, let's have fun! Why isn't it fun, though? Ah well!-- 

When I was a few months old, my parents traveled to the village my father was born in and left me there for a while. My grandmother took care of me and I remember a few moments spent with her and my grandfather there. I remember trying to walk and being fed. When my parents returned to take me back home, they told me I was sitting in an old wooden tomato crate under the big pear tree in the yard (the tree was blown away by a storm maybe ten years later) and they didn't recognize me, because the last time they had seen me I could only lie on my back. 

And I remember dreams from when I was 5 or 6. 

I'm sending you a link to Google Maps, this was the village I grew up in. Our house was tucked away on a side street, so you can't see it, but this is the atmosphere of summers to me. Villages in Romania are somehow ghosts. They are emptier and emptier now, everyone is leaving to find something that makes their life feel like it matters, but the journey is often short. 

I remember climbing those cement electricity posts higher than any boy in the village. 

Hope you're well.