The Bartlett School of Architecture


Bartlett Research Fellow Dr Iulia Stătică Launches New Exhibition: ‘Archiving The Home'

10 September 2021

​​​​​​​Marie Curie Research Fellow Iulia Stătică will launch an exhibition later this month at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London.

Image: Still from My Socialist Home (Iulia Stătică and Adrian Câtu, 2021)

The exhibition, titled ‘Archiving the Home: Gender and Domesticity in Postsocialist Bucharest’ opens on 22 September. It explores the significance of gender in the constitution of domestic space in the socialist state, and by extension the constitution of the socialist state itself. Iulia has organised the exhibition as part of her Bartlett research project of the same name.

The show includes a screening of documentary film ‘My Socialist Home’, which Iulia made with Adrian Câtu, as well as archive and personal photographs chronicling the changes to Bucharest and the lives of its inhabitants. 

As a framework for thinking through the postsocialist city, the exhibition explores intersections between the notions of gender – tied to the female subject, her body and her subjective experience – and that of domesticity, as produced in the mass housing built in Bucharest from 1965 onwards. In this context, despite the socialist state’s orchestration of the infrastructure, the interior functioned as an experientially structuring space for the individual. The exhibition explores the questions: how can we access this interior that emerged at the intersection between lived experience and the idealised projections of the state? How can we access an architectural history where lived experience counted as a transformative source of space and the self? 

‘Archiving The Home’ examines socialist housing through an investigation of official and imaginative productions and appropriations of the space of the home. The ethnographic study of the post-socialist city is a fundamental component of this investigation. A closer look at the space of the home opens up intricate spatial appropriations and an abundance of practices that corrupted the aspiration to modern domesticity.

Iulia’s research fellowship has been funded by the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant as part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

The exhibition runs from 22 September to 03 October at the Romanian Cultural Institute and is open and free for all to attend. 

The opening evening, starting at 19:00 on 22 September, includes a screening of 'My Socialist Home' followed by a panel discussion with:

  • Emma Cheatle, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, Chair and discussant
  • Clare Melhuish, Director and Principal Research Fellow, UCL Urban Laboratory, discussant
  • Łukasz Stanek, Professor, The Manchester School of Architecture, The University of Manchester, discussant
  • Iulia Stătică, Marie Curie Fellow, The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London and co-creator of ‘My Socialist Home’
  • Adrian Câtu, visual anthropologist Documentaria.ro and co-creator of ‘My Socialist Home’

Register free for the exhibition opening

More information