Lyrical Exploration of Znojmo, Czech Republic

It's amazing how seasons and culture nourish the human spirit! Traveling asks of us to pay attention, to enjoy more, to forget about the daily life and open up our curiosity and love of life. I love discovering new places because it gives me that sense of being more present and seeing more of what is around me. It also cultivates my capacity for creative acts and elevates my spirit. And thus, seeing for the first time Znojmo, a marvelous historic town in the Moravia, South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic, incited me to start exploring the presence of history and calmness of this town.

Historically a fortress, Znojmo has a breathtaking panorama, aromatic wines and a lot of history. While here you must see the Saint Nicolas Church, the Town Hall tower, and the Dyje River valley and the medieval city walls, the Romanesque Rotunda, the Catacombs, and roam around the beautiful squares and narrow streets. Enjoy discovering all this in my film and photographs that explore the beauty of this medieval town.

Czech Bar Znojmo Gabriela Iancu Klacelova Street Znojmo Gabriela Iancu Old Houses in Znojmo Gabriela Iancu Znojmo City Walls Gabriela Iancu Znojmo Dyje River Valley Gabriela Iancu

Cultivating Creativity and the Art of Seeing

“All art begins [as] a calling forth of life in its still concealed mysteriousness.” - Lou Andreas-Salomé

We live in a world where we can be anything we want, and most of us take it seriously. Today we are photographers because we take cool snaps on Instagram, tomorrow we'll be great illustrators because we can romanticize about how cool is to be an old-school artist. But we don't really understand what all of it really entails. We change so often who we really are, just because there seems to be no limits anymore to what everything is around us. We tend to not really care fondly about all these things we can be, just because we can be it all. We change so much but we don't even bother to use our intellect to really make a difference. If everyone can be it all, we must be it all.

The popular belief says that because now we can be anything and everything, we slowly construct a new social model, in which we are not told anymore what we can be, rather, we choose to be it all. It seems obsolete to perfect a craft, a passion, a talent nowadays, now we superficially do everything. This kind of attitude is wrong for obvious reasons; just because we can do something it doesn't entitle us to mock the creative experience of the true artists.

Freeing up the creative experiences of their formalism is a good thing, but rather than being everything, we can be one thing. By dedicating our energy to really be the person we claim to be, that artist we've always dreamed to be, is a great thing, but just stick to it. If one wants to be a jewelry maker, he/she should become one by putting a part of him/herself in whatever he/she creates. One cannot be something before really being that thing. You can mock and pretend, but the true creative experience will always be that of a strong experience where you expand that inner creative gut out of yourself into a beautiful creation.

So now and then, I see this entirely ad-hoc made artist coming out, in other words, the simulacrum of the true artist. And what a simulacrum does is to simulate being creative by nature. But the only true trait of a simulacra is imitating reality. The anatomy of a simulacrum artist is to reflect the true nature of reality into an appearance of order (we can really be it all), then distorts the reality and pretends to be a faithful copy, and finally all it does is to only simulate being that thing.

On top of this democratic issue, there seems to be also a lack of investment of some of the creative industries in the industry itself. A significant number of these companies (trade and consumer magazines, publishing houses, etc) have less and less work ethic when it comes to valuing the creative efforts of an artist. It is too stereotypical for today's times to not understand that the creative effort needs to be recognized and not expected for free. Nine times out of ten, this infatuation of these companies is a conscious act to disregard creativity. They are not ready to invest to propel creativity further through involving real artists to create innovative content rather than just using the same old and boring impersonal content.

It is outrageous when I hear that magazines cannot afford the work of an artist just because they don't have budget, willingly admitting that they would rather buy content from a stock bank than investing in a custom and innovative creative approach of an artist. Creativity and innovation should be the paramount of their business, of the industry in which they act. Is this attitude surprising for some of us? We're all loosing not only our right to building a local, regional and universal heritage of culture, but also our integrity, respect and sense of being strict with the world in which we live. No one should have this ruthless privilege of turning the world upside down, just because they are in a power position. We all, as a humanity, should do well, good and perfect our inner selves with honor, respect and integrity.

If one looks at photography for instance, one can see that the aesthetic consumerism of the visual culture has been administered to us little by little, and once has made its addiction, the commerce is treating its creatives like ready-made soup cans that once consumed empty themselves even of that little value they originally been assigned to have. All of these issues bother me a great deal, because despite evolution, in some fields we seem to still be far behind the integrity that the contemporary times should have. Isn't the creatives that helped us understand, see and enjoy the experience of the world through writings, paintings, photographs and other creative acts?

Despite this extent of austerity of the contemporary age, to me the creative act still resonates with revealing experiences and expressions of the world around us with innovative and unexpected approaches to audiences that should be given the right to have first a visual and artistic literacy. If for a magazine is not important to support and contribute to the evolution of the creative field, even though they act in a creative industry, it is only because of its incapacity to understand the creative act. And what this is ultimately revealing, is that, to some extent, the creative industry itself is illiterate in its field. Old habits might die hard, but being educated could teach us what it takes to be humane again, altering the bad and enlarging the extent of ethics. It is precisely through this paradoxical mechanism of the contemporary, that we all should exert our true creative acts and ethics upon the world and change the perception of our experience.

If you read this far, it is only appropriate to entice your curiosity even further with the expression of the moving image and the opportunity to get to know the artist behind the writings and creative acts here. I allow my short films to emerge ideas that can induce an illusion of a sense of place and time. Time relentlessly melts, and the emotion that it conveys can encompass the viewer precisely because of its existence, that of memory—either as an ideal or a fantasy, illusion or past reality. To turn time and art itself into a way of seeing, juxtaposes various layers of ideas equivalent with participating into an experience that has never existed nor will exist in this shape and form. It becomes almost like a good novel, where the reader identifies himself with the narrator/character's voice and transposes an illusion of himself into the story; an experience that would never go beyond the feeling of experience itself. Ultimately, it is this idea of representation of reality or imagination that strikes always for authenticity and will conceal or reveal meanings in the viewer's mind or creator's expressiveness.

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Florilegium's Love of Life Creative Campaign

March 2016 debuts with my first ad campaign for Florilegium, a publication whose aesthetic aims to break the rules of editorial design, while showcasing innovative creative projects in the visual arts. I was particularly interested in working on a creative campaign for a publication like Florilegium, which intends to transgress the conventional subject matter, because of my desire to make aesthetic choices that can reposition a meaning and build an identity. Thus,  Love of Life campaign features Florilegium's first volume as an object of desire, provoking to an interpretation of the content's aesthetic through photography and motion.

Florilegium’s first volume focuses on our love of life by curating artistic reflections of the natural and man-made worlds through form and shape. The campaign explores descriptive ways of constructing meaning, specifically focusing on communication and the circulation of images and ideas. Being interested in investigating and depicting an essence and meaning of things, the campaign engages with issues about representation and idealisation, environmental attitudes, consuming culture and the historical past.

The film juxtaposes my interested in exploring the visual form that still-life photography generates in connection with graphic design and the natural environment. It also integrates my opinions and observations of time, connection and disconnection to/from the true meaning of life. Thus, my artistic choice speaks entirely about my desire to investigate the relation we have with nature and the things we long for, such as time, home or giving meanings to things. By extending the static printed pages of Florilegium to the motion screen, I'm aiming to adapt and interpret the flatness and abstractness of the page with new visual qualities that can carry further the story.

If you missed it, you can read more about Florilegium here and here, and if this campaign and the film enticed you wanting to discover more, go ahead and purchase here a signed copy that can come along with a Polaroid in limited edition (as seen in the film above), plus a set of two flat stationery cards illustrated by Oana Piscureanu.  Follow along and spread the word! You can keep up with Florilegium's news on the website's newsletter at, on Instagram at @florilegiummagazine or onFacebook at /FlorilegiumMagazine.

Florilegium Ad Campaign Gabriela Iancu 1Florilegium Ad Campaign Gabriela Iancu 2Florilegium Ad Campaign Gabriela Iancu 4 Florilegium Ad Campaign Gabriela Iancu 3