Private Fears – 2019


Private Fears is an artist open studio type group project, part of a bigger context the– 2nd Worldwide Apartment and Studio Biennale organized by Anna Buyvid and Anna Khodorkovskaya. The 2019 edition of the biennale offers a general concept – We respect your privacy? – focusing on the problematic situation of online confidential personal data and the digital surveillance that insinuates itself in the everyday lives of internet users, namely in our lives and everyone else’s.

Private Fears starts from the general theme and focuses on the dynamics of the social platforms, Facebook and Instagram, that generate the most content about the user’s personality and actions, with the stored information generating our psychological profiles and predicting our behavioural patterns. These consequences of using the social platforms were developed in the enquiry over the Cambridge Analytica, engaged in Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and the Brexit Leave EU campaign. Cambridge Analytica used the Facebook users’ behavioural patterns to insert commercials and visuals targeted individually to the users in order to influence their actions and voting options.

„Injecting” personalized information for the digital reality of every individual generates a series of extremely serious questions about today’s society and that of the future. In what measure will we still be free to make conscious decisions? Will the truth still be accessible? Will we be able to free ourselves from the digital cocoon that is formed around us, generated by us with every information that we offer about our lives and preferences? Will democracy be dissolved for a new authoritarian era, in which individual anonymity will become impossible?

Private Fears focuses on the content that we generate through Facebook and Instagram, in connection to our intimate pleasures and fears that we offer both on the public wall and in private messages. Thus, through fragments of texts, conversations, gifs, images, videos, emoticons, we configure our digital personality, closely tied to our real-life behavioural pattern.

The viewers in this exhibition become hackers in the intimate context created by the show, where they discover private conversations, personal photos and so on, but in turn become a part of the exhibition, being able to make selfies and interact with the devices in the exhibition. The viewers that follow are themselves followed, creating a vicious circle that contributes to this invisible system of digital surveillance.

Private Fears thus becomes an artistic intervention to create awareness and explore the illusion of online intimacy and confidentiality, the workshop itself – a meeting spot to question the cyclic relationship: spectator-subject-spectator, offering our private lives spread out on the dissecting table.


Artists: Ada Muntean, Mathias Bar, Nicoleta Tarcea
Ambiental music: Răzvan Apostol (SCUZE)

Open studio