Benera and Estefan

Rehearsals for Peace @n.b.k. Showroom, Berlin - solo exhibition (upcoming)


Jun 10, 2023 – Aug 6, 2023

Opening: Friday, 9. Jun, 7 pm

Curators: Krisztina Hunya, Diana Marincu

"The research-oriented practice of Anca Benera and Arnold Estefán spans a range of media, including installation, video, and performance. Their work addresses historical, social, and geopolitical narratives and their underlying power structures. In recent Benera and Estefán focus on ecological issues such as extractivism and the overexploitation of natural resources as well as the overlaps between environmental concerns and military affairs. Rehearsals for Peace – their first solo exhibition in Germany – looks at the absurdities of warfare and the militarization of nature. In particular, it examines the paradoxical dynamics between military readiness, simulated operations, and the desire for peace.

Member countries of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on the edge of Eastern Europe, such as Romania, occupy an important geostrategic role in the establishment of military training grounds and bases. These sites are often located in nature reserves – places that otherwise stand for seclusion and recreation – and include areas in rural Transylvania, endangering local ecosystems. The video Rehearsals for Peace (2023) – co-produced by the n.b.k. Video-Forum – draws on various folk traditions for warding off evil spirits, such as the Transylvanian custom of Urzelnlaufen. Rehearsals for Peace will be shown for the first time, as part of a site-specific installation and together with Perpetual Harvest (2023), a series of woven straw sculptures that recall an ancient harvest ritual accompanying the seasonal rhythm of wheat cultivation."
Krisztina Hunya, Diana Marincu

Chronic Desire - Sete cronică_Timisoara


17 February – 23 April

Chronic desire—Sete cronică, the main group exhibition at the launch of Timișoara 2023 European Capital of Culture, opens on February 17, 2023 with 34 participating artists. Curated by Cosmina Goagea, Corina Oprea and Brîndușa Tudor, it encompasses an exhibition across four venues, with 22 new commissions; five commissioned works in public space and a consistent public and mediation programme.

Participating artists (* denotes new commissions and/or new works)
Ana Adam, Leonor Antunes, Tarek Atoui*, Matei Bejenaru*, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan*, Irina Botea Bucan*, Pavel Brăila*, Anca Bucur*, Dana Catona, Lia Dostlieva și Andrii Dostliev*, Saskia Holmkvist*, Shilpa Gupta, Joan Jonas, Hiwa K*, Zhanna Kadyrova*, Ana Kun & Noemi Hügel*, Susanna Jablonski & Santiago Mostyn*, Adriana Lucaciu, Silvia Moldovan*, Harun Morrison*, Dan Perjovschi*, Agnieszka Polska*, Renée Renard*, Marinella Senatore*, Alexa Szekeres*, Slavs & Tatars, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor*, Rosa Whiteley*, RomaMoMA (Ionela Mihaela Cîmpeanu & Sead Kazanxhiu).

Venues: Museum of Public Transport “Corneliu Mikloși,” Maria Theresia Bastion, Ștefania Palace, Garrison Command.

Full details can be found here

photo: Centrul de Proiecte

The waves of contemporary hostility and a weaponised climate today leave us thirsty for a vocabulary that imagines new configurations and activates transformative and critical thinking. From the civil rights and women’s liberation movements art, as in images, language, forms, as in sounds, reveals ugly facts, raises awareness and ignites united fronts.

Chronic Desire – Sete Cronică is a proposal for vocabularies of looking, feeling and writing, which can be useful instruments for reading the brutal present. This exhibition showcases art practices which can cut in and cut through history and address the current critical political and ecological moment.

When hegemonic histories incline to split us, our situations must be confronted for another kind of freedom that enables our dissimilarities to arise. By shifting our position and worldview, we populate orbits of intersected realities that are in continuous movement. As we move and shift in alliances with each other, we fissure the ground, demolish barriers, and shape new connectors/channels. The title Chronic desire – Sete cronică points, on the one hand, to a recurring, persistent state and, on the other, to the double meaning of the Romanian word “sete”, which means both thirst and desire.

The exhibition Chronic desire – Sete cronica follows three threads: Commons – Landings – History and Subjecthood. These threads meander through the different venues around the city of Timişoara and their legacies of military and industrial heritage.

How do we generate new 'Commons' in the name of revolutionary struggles across race, class, gender, ability, age and sexuality? Landings is devoted to crossover readings of land histories, geological agency and rurality. While colonial histories of western Europe and the Third Worldist projects of the 20th century are evoked in critical global discourse as typical configurations of modernity, the vocabularies of land history, agricultural struggle and supply industries are hardly considered as key narrative protagonists. History and Subjecthood grapple with current toxic climates, from political to environmental landscapes, condensed in the most liminal sense, the one of thirst-sete.

Territories of Waste, Museum Tinguely, Basel


14 September 2022 – 8 January 2023

Museum Tinguely
Basel, Switzerland
Paul Sacher-Anlage 2 

Curated by: Sandra Beate Reimann

Artists: Lothar Baumgarten, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefán, Joseph Beuys, Rudy Burckhardt, Carolina Caycedo, Revital Cohen & Tuur van Balen, Julien Creuzet, Agnes Denes, Douglas Dunn, Eric Hattan, Eloise Hawser, Fabienne Hess, Barbara Klemm, Diana Lelonek, Hira Nabi, Otobong Nkanga, Otto Piene, Realities United, Romy Rüegger, Edward Ruscha, Tita Salina & Irwan Ahmett, Tejal Shah, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Nicolas García Uriburu, Raul Walch, Pinar Yoldaş and more.

The current planetary crisis has ensured that the proliferation of environmental pollutants has once more become a focus of artistic practice, alongside climate change and mass extinction. The group exhibition Territories of Waste at Museum Tinguely focusses attention on this contemporary artistic engagement and asks where such discussions are taking place today, as well as taking a new look from this perspective at the art of the second half of the twentieth century. The group show is intended as an accumulation or gathering of many voices that takes the dynamically mixed quality of waste seriously as a structuring concept. The exhibition landscape that spreads out from a central point is connected by six main themes that run through it like a network.

more info:

The Taste of Water@Exhibit Gallery_Vienna (ongoing)



Schillerplatz 3, 1. floor
1010 Vienna

With contributions by: Mohamed Abdelkarim, Andrea Ancira, Angela Anderson, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Berhanu Ashagrie Deribew, Soñ Gweha, Masimba Hwati, Hyo Lee, Rabbya Naseer, Vrishali Purandare, Francis Whorrall-Campbell

Water. Water has memory. It registers what happens to it. It seems simple and pure but it hides its dissolved memories in plain sight – histories of labor, pollution and colonialism. Its flow conjures connections of discontinuous times of experience. Water is centrifugal and fugitive, it is in/around/within/without/below/along. Water leaks through territories. Moving through pores, bodies, communities and nations – water loves and conflicts. Water is an element of care in a time when land is the element of fear. Water is also a weapon, a conflict line, a surface that reflects geopolitics and shapes economies and climates. It is both a resource and a proxy, a venue for constant "friction" at the crossing of empires.

The Taste of Water is a site for multiple encounters with and around water. The exhibition is a leaky vessel, with artworks flowing in and out of the space. Propositions are realized elsewhere only to wash up on the Academy’s shores. As an exhibition, performance space, screening room, and ritual space, The Taste of Water takes cues from water’s characteristics – flowing, shape-shifting, non-linear – appearing as a medium and signifier, in the shape of sensorial sculpture, sound installation, video work and text interventions. Like the gravitational phenomena of rising and falling of tides, at times, the currents meet or diverge, forming a venue for non-consensual collaboration, swimming in mud, a place of sharing rituals, and olfactory witchcraft.

Biennale Matter of Art, Prague


July 21 - Oct. 23, 2022
City Gallery, Prague

The 2022 biennale explores what lies beyond the identity of Central and Eastern Europe as a space in-between, caught up between belonging to “Fortress Europe” and remaining Europe’s periphery. The biennale will examine the power in vulnerability and resilience. It will incorporate the “minor” perspectives of children, enthusiasts, the illiterate, and kidults, and the “poor” experiences of the chronically ill, prematurely deceased, or monstrous as agents who act, create, and deliberate meanings. The biennale is the result of the collective work of an international curatorial group composed of Rado Ištok, Renan Laru-an, Piotr Sikora, and

The second edition of Biennale Matter of Art will take place from July 21 to October 23, 2022, at the Prague City Gallery, the General University Hospital, and the Šaloun Studio in Prague. 

Hamja Ahsan (UK), Gwendolyn Albert (US/Czech Republic), APART (Slovakia), Michal BarOr (Israel), Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan (Romania), Hera Büyüktaşcıyan (Turkey), Larisa Crunțeanu (Romania), Nolan Oswald Dennis (South Africa), Patricia Domínguez (Chile), Mandy El-Sayegh with Alice Walter (UK), Brenda Fajardo (Philippines), Florin Flueras (Romania), Ramon Guillermo (Philippines), Filip Herza (Czech Republic), Jana Horváthová (Czech Republic), Robin Hartanto (Indonesia), i pack* [Robert Gabris (Austria) & Luboš Kotlár (Slovakia)], Brigitta Isabella (Indonesia), Hanni Kamaly (Norway/Sweden), Barbora Kleinhamplová (Czech Republic), Alina Kleytman (Ukraine) & Marie Lukáčová (Czech Republic), Jacques de Koning (Netherlands), Jana Krejcarová-Černá (†) (Czech Republic), Tarek Lakhrissi (France), Renz Lee (†) (Philippines), Dorota Jagoda Michalska (Poland), Candice Lin (US), Fathia Mohidin & Adele Marcia Kosman (Sweden), Mara Oláh (†) (Hungary), Linh Valerie Pham (Vietnam) with Rene O. Villanueva’s characters, Alina Popa (†) with Florin Flueras (Romania), Pižmo (Czech Republic), Kolektiv Prádelna / The Laundry Collective (Czech Republic), Ábel Ravasz (Slovakia), Anna Remešová (Czech Republic), Vincent Rumahloine (Indonesia), Charlotte Salomon (†) (Germany), Rudolf Samohejl (Czech Republic), Františka Schormová (Czech Republic), Sina Seifee (Germany/Iran), Jana Shostak (Poland/Belarus), Sráč Sam (Czech Republic), Ceija Stojka (†) (Austria), Bára Šimková (Czech Republic), Olúfẹ́mi O. Táíwò (US), Shūji Terayama (†) with Tetsuya Chiba and Ashita no Joe artifacts (Japan), Marie Tučková (Czech Republic), Rene O. Villanueva (†) with Jo Atienza (Philippines), Lenka Vítková (Czech Republic), Zai Xu (Czech Republic) 

more info soon:

Birgit-Jürgenssen-Preis Winner, Vienna, 2022


March, 2022
Akademie der bildenden Künste, Wien

Anca Benera received the Birgit Jürgenssen Prize 2022 from the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts: “The expert jury honors an artist whose projects deal with pressing issues of the time, impress with their complexity and multidisciplinarity and manifest themselves in different media, materials and formats including installation, video and performance. Anca Benera's work is research-oriented. The relationship between history and environment, climate and ecology as well as the questioning of the politics of resources are the focus of her projects, which she has often pursued over several years and which she has been developing since 2011, together with Arnold Estefan.”

Weather Engines, Onassis Stegi, Athens


1 Apr. - 15 May, 2022

Onassis Stegi, Athens
107-109 Syngrou Avenue
11745 Athens, Greece

Curated by Daphne Dragona & Jussi Parikka

The participating artists: Kat Austen, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Felipe Castelblanco, Kent Chan, Coti K., Denise Ferreira da Silva & Arjuna Neuman, DESIGN EARTH, Matthias Fritsch, Geocinema, Abelardo Gil-Fournier & Jussi Parikka, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Hypercomf, Lito Kattou, Zisis Kotionis, Manifest Data Lab, Barbara Marcel, Matterlurgy, Petros Moris, Sybille Neumeyer, Afroditi Psarra & Audrey Briot, Susan Schuppli, Rachel Shearer & Cathy Livermore, Stefania Strouza, Superflux, Paky Vlassopoulou, and Thomas Wrede.

The "Weather Engines" exhibition explores the poetics and the politics, the aesthetics and technologies of the environment, from the ground to the sky, and from the air to the atmosphere.

The weather is a dynamic system of pressure, temperature and humidity. It manifests through maps, media, and simulations while it touches the skin. Weather is felt unevenly, from extremes to mundane mildness of a breeze. Some are exposed, some are sheltered; weather wears some down, some gain profit.

Weather Engines is an art exhibition and a program of workshops, talks, and readings. It explores weather as a complex system, as observation and control, and as a lived experience. The projects and events refer to natural phenomena and climate change, past and contemporary strategies of engineering the weather. Approaching the models and systems of art as techniques of knowledge, Weather Engines addresses the need for climate justice, and for embracing the surrounding more-than-human world(s).

The exhibition is accompanied by the publication “Words of Weather: A glossary” that maps terms for a political ecology of experience.

more info:

Subnature, Trafo Gallery, Budapest - solo exhibition


23 Oct. - 5 Dec., 2021

Trafó Galéria
1094 Budapest, Liliom u. 41.

Curated by Bori Szalai and Judith Szalipszki
more info:

Potential Worlds 2: Eco-Fictions, Migros Museum, Zurich


Oct. 24, 2020 - May. 09, 2021

Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst
Limmatstrasse 270
CH-8005 Zurich

Curated by Heike Munder and Suad Garayeva-Maleki

Artists: Korakrit Arunanondchai, Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Dora Budor, Burton Nitta (Michael Burton & Michiko Nitta), Cao Fei, Julian Charrière, Carl Cheng, Jimmie Durham, Peter Fend, Tue Greenfort, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Helen Mayer Harrison & Newton Harrison, Louis Henderson, Mary Maggic, Mileece, MOON Kyungwon & JEON Joonho, Adrián Villar Rojas, Pinar Yoldas, Zheng Bo.

The group exhibition Potential Worlds 2: Eco-Fictions explores speculative designs of the network of relationships between man and nature against the background of our current ecological situation. The consequences of the devastation of nature reveal the need to understand man as a part, rather than the center of the world. This exhibition brings together both historic and contemporary artistic positions that take up and develop this idea by questioning other forms of (co)living. It also addresses the ever-changing role of man in nature at the time of new, post-human technologies and the possibilities these allow for repurposing and coexistence. How can ways be found to create an exchange between all living beings? How can the detritus of the present and the traces of destruction – the “ruins of the Anthropocene” – be handled? What potentials are released when man and nature meet and ally? Which role can art play as a technological, scientific and social experiment? The artists in the exhibition work toward a social consciousness that encompasses all living beings and, based on this attitude, design new forms of togetherness.

Land, possessions and commons, Public Art Project


July 25th to October 17th, 2021
Exhibition project in the public space of Semmering, Lower Austria

With site-specific works of Abdul Sharif Baruwa, Olga Chernysheva, Anna Daucikova, Zhanna Kadyrova, Elvedin Klačar, Mikhail Tolmachev, Milica Tomić, Inge Vavra, Hannes Zebedin and video works by Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Taus Makhacheva, Laure Prouvost and Titre Provisoire curated by Hedwig Saxenhuber July 25th to October 17th, 2021.

"In the almost 170-year-old social and cultural history of Semmering since it was opened up by the famous railway line, economic growth and social prosperity of the region can be traced in pendulum movements. The activities of the railway company and the associated development of the alpine landscape as a picturesque backdrop - often shaped by upper-class leisure culture - the "taming" of nature and an expansion of the city into the landscape with all imaginable luxurious amenities were at the beginning. Their decline as a result of the wars, the Shoah and the great social and geopolitical upheavals changed Semmering. In its long history, the tourism landscape has repeatedly been confronted with the consequences of social transformation, reached their limits and their boom has turned into the opposite. A place that was originally taken over by the high aristocracy, industrialists and well-known intellectuals and offered them diversion, was also used by a broad spectrum of day visitors in the course of democratization. The designation of the Semmering Railway as a UNESCO World Heritage Site provided new impetus.

The Semmering is a landscape full of superlatives and means something different for every visitor. It is also important at what point in time you look at the Semmering. The title land, property and commons for an exhibition of contemporary art on Semmering may at first seem as succinct as it is sought-after. But he wants to put the multi-faceted history of Semmering aside and asks questions about the meaning of "land" today - land as a piece of the earth's surface that relates to local nature, to the peculiarities of a place. He refers to the characteristic combination of fauna and flora, climate and geological composition and the human interventions that give a landscape its face."
Hedwig Saxenhuber

39th EVA International | Ireland's Biennial, 2021


39th EVA International (Phase 2)
2 July 2020 - 22 Aug. 2021

Taking its reference from the “Golden Vein,” a 19th-century descriptor for the agricultural bounty of the Limerick region, the 39th EVA International programme seeks to address ideas of land and its contested values in the context of Ireland today.

Artists: Diego Bruno, Amy Lien and Enzo Camacho, Barış Doğrusöz, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Melanie Jackson and Esther Leslie, Áine McBride, Hana Miletić, Deirdre O’Mahony, Richard Proffitt, Mario Rizzi, Aykan Safoğlu, Eimear Walshe.
Archive research presentation : The Reconciliation of the Blood Feuds Campaign, led by Erëmirë Krasniqi (Oral History Initiative), Betsy Damon Archive: Keepers of the Waters (Chengdu and Lhasa), led by Asia Art Archive.

more info:

The Normal, Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh


18 May – 29 Aug 2021

Talbot Rice Gallery
The University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Artists: Larry Achiampong, Amy Balkin, Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan, Boyle Family, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg & Sascha Pohflepp, Gabrielle Goliath, Femke Herregraven, Jarsdell Solutions Ltd, Kahlil Joseph, Tonya McMullan, Sarah Rose, James Webb

Curated by: Tessa Giblin & James Clegg

Curated in real-time, it explores ideas about pausing the train of progress, resurgent communities, ever-increasing proximity between humans and wildlife and the asymmetrical effects of this pandemic due to socioeconomic and racial inequality.

Slow Life. Radical Practices of the Everyday, Ludwig Museum Budapest


16. July, – 5. September 2021

Ludwig Museum, Budapest

Curators: Petra Csizek, Jan Elantkowski, József Készman, Zsuzska Petró, Viktória Popovics, Krisztina Üveges, Katalin Timár

Exhibiting artists: Bartha Gabó | Benczúr Emese | Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan | Ursula Biemann & Paulo Taveres | Erdei Krisztina |
ex-artist’s collective (Kaszás Tamás & Lóránt Anikó) | Manfred Erjautz | Horváth Tibor | Horváth R. Gideon | Oto Hudec | Kaszás Tamás | Koronczi Endre | Lakner Antal | Diana Lelonek | Mátyási Péter | Petra Maitz | Oliver Ressler | Schuller Judit Flóra |
Szabó Eszter Ágnes & Syporca Whandal | Süveges Rita | Lois Weinberger | Zilahi Anna

Slow Life. Radical Practices of the Every day is a group exhibition with an international scope, a commitment that reflects on today’s pressing global issues. The current logic of our world, the existing social & economic system, and the market-consumer culture have caused serious environmental problems. The approach they are based upon is in crisis, and current practices cannot provide real solutions to excessive waste production and overconsumption, and keep the exploitation of natural resources under control. (...)

DEBRISPHERE - Landscape as an extension of the military imagination - NEW PUBLICATION


Artist book by Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan
Published by PUNCH
144 pages
13,5 x 20 cm

ISBN 9786069430033

Texts by: Noit Banai, Andrew Chubb, Maja and Reuben Fowkes, Hito Steyerl, Raluca Voinea, Eyal Weizman.

The artist book by Anca Benera and Arnold Estefan is published as an accompaniment to their eponymous installation, presented for the first time in the frame of "Natural Histories. Traces of the Political" exhibition at MUMOK Vienna in 2017.

Alongside the artists' case studies, which include Ariel Sharon Park, Teuflesberg, Diego Garcia, Johnston Atoll and the Spartly Islands, the publication includes four republished texts by Andrew Chubb, Hito Steyerl and Eyal Weizman, which informed the artists' research process, and also newly commissioned essays by Noit Banai, Maja & Reuben Fowkes and Raluca Voinea.

"Territories shaped by conflict and war, new geographical configurations that need to justify state and military expansions, artificially created natures concealing destruction and trauma, these are the bones and stones of the Debrisphere, the stratum above the Lithosphere that artists Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan have sampled and analysed. Benera and Estefán play with the fine line where fiction and reality blur. It is a line similar to that of countries’ borders built as impenetrable walls and fences, or that between the desert and the forest, or the invisible maritime line separating the international from the colonising. This line is also the boundary where the Debrisphere occurs." (Raluca Voinea)

Overview Effect, Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade


October 2nd 2020 – September 20th 2021

Museum of Contemporary Art
Ušće 10, blok 15, Belgrade

project and curatorial direction: Blanca de la Torre and Zoran Erić
production: Dragana Jovović
design: Andrej Dolinka, Katarina Popović

Artists participating in the first stage: Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Tomas Colbengtson, Regina José Galindo, Markus Hiesleitner, Kinga Kiełczyńska, Elena Lavellés, Tea Mäkipää, Mary Mattingly, Anna Moreno, Branislav Nikolić, Mirko Nikolić, PSJM, Mariëlle Videler, Tanja Vujinović, Škart

All of the artists taking part in the first stage will either present new works or conceptually connect their outdoor projects with the works that will be shown in the exhibition at the Museum in 2021. Besides them, the list of artists taking part in the exhibition includes: 

Ravi Agarwal, Maria Thereza Alves, Vasco Araújo, Amy Balkin, Luna Bengoechea, Ursula Biemann, Tania Candiani, Juanli Carrión, Carolina Caycedo, Cian Dayrit, Dirk Fleischmann, Nina Galić, Asunción Molinos Gordo, Kitti Gosztola, Lungiswa Gqunta, Tue Greenfort, Michaela Grill, Igor Grubić, Christina Hermauer & Roman Keller, IC-98, Ingela Ihrman, The Institute of Queer Ecology, ISUMA, Anne Duk Hee Jordan, Tamás Kaszás, Juyon Kim, Jacob Kirkegaard, Diana Lelonek, Ernst Logar, Nemanja Milenković, Amor Muñoz, Kevin Michael Murphy, N55, Michael Najjar, Nils Norman, Fernando Palma, Marjetica Potrč, Minna Rainio & Mark Roberts, Vera Stevanović, Robertina Šebjanič & Gjino Šutić, Thomas Thwaites, Adrienn Újházi, Marie Velardi, Juan Zamora, Bo Zheng 

The term Overview Effect was coined by Frank White in 1987 to describe the cognitive shift reported by a number of astronauts on having looked back from Space at their home planet Earth. The question is, do we need such a distant point of view of the planet we occupy, as a “crew of the Spaceship Earth” to use Buckminster Fuller’s metaphor, to realize that this “spaceship” is slowly running out of “fuel” and that the crew is in need of “oxygen”?

This project seeks to address the issue of the environmental justice that can only be approached through an analysis of the inseparable links between climate change and other forms of injustice related to gender, race, corporate imperialism, indigenous sovereignty, and the importance of decolonising and de-anthropocentrizing the planet in order to reshape an inclusive mindset akin to a multispecies world.