Mihai Rotaru – C1 Tei : The Dorm Rooms
“In the past few years, the number of students admitted in universities has constantly increased with the effect that the demand for accommodation in student hostels has also gone up. This demand became a serious problem and the universities, citing financial reasons, considered it impractical to build new hostels. It was considered enough to supplement the bed numbers in the existing dorm rooms which results in overpopulation and demeaning living conditions. The whole situation actually reflects the incompetence and disinterest of the administrative board to solve a real problem.
I spent five years living in „C1 Tei” student hostel in Bucharest. During this time, I changed three dorm rooms and several roommates. While the living conditions varied depending both on the rooms and the roommates, living in the same space with other four guys naturally implies a forced degradation of intimacy. This concept loses its proper meaning once acknowledging and accomplishing this cohabitation. For some, living in a student hostel in such conditions means degradation, but for others it is an experience which they feel should be a part of every student’s experience. It is a fact that everyone accepts this kind of cohabitation differently.
Using photography as a tool of expression, I endeavored to document in photographs the rooms in which I, and my friends and colleagues from the student hostel, lived. I chose to illustrate each room in two different moments, to present in this way the double identity of the same space. The first photograph portrays the unpopulated room during holiday, while the second is the image of the same room, but during university year, in its moment of maximum activity and population. Therefore, I tried to catch as best I could the atmosphere of these rooms in their most different period of the year. The final result is not only a collection of images depicting dorm rooms, but also one of memories which create a more complete picture of student life.”
Mihai Rotaru, b. 1988 is working mostly on film cameras as he enjoys composing patiently in a frame the reality he live. He studied Ion Mincu University of Architecture & Urban Planning, Bucharest, the Diploma Project is ongoing. The dorm rooms project started with stories from the C1 Tei, a student hostel in Bucharest where he used to stay during his university years.