Mihai Barabancea: Falling On Blades RomanianAF

"I actually have no idea what street photography is, but I can oddly sense its look-off-tilted cameras, bit of asphalt, coupla ppl, maybe a mean looking dog, some bit of crazy occurring in the corners, some action as it were" It is becoming

I began this review with these questions in mind, mostly in passing as they reflect the cacophony and performance of Mihai Baranbancea’s incredibly chaotic and brilliant Falling On Blades (Edition Patrick Frey, 2020). The book is thick tome full of intense images of Barabancea’s Romania. It is in colour and likely shot through a Yashica T4 or Contax-some form of small compact camera that allows the artist close access to the innumerable scenes of wild Romania. I tend to think of this kind of work once belonging to Vice in the early 2000s and that is not a slight against Mihai-in fact, that would have been about the timeframe when Vice was equally chaotic and sociologically-speaking was pushing boundaries that now in 2020 that as a news organisation look slightly faded and increasingly unnecessary. I am reminded of Peter Sutherland, Dash Snow etc. when I look at Mihai’s work. He has an access to Romania that outsiders do not and you can feel the low-light and flash-induced images in all their fast-paced glory. There is an anxiety involved. There is a palpable danger and a return to risk-taking that seems to have gone missing over the past decade.