Be what you want (BWYW) is an ongoing, and always in-progress search for ways to find, write about, and share stories, who’s unstable plot development attempts to produce opportunities for exchange & reflection between individuals like you, as it questions the limits between the subconscious, and imagination. Ongoing acts and collaborative gestures of exchange mediate BWYW’s fluid relationship with oneself, the other and the world. First commissioned by Elephant Artist Relief (EAR), a not-for-profit, artist-run organization that works towards the preservation of, and to provoke dialogue focused on the health and wellbeing of artists & other creative individuals living and working in Calgary, BWYW’s nomadic journey began this summer, as free copies of the publication circulated through Stride Gallery, Untitled Arts Society and online (bogdancheta.com). Included in this shared package, there was a special invite for you to collaborate in the making of the BWYW narrative by meeting with me for an on-site recorded interview. In the process, readers like you, became real-life companions (and writers) as you’ve joined me on walks, hikes, readings, shared meals and other normal activities that give a day its shape. Together, while learning how to share our walks & talks, we became companions – and at times, to keep the journey in motion, we wrote each other notes, made trades, shared readings, and later, as we learnt about each other, exchanged art for books, or meals, or even places for sleep.
This October, in partnership with M: ST Performance Festival, and building on the results of an ongoing residency through Stride Gallery that integrated studio time and off-site collaborations with gallery presentation and support, the Be what you want search expands to include new studio work, a limited edition – & walk inspired BWYW cologne, new walks, as well as still-unfolding, and yet-to-happen stories that continue to shape Be what you want as a story controlled by the limits of it’s own imagination – where thoughts, daydreams and the uncertainty of life, all find room & space for dialogue. Please pick up copies of I’m a long way from home, and I don’t really know these roads, the second chapter in the upcoming Be what you want compendium, to be released later in 2015. Right now, I’m working on the third chapter – let’s meet, talk, trade, collaborate.
love, b o g d a n
Born and raised in Ploiești, Romania, Bogdan Cheta now lives and works in Calgary, Canada. Drifting between the surface of the printed page, the looseness of improvisable walks, or the meandering movements of large-scale installations, his projects usually gather in a search for how to use, and imagine the act of storying as an artisanal technology for place-making. He holds an MFA in Craft from Alberta University of the Arts (2019) and his research is oriented by an attention towards the atmospheric phenomenologies of lived spaces and their potential to re-activate alternative sites for political discourse and social engagement. Recent presentations of his work include projects at Balice Hertling in Paris, 67 Steps in Los Angles, the 12th Havana Biennial, and locally, at Stride Gallery, Untitled Arts Society, The New Gallery and TRUCK. With support from Canada Council for the Arts, this is Bogdan’s second presentation with M:ST, and his first joint collaboration with CommunityWise Resource Centre and the Calgary Queer Arts Society.