Alexandra Pirici’s Encyclopedia of Relations – commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporarywas presented at the Renaissance Society, Chicago, as part of the “Intermissions” series in December 2023.

Launched in 2017, “Intermissions” is an ongoing programming series devoted to performance and other inventive time-based works. For the presentation of Pirici’s Encyclopedia of Relations, six performers revisited the various ongoing relations in a new space at the Renaissance Society— encompassing human interactions and relations with and among other entities.

Alexandra Pirici is known for staging ongoing performative actions that consider histories and social structures. A trained dancer, Pirici often assembles groups of performers into formations that she describes as live sculptures, which act, move, shift and sing. Her works are conceived as continuous actions that develop over long periods of time. Her practice focuses on making a topic that appears fixed to become fluid.

Pirici’s work for Biennale Arte 2022 was an ambitious new project that pays tribute to and challenges the notion of the encyclopaedia. While encyclopaedias present disciplines or elements of our world as distinct and separate entities, Pirici’s work focuses on the relationships that exist between elements as a way of understanding deeper complexities.


Through choreography and movement, Encyclopedia of Relations emphasises the interconnectedness of our world and presents knowledge as always transforming and evolving. Six performers continuously reconfigure themselves into forms and structures inspired by these different worldly interactions and relationships that flow into one another using movement, sound and spoken word. The work also brings together references from music, literature, poetry and mathematics, while merging elements of the natural world with the surreal.

Conceived as an ongoing artwork, Encyclopedia of Relations has the possibility of incorporating new elements and the relationships between them over its duration, echoing the many ways it can take to compile and “complete” an encyclopaedia.

Relations are fluid, made and remade, revealing how apparently distinct life-forms or elements are embedded in inseparable, larger forms of coexistence.

Alexandra Pirici


Portrait of Alexandra Pirici

Alexandra Pirici (born in 1982 in Bucharest, Romania) is an artist with a background in dance and choreography, working in the field of visual arts and contemporary performance art. Her work has been widely exhibited internationally, two times included in the Venice Biennale - the 59th edition of the International Art Exhibition “The Milk of Dreams” in 2022 and the Romanian Pavilion at the 55th edition in 2013, and in the decennial art exhibition Skulptur Projekte Munster in 2017. She had collective and solo exhibitions in contexts such as New Museum New York, Art Basel Messeplatz, The 9th Berlin Biennale, Manifesta 10, Tate Modern London, Centre Pompidou Paris, Museum Ludwig Cologne, The Van Abbemuseum Eindhoven, NTU CCA Singapore, among many others.

Alexandra Pirici works in museum contexts, in public space and sometimes in theatrical frameworks. She choreographs ongoing actions, performative monuments and performative environments that fuse dance, sculpture, spoken word and music. Her works deal with monumentality or the history of specific places and institutions in order to playfully tackle and transform existing hierarchies. They also reflect on the history and function of gestures in art and popular culture or on questions about the body, its presence, absence or image and the politics of capture. Her performative artworks are part of private and public collections as live actions.

Since February 2023, she is the first Professor for Performance in Contemporary Art at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munchen (AdBK Munich).