(CLICK HERE FOR THE ROMANIAN VERSION) The first Biennial of Contemporary Art in Romania took place in October in Timișoara and brought together works of art made from 1960 to present.Since 1960 until now, Romanian art has been rewritten by Romanian artists and groups worldwide.
During last October, everyone who lives in Timișoara or who has just passed through the city heard about it. There were all over the city posters with the biennial and because became a common topic you couldn’t miss it.
Timișoara played an important role in the Romanian art history as an active centre of experimental art since 70`s. The history of visual arts is revealed for the biennial through the works of art made by artists of different generations. These artworks can be seen as a folder full of emotions and thoughts. During the biennial, Timișoara city has been transformed into a contemporary art gallery, where more than 100 artists have exposed their artworks in 17 different locations. Some of these locations are: Art Museum Timișoara, Cazarma U, City Business Centre, Timișoara Revolution Memorial, Cetate Synagogue and so on. These buildings where not chosen at random, each of them represent an important place for Timișoara`s community. For example in 1989 at Timco Halls were held the first protests against the communist dictatorship. There have been exhibited artworks of Rudolf Bone, Dan Perjovschi, Adrian Ghenie, Dragoș Alexandrescu, Alex Mirutziu and so on. Cetate Synagogue became an exhibition place where the Romanian artist, Ioana Nemeș, exposed her work – a sound installation called “The Wall Project”.
During the Biennial there were opened spaces that until now were closed to the public. An example is Cazarma U which was open to the public for a month. In this place Jecza Gallery presented in a unique manner artworks of Dan Paladea artist: Rapport inegal, 2010; Amprenta sudorului fruntaș, 2006; Pod, 1988.
Art Encounters represents a meeting point for the entire art scene from Romania, but also a connection with the international art community. Another exhibition, signed by the Sequential Strings, is a tribute to the Romanian sculptor Constantin Brâncuși.
In this exhibition, all the artworks illustrate the principle of repetition that is also found in the works of Brâncuși. Here are some of the artists whose works are exhibited at the Timișoara Art Museum:Ștefan Bertalan, Teodor Graur, Constantin Flondor, Geta Brătescu, Paul Neagu and so on.
There were also two other exhibitions, each exhibited artworks of SIGMA group and artworks of Avantpost group. The members of these two groups are artists who activate in Timișoara.
For involving more the local community some programs were created. One example is the volunteer program which offers a possibility for the public to get involved in the activities of the biennial.
I tried to focus on the artists who were physically present at the biennial and had a major impact on contemporary art in Romania and also abroad. One of these artists is Dan Perjovschi which is an important figure in the artistic world of the 21th Century. The artist is well known for his drawings-installation made at a big scale using black and blue ink on the surface of a building. His drawings can be seen at the National Technical Library in Prague. During Art Encounters the artist covered the entire façade of Timco Halls with sketches inspired from daily news. He also finds inspiration from the place where he is about to sketch and puts his signature on a building in an original way. Dan Perjovschi has something to say through his manifest drawings; his drawings are about social movement or about political movement.
Looking at the sketches from the glass surface and at the real background in the same time it looks like the drawing is introduced into the world. The events happen while we look through the window of the hall and we can notice the artist’s ability to create a situation, an event. Through fact that the artist is drawing on a glass facade of a building he accentuates that his work is a mirror of the society. The architecture becomes a support of some messages that the artist wants to transmit through his drawings; it is a reinterpretation of the architectural space. He creates a “story-telling window” as Wendy Mac Naughton is saying, working directly on the support surface of a space, museum or an exhibition. He uses the wall of an institute as a frame and in this way he has the impression of belonging to the space. He’s part of a culture, so he respects the philosophy of an art that it has to show and to express something. Somehow, the architectural space of a museum is expanded through the work of an artist beyond its limits, so the culture is expanded out from a limited space. The artist tries to involve the visitor to interact with the art in a visual way. Even if it is another type of interaction, this contemporary tendency can be also noticed in the AMOCOCO structure.
I think that the biennial was created from the desire to mark the importance of Romanian art from Timișoara in defining a direction of contemporary art. During the Biennial there were lectures conducted by Erwin Kessler (curator), Bogdan Ghiu (writer), Vlad Olariu (artist), Alex Mirutziu (artist) and so on. . Each of them had a variety of topics that let the audience reflect on each subject of the conference.