Artists

Public space interventions

Dan Acostioaei

Segments of the right

performance

photo: Tiberiu Mihail Cimpoeru

The project starts from the premise that human values such as tolerance and mutual understanding are not absolute norms of contemporary society, continuously being in a state of precariousness due to fluctuations in economics and politics. Recent events in the history of mankind prove that hatred, suspicion and marginalization of the other are recurrent issues which can easily rise to the surface in public debate or be the subject of a political campaign in times of crisis.

The reactions to Law no. 217/2015 on the amendment and completion of Government’s Emergency Ordinance no.  31/2002 reveals an ultra-conservative mentality that we have wanted to consider as eradicated, or, in the worst case scenario, as having no impact on a social level. What happens today to Syrian refugees and the press campaign that has accompanied their exodus prove that the potential of hatred and visceral action guided by hatred has been underestimated.

Dan Acostioaei lives and works in Iaşi, România. He is a visual artist and he teaches at the ”George Enescu” Arts University in Iaşi. His works focus on the identity models of the Romanian society’s transition and on the ideological frontiers between the economic sphere and the conditions of artistic production in Eastern Europe. His projects have been exhibited in exhibitions such as  ”In times of hope and anxiety. Critical art from Iaşi”, hosted by MNAC, Bucharest (2015), “One Sixth of the Earth – Ecologies of Image”, MUSAC, Leon, Spain (2012), “Transitland: videoart in Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009”, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Spain (2010), “Illuminations”, Level 2 Gallery, Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom (2007).

Mihai Balko

Romania’s treasure

photo: Mihai Balko

The work explores the notion of national treasure from two points of view. The aim of this work was to do an exercise of “translation”, more precisely, to give physical form to a subject recurrently addressed in public discourses – Romania’s national treasure. The references to it are used as a smoke screen, which hides and reveals at the same time, as a means to divert and manipulate the public opinion. The work seeks to initiate a critical reflection of the way public discourses are constructed and of the means in which the various positions adopted by those in power exploit collective fears and concerns in order to generate a particular response. Another aspect refers to a different perspective of reading the notion of treasure, which might be understood as human resources. In this sense, the work is a de-construction of an iconic Romanian monument, the Endless Column. The idea of an infinite sacrifice and the public honouring of heroes are questioned in relationship with the impact they have on the individual and private lives, and of the personal drama they generate in the name of a common good.

Mihai Balko is a visual artist and since 2010 he is a founding member and vice-president of the Volum Art Association. He is the author and coordinator, along with Judit Balko, of the Expanded Space programme, co-curator of the exhibitions Sculpturogram and Insertion. He is interested in public space interventions and has produced works such as “Inner land II” (Street Delivery, 2013), “My stomach” (Expanded Space, 2012), “The grey Nomads” (Expanded Space, 2011), “The Red Sharks” (Project 1990, 2010) and “Inner land” (Sângiorz Băi, 2010). His last solo show “Prototype X” opened in October 2013 at Atelier 030202, in Bucharest.

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Radu Boeru

Parking A Lot

The installation was abusively removed without notice and without further official explanations.

Considering the unstoppable growth of the number of cars in the city, parking spots have become scarce. In their respect, the negotiations between citizens and authorities are fierce – and public space, considered under an aesthetical and functional aspect, becomes the first victim. As a direct response, the artist created the series of parking spots called Parking A Lot, aiming to receive genuine reactions from people who see the work and become aware of how important public space really is, and how it is meant to remain as such.

Radu Boeru started working in his new studio on Popa Nan St. In 2014, focusing on experimental painting and print. In 2014 he launched Indoostry, a project dedicated to research and development in the field of creative industries. Between 2008 and 2012 he creatively managed The Branding Society, a company specialized in launching and counseling new local brands. Between 2002 and 2008 he worked as art director and creative director at several agencies, also performing as graphic designer for cultural and non-profit projects. He also conceived various installation projects, mostly self-financed.

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Elana Katz

They said it was a dry, warm night 

performance

photo: Mihai Balko

This is an allegorical performance. That which “they”– a nameless authority – say to be true is believed without question, regardless of an obvious opposite reality. The artist follows standard socially-prescribed behavior for “a dry, warm night”, with passive obedience. The action stands as a parallel to blind loyalty and compliance to the authority structure within society.

Elana Katz is a conceptual artist working primarily in the medium of performance art. Katz’s work confronts cultural conventions, critically examines the complexity that lies within contradictions, and thus aims to create an experience of unlearning the assumed. Her grants have included the DAAD Graduate Studies Grant for Germany (2010), Franklin Furnace Fund for Performance Art (2011). Her ongoing work concerning historical erasure, Spaced Memory (2011-present), in which she works in Romania, Moldova, and the region of former Yugoslavia, has been realized in cooperation with the Goethe Institute of Bucharest, Goethe Centers of Cluj and Iaşi, the U.S. Embassy of Kosovo, and Embassies of Israel in both Serbia and Romania. Katz has exhibited/ performed at the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium (2011), Diehl CUBE Berlin (2013), P.P.O.W. Gallery, New York (2013), Stacion Center for Contemporary Art, Pristina (2014), Kunstwechsel, Aachen (2015), DNA Berlin (2015), and ROCKELMANN& Berlin (2016). She studied in New York at the Parsons School of Design and earned a Meisterschülerin title from the Berlin University of the Arts (Class of Katharina Sieverding). Katz has been based in Berlin since 2008.

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MONOTREMU

Nobody keeps you here

Installation

photo: Tiberiu-Mihail Cimpoeru

The work is an attempt to bring into discussion patriotism and nationalism, the way they influence both public and private spheres, but also the decisions that affect the destiny of personal lives and, implicitly, of a society. On the backdrop of the recent resuscitation of xenophobic and extreme right movements, the work aims to transform the tricolored flag from a medium of nationalism into a means of personal survival.

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MIKLOS ONUCSAN

Beware, falling leaves!

installation

photo: Tiberiu Mihail Cimpoeru

The artist got the idea to set up such a warning in the urban space on the one hand, from the many guidings and warnings that populate the urban spaces, allegedly aimed at protecting pedestrians’ comfort and safety but usually, in our cities, being rather cynical than practical: one either reads the warning that icicles may fall down while finding oneself buried half-ankle in a nearly frozen pool where the sidewalk meets the road, or is thoughtfully warned that works are being carried out on the scaffold just as one is about to get oneself injured in a pitfall that has freshly been dug and improperly been signalled for day and night. On the other hand, the artist found a motivation for such intervention in what he sees as a growing absence of people while they are physically present in the urban space. He notices every day that most pedestrians go around the town, in the streets and in parks, completely preoccupied with their cell phones and therefore, having less and less time left for contemplation. These two arguments led him to put together the intervention named ”Beware, falling leaves!”, as if he wanted to point out a regular happening whose poetics is based on uttering an uncontestable truth which requires a short reading moment in order to be properly received, one that inserts an interfering jam in the landscape of message communication in the urban space, something altogether ironic and contemplative.

Miklós Onucsan (b. 1952) lives and works in Oradea, Romania. Recent personal exhibitions: “Mo(nu)ments”, MAGMA contemporary art space, Sfântu Gheorghe, RO (2015); “Unfinished Measurements”, Plan B Gallery, Berlin, DE (2011); “Markings of the working area”, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2010); “What I have to do tomorrow, I should have done yesterday”, Plan B Gallery, Berlin, DE (2009).