Artistic Practices & Public Space

The workshop took place from 19th until 23rd of October at National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (MNAC). Workshop tutors were Jeroen Boomgaard (NL) and Hans van Houwelingen (NL). Five day of applied work, discussions, lectures and presentations by Jeroen Boomgaard (NL), Hans van Houwelingen (NL), Augustin Ioan (RO), Bogdan Ghiu (RO), Matei Bejenaru (RO), Studio Basar (RO), Hester Oerlemans (NL) and Giny Vos (NL).


The public space represents a research subject which is full of challenges, and the changes which Bucharest undergoes are a starting point for the artists who are interested in developing temporary or permanent interventions in the public space. The rising interest of the artists (and not only) to engage in the shaping of the public space has brought forth the need to explore in a more profound manner the artistic practices in the public space. The development and presentation of a work of art outside of the established spaces (galleries and museums) raises a series of pertinent questions concerning both art work or artistic intervention, as well as concerning public space itself: what are its roles and its functions, to whom and how does it address, how is public space constructed, organized, or shaped, could be a few examples of such questions.

Starting with the question “how would one define the term public when used in the phrase public art?” as well as with the observation made by art historian Hilde Heine, who highlighted the fact that, strictly speaking, no art is private, because each work of art is created with the intention of being publicly exposed, through this workshop we aim to explore several perspectives of understanding public art and delve into possible means of exploring the notion within the specific context of Bucharest.


Jeroen Boomgaard (born in 1953) is an art historian and an art critic. He is currently a Professor of Art in public space at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and head of the MA in Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. Boomgaard also leads the Art & Public Space research group (Lectoraat Kunst en Publieke Ruimte), a partnership between the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the Sandberg Instituut, the University of Amsterdam and the Virtueel Museum Zuidas (or VMZ) which stimulates theoretical and research-based reflection on the purpose of art and design in the public domain. He regularly writes articles about art and the public space for publications such as Open. Cahier on Art and the Public Domain. His latest book, Wild Park-Commissioning the Unexpected, was published in 2012 and is made up of several essays that explore the pitfalls of public art. In 2008, he edited an anthology of essays on public art,High Rise – Common Ground, Art and the Amsterdam Zuidas Area. Boomgaard lives and works in Amsterdam.

Hans van Houwelingen (born in 1957) finished his studies at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen (The Netherlands) and at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, in Amsterdam. His works are internationally manifested as interventions in public space, as well as exhibitions, lectures and publications in which he investigates the relationship between art, politics and ideology. He created several exhibitions and permanent projects in the public space. The STIFF monography Hans van Houwelingen vs. Public Art (Artimo, 2004) brings forth an overview of his projects and texts and an extensive reflection on his work. The Update publication describes the permanent renewal of the Lorentzmonument in Arnhem (The Netherlands) during Sonsbeek 2008. He recently published Undone (Jap Sam Books 2011), which brings forth nine critical reflections about three of his recent works. Van Houwelingen lives and works in Amsterdam.

First day, Monday October 19th 2015, lecture by Jeroen Boomagaard and a presentation by Studio Basar:

Tuesday October 20th, presentations made by Augustin Ioan si Hans van Houwelingen:

 Wednesday October 21st, presentations made by Hester Oerlemans and Bogdan Ghiu :

Thursday October 22nd, presentation made by Matei Bejenaru:


Friday,  October 23 rd,  presentations made by the participants and by  Giny Vos (NL)

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