Editorial Program

Viața — mod de întrebuințare / Life a User’s Manual
Art Encounters Biennial Catalogue 2017

Language: Romanian
Publishing Date: 2017
Publisher: Art Encounters Foundation
Format: Paperback | 264 pages
ISBN: 9786069395783
Dimensions: H: 30cm | L: 20cm

The second edition of the Art Encounters biennale makes the transition from a single event to what it really means to be an art biennale: returning to the contemporary art scene once every two years with a concept that engages a variety of ideas and forces to reveal current concerns and encounters. With the framework established, each edition of Art Encounters will propose to continuously build on the core activities that develop and define the biennale, while also searching to constantly update them, giving rise to an ever-fresh event that dares to approach new directions and capabilities.

In 2015, we started with “Appearance and Essence” as the theme for the first edition of Art Encounters, which had Constantin Brâncuși at its center, offering an overview of the evolution of Romanian contemporary art. The journey through Romanian contemporary art was then balanced with a spread of works from international figures in art. In 2017, the emphasis is on the young generation of Romanian artists who experiment with varied methods of expression, adapted to some of the most diverse concerns and interests. Their works comprise a generous palette of unique perspectives regarding the different “operating instructions” of human life, imbued with issues of the present.

This time, the same diversity, obtained by means of organization, positioning and artistic expression, comes as a result of the independent art spaces from all over the country selected to participate in the biennale. Brought for the first time together, the independent spaces represent probably the most organic development of the art scene, artists’ and curators’ associations that create the essential platforms of exposure for a local art scene eager to be expressed. Starting with the second edition of the biennale, the horizons are widened, allowing an increasing number of foreign artists to enter the exhibition spaces in Timișoara and Arad, and their contributions offer a new key for reading a set of works in permanent dialogue.

Encouraged by the perspective of the year 2021, when Timișoara will be European Capital of Culture, the second edition of the Art Encounters Biennial aims at visibly positioning itself on the regional and international level, putting a stronger emphasis on the regional arts, especially those born in the former Yugoslav countries. The mix of works follow the thread of history, from the effervescent avant-garde art at the
tumultuous end of the ’60s, to the lingering wounds of a society still strongly marked by recent traumas. The purpose of the biennale, however, is not to focus on the past, but to look towards the future, giving a wider meaning of life as operating instructions. The biennial aims to contribute to the development of culture for the residents of the city through its activities, offering a program of discussion and education with the intention of bringing the general public closer to contemporary art. The children’s education program, met with resounding success and a great deal of satisfaction in 2015, is again held at the second edition of Art Encounters, and there will be an additional program for families, a starters program for the adult public and a specialised program for cultural journalists.

The message we would like to convey is that contemporary art should not be treated as a hermetic area but, when approached with courage and curiosity, it allows for discovery, offering an answer, a question, or another point of view. All of us will encounter at least one element that resonates with us, regardless of our knowledge or interests.

Anturaju’ and Other Stories / Anturaju’ și alte întâmplări
Călin Dan

Language: Romanian
Publication Date: 2016
Publisher: Art Encounters Foundation
Format: Paperback | 56 pages
ISBN: 2000000705026
Dimensions: H: 21cm | L: 14.5cm

Călin Dan has been invited by the Office of Netherland’s Chief Architect in 2005 to coordinate a pilot-project of artistic education in a maximum-security prison in Romania. The project was developed between 2006-2008, resulting in a show: Carne/Cane. The city is ours, performed by a group of inmates at Odeon Theatre in Bucharest. The interviews made in the initial phase of the project have been presented in the Anturaju’ and Other Stories exhibition (National Museum of Contemporary Art – MNAC Bucharest, 2010), together with the movie Wings for Dogs, inspired by the same context.

The book was published for the first edition of Timișoara Art Encounters Biennial – TAE (October 2015), along with a mono-screen presentation of Anturaju’ interviews, as part of an exhibition curated by Nathalie Hoyos and Rainald Schumacher.

Aparență și esență / Appearance and Essence
Art Encounters Biennial Catalogue 2015

Language: Romanian
Publishing Date: 2015
Publisher: Art Encounters Foundation
Format: Paperback | 170 pages
ISBN: 9786069395721
Dimensions: H: 30cm | L: 20cm

“What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things. Starting from this truth it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.”
Constantin Brâncuși in Brummer Gallery catalog, New York, 1926

The history of visual arts unfolds by the artworks of past times and the actual artistic practice. Artworks are condensed documents of thought, reason and of emotional relation to reality and social surrounding. Art history translates such documents into language and theory against the background of additional historic facts. Since the last decade Western art history is getting rewritten and reformulated. The one-sided narrative of art history based on the Western European and North American allegedly logical development is getting completed and modified by many stories about parallel developments based on the multiplicity of cultural spheres on our planet.

As an important element in the new and global perspective on parallel cultural narratives, also the Eastern part of Europe is getting re-discovered and re-evaluated in its own speed of development, logical relations, cultural references and differences, especially since the fall of the Iron Curtain.

“We will focus the 1st edition of Timișoara Art Encounters on artists, who belong in some way to Romanian culture and are having some of their roots in these spheres by reason of birth, language or artistic references. Artists, who are living and working in Romania and abroad. We will employ an archaeological point of view. Looking from outside and searching for the essential elements, also by attempting to make this immanent content visible. Curating means, defining the empty space in an exhibition, the space in between the artworks, the passage from one work to another. This is our task, to write content into the void, which can be experienced by the visitor.

Appearance & Essence is the curatorial guideline for this field study of the Romanian art scene. But we are not looking for some enigmatical national identity, we are looking for the cultural differences, for the individual nuances in the global discourse. The 1st Timișoara Art Encounters is focused in such a way on a particular chapter in the multi-layered narrative of contemporary art, the Romanian narrative. The 1st Encounters will look at Romanian art from the 1960’s up to now and will trace back some of the inherent storylines.”

Nathalie Hoyos / Rainald Schumacher

Photography in the Circulatory System: I started with painting and I have never moved away from it
Ion Grigorescu

Language: English
Publication Date: 2015
Publisher: Art Encounters Foundation
Format: Hardcover | 80 pages
ISBN: 9786069395707
Dimensions: H: 15cm | L: 42.5cm

Photography in the Circulatory System is an artist book by Ion Grigorescu, based on the exhibition with the same title, curated by the artist and organised by Andreiana Mihail Gallery at City Business Centre Timișoara between November 2013 — January 2014. In the album, the reader will find a consistent thematic and historical selection of photographical works spanning from the ’70s.

“(…) The circulatory system processes 20 liters of blood per day through capillary filtration, which removes plasma while leaving the blood cells. Approximately 17 litres of the filtered plasma are reabsorbed directly into the blood vessels, while the remaining 3 litres remain in the interstitial fluid. The primary function of the lymphatic system is to provide a route by which these excess 3 litres per day can be returned to the blood. The same thing takes place in developing trays – the liquid that produces images gradually decreases, the contrast blurs, and the exposure time increases. The photographer is processing photography.” (2013)

Book concept, selection of photographs, texts and layout by Ion Grigorescu.
Exhibition organised and book published with the kind support of Ovidiu Șandor.
Published by the Art Encounters Foundation.
Edition with 200 copies