National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest
2-4, Str. Izvor
artists & participants
Trans:it. Moving Culture Through Europe is an itinerant project that deals with the most urgent themes of contemporary culture and artistic production in Europe. An observatory/laboratory on the various practices of artistic intervention on the territory.
The members of the Advisory Board for NowHere Europe are: Ruxandra Balaci, Iara Boubnova, Anselm Franke, Germana Jaulin, Katerina Koskina, Marco Scotini, Pelin Tan, Nina Vagiç.
Cycle of documentary films by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi The cycle of documentary films of the project Trans:it. Moving Culture through Europe represents the synthesis of field research carried out along three itineraries. The documentaries were made using an approach that was both critical and curatorial, considering video the ideal means to deal with the fluidity of the issues analysed.
Structured according to the geographic routes through the cities in which research was carried out, the documentaries include interviews with artists, architects and critics and present the contexts in which the interventions were realized.
The Invisible Community Documentary film, Italy, 2003-2005 DVCAM, 46' 23" Original language Engl./Fr./It. (subtitled in English) This first documentary covers the first phase of research for the project, looking at an itinerary that passed through Paris, Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Rome. The research investigates suburban and urban contexts in which "invisible communities" have grown up as a result of the redefinition of social relationships and the development of cultures parallel to those of the country in question. Multiculturalism, abandoned places, collective imagination and memory, visual and social transformation, the image of the city and the sense of public space in the European context, are all themes examined.
Ruins for the Future Documentary film, Italy, 2004 DVCAM, 46' Original language: English. The second documentary film was shot in Berlin, Bucharest, Sophia and Belgrade where, after the fall of the Iron Curtain, artists, architects and art critics contributed to redesigning the urban landscape. Through new geographies and visual transformations, memory and identity are questioned when the city's form changes and the city itself seems to become more vulnerable. Ruins speak of the existence of a lost time which artistic practice endeavours to rediscover: artists seek to construct a common plane on which to merge individual experience with collective experience, personal responsibility with civil responsibility.
Fluid Cities Documentary film, Italy, 2004 DVCAM, 32' 47" Original language: English During the third phase, the projects for public space developed by artists active in Athens, Istanbul and Cyprus show a particular interest in traditions and local culture, manifested in light of globalising pressures arriving from the world at large. These cities have been transformed into multicultural laboratories. Migratory flows, collective memories and spaces undergoing rapid change have given shape to the concept of fluidity, a characteristic common to various territories and demonstrative of the continual, rapid and increasing process of transformation to which the urban context is subject.
Atelier van Lieshout AVL- Ville 2001 Video documentation, 60' In the year 2001 Atelier van Lieshout realised AVL-Ville, a free state at the port of Rotterdam. This large-scale project can be viewed as a grand work of art that represents the culmination of AVL's work so far. AVL-Ville had its own flag, currency and constitution, as well as facilities such as a power plant, working and living units, a mobile farm, compost toilets, a water purification system, a fully operational hospital, a restaurant and a distillery. After eight months, AVL-Ville was closed down, but recently AVL created the first export-product of AVL-Ville in Park Middelheim in Antwerp: AVL Franchise Unit. The unit can be considered the first building of a new settlement.
Erik van Lieshout Respect 2003 Video, 8' 25'' The video Respect depicts an absurd multicultural context in the southern suburbs of the city of Rotterdam. A group of black, African and Arab kids act along with the artist, offering their own take on some disconcerting aspects of the urban experience and ethnic identity in contemporary society. They created their own screenplay on how to get rich by dealing drugs and involving Erik and his brother Bart in their illegal activities. It seems a banal story, but it is their story, and most importantly, the story they wanted to tell.
Osservatorio Nomade Immaginare Corviale 2005 Documentary film, 30' The video documents the project Imagining Corviale realised by Osservatorio Nomade in collaboration with several artists, architects and filmmakers in the neighbourhood of Corviale. Corviale is a 958-metre-long public housing complex inhabited by about 6000 people, located in the south-western perifery of Rome. The project deals with the imagery, memory, life and transformation of a public space. The artists involved worked in cooperation with the inhabitants to create a new image for the residential complex. Imagining Corviale developed through laboratories for the creation of a local television station, and for the production of events and artistic interventions. Three dimensions emerged from a dialogue with the residents: the real and subjective experience of the place, the image of the place, and the memory of the place. These three dimensions led to the development of the three platforms of the project: ON/Field, ON/UniverCITY and ON/Network.
Armin Linke e Renato Rinaldi Nuovo corviale, 2005
Campement Urbain Qui decide de la beauté ? (Who decides beauty ?) I and Us project 2003 Video, 26' The project I and Us was conceived for the recently-constructed Beaudottes district of the city of Sevran, which has developed around the RER station along the "B" metro line between Paris and the Charles de Gaulle airport, and now houses thousands of people. The neighbourhood, consisting largely of public housing and hosting an emarginated population made up of a majority of foreigners, has become infamous for social problems. The intent of Campement Urbain, as the video shows, is to create, within an area of great urban tension, a special place available to all and protected by everyone (I and Us). It is an on-going project the goal of which is to act "from within", and to experiment with new forms of responsibility and sharing.
Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica Viodeograms of a Revolution 1992 16mm film, 106' Videograms of a Revolution, concerns the Romanian revolution of 1989 - including the fall, flight attack and Christmas day execution of President Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena - and was put together under the direction of Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica from independent and state television video and film sources. Videograms is intended as to represent the closing of the parentheses of the Twentieth century in Eastern Europe. Crowds are seen from above scattering under gunfire: revolutionary leaders are shown seizing the stages at popular demonstrations, and major events in the story are presented from multiple perspectives.
Ion Grigorescu My Beloved Bucharest 1978 8mm film, 14' The film, shot during the construction of the Bucharest metro, focuses on the gradual proletarianization and degradation of what was once the elegant capital of Romania. Grigorescu uses the worksite to represent the gradual change in the regime's policies. Areas under demolition designated for the construction of new housing for the working classes and for the metro are not the subject of an in-depth analysis, but rather the situation captured by the filmmaker as he walked around with a hand-held camera is. Political slogans, displayed on large billboards all over town or published in newspapers, promoted the "golden future" of communism: they read, for example, "Long live communism, the shining future of the human race!", or "Tell future generations of our sacrifice!"
Antoniy Donchev Art on the Tiles 1989 35mm film, 13' In September 1989 a group of young avant-garde Bulgarian artists organized an exhibition on the roof terrace of the Artists Union building in Sofia. This happening is documented by Antoniy Donchev's video, which, through a series of interviews with the artists who participated, focuses both on the works presented in the show and on the situation of contemporary art in Bulgaria in the period imediately preceding the fall of the Berlin wall. Between the art works on display, View to the West by Nedko Solakov was presented: a telescope was placed on the parapet of the terrace, and, looking to the West, focused on the red star of the Communist Party building in Sofia. The work raised much controversy and censorship, which the artist refers to in an interview. The exhibition seemed to anticipate the changes that would soon revolutionize the social and political panorama of Eastern Europe.
Luchezar Boyadjiev Super! Super! 2003 Video, 4' 26'' The video Super!Super! takes its cues from the project Hot City Visual, which explores urban visual logics and intervenes on the visual environment of the city of Sofia. The visual interface of the neo-capitalist city is defined by a law which makes it possible for anyone to display anything, anywhere, as long as he can afford to pay for it. The work of Luchezar Boyadjiev consists of promoting a reversal of this stratified visual hierarchy in which vast visual spaces for corporate billboards are located on high, while crude, handmade small family businesses logos are affixed lower down. Super! Super! advertises a small Roma family business in a corporate way, by positioning a huge billboard in the centre of town. The decision to publicize Stefan's family businesses is due largely to the fact that the Rom gypsy minority, although certainly visible on the streets of Sofia, has no presence in the advertising context and is presented in a negative way by the media.
·kart ·kart in short 2001 Documentazione video / video documentation, 3' 13'' ·kart in Short is a video documenting the various projects that the ·kart collective has carried forth in recent years, subverting the mass media system and creating a new kind of art economy. The project Your Shit-Your responsibility began in 2000 and consisted of a series of urban actions regarding the concept of responsibility. 10 With Onions-Embroidery Project, on the other hand, is a yearly itinerant project that involves several female collectives living in the area around Belgrade, like Choirche·Kart, which uses the choir as a symbol of togetherness. The urban actions organised by ·kart attempt to involve people on several planes of collective responsibility and self-awareness, as in Coupons Actions (1998-on going) which reuses the coupons the regime used to print for bread distribution as a means to rename new forms of limitations and share new feelings.
Athanasia Kyriakakos Coffee World 2004 Video documentation, 6'45'' Athanasia Kyriakakos' work is a sort of journey springing from her own memory and experience as an artist and a woman. The coffee performances/coffee readings were born out of a need to create an environment, a space that was both public and intimate, one that would challenge a community to form around it. Not too long ago women would gather on their verandas to share a cup of coffee and share their dreams, hopes, and fears. Coffee became the catalyst for such a connection. The Greek artist has chosen to share this personal material with other people in order to build new possibilities of relationships in the public context, new ideas of communality and original perceptions of space and time. The environments and communities thus created are both temporary and mobile, like the society we live in. The simple action of sharing or giving has the consequence of slowing down time for the public, who in turn give their time to be part of this exchange, this dialogue.
Maria Papadimitriou Transbonanza Platform (Luv Car) 2003 Video documentation, 13' 40'' Since 1988, and within the context of the work in progress T.A.M.A. (Temporary Autonomous Museum for All), Maria Papadimitriou has been working with a community of Vallach-Romanian origin that lives on the outskirt of Athens. She intervenes in the community's living conditions, and it is this intervention that she proposes as her work. Trans-Bonanza Platform (Luv Car) is a truck, the open bed of which has been converted into a platform that can be used as a stage for live concerts. The truck roams through the neighborhoods of Athens, inviting passers-by to partecipate in an impromptu celebration, a kind of carnival, in which roles are reversed and at the same time delineate a sphere of rebellion. The truck transcends the prescribed borders of various leisure zones, transgressing not only urban but also ideological boundaries: the truck is a stereotype of the mythology that has been built up around the Rom, often used as an index of exoticism emptied of meaning.
Can Altay 'We're paperman' he said 2003 Video, 9' 56'' Minibar 2001-2003 Video, 3' 30'' The papermen as they call themselves go through the garbage of the city, sifting through trash and garbage to extract and recycle objects they can earn a bit of money from. In general, theirs is an activity aimed at earning money in a very organized and territorialized manner. Unrecognized and unofficial, the papermen move through the streets with their carts, occupy sidewalks sifting through garbage. They act against the official garbage collection system, and against the system in general, but what they do supports the system itself, due to the enormous increase in recycling rates. The project Minibar is based on the temporary utilization of existing urban elements around and between buildings by youth for night-life and socializing. Minibar is not a radical "taking over" yet it encourages shifting and subversion of the meanings appointed to these already existing spaces which are neither public nor private. In Minibar, space is produced without building anything, and there exists no commercial entity, no service provided, just people hanging out, bringing their own drinks.
Esra Ersen Brothers and Sisters 2003 Video, 23' 27'' The video Brothes and Sisters is the result of many months of work carried out by the artist in collaboration with a group of African immigrants in the city of Istanbul. Esra Ersen reflects on the urban experience and the perception of the city space by people normally marginalized from community life, illegal immigrants living temporarily in Turkey before moving on to Western European countries. The transitory status of these immigrants influences the way they use the urban fabric (houses as camps, meeting places…) and the characteristics of their identities, divided between their own traditions and a future social position.
Gülsün Karamustafa Objects of Desire/ A Suitcase Trade (100 $ Limit) 1998-2001 Video documentation, 9'22'' Gulsun Karamustafa's project reflects on the possibilities of coexistence between the Eastern perspective and the Western attitude: political, economical, religious, sexual tensions between opposites are experienced directly by the artist. By observing market relations in the city of Istanbul, referred to as the "suitcase trade", "tourist trade" or the "border trade", the artist reflected on these trends. Carrying a suitcase filled with illegal goods that he had recently purchased from the informal markets of Istanbul, Gusuln Karamustafa crossed the borders to various destinations where she sold the contents of her suitcase so as to share her experience with the public.
Oda Projesi Oda Revisited 2004 Video documentation, 25' 43'' The documentary video Oda Revisited covers the different phases of a project realized by the art collective Oda Projesi in Istanbul's city center Galata neighbourhood. Interviewing the residents of the district and documenting the different activities promoted there, the video analyses how the group bases its work on the creative potential of everyday life. Their primary interest is to involve inhabitants of the neighbourhood to increase the possibilities of developing a "social sculpture" in progress, moulded by the relationships between individuals and spaces in everyday life.
Presentation of the book The [un] common place. Art, public space and urban aesthetics in Europe. The book documents more than fifty artistic and urban projects and interventions realized or in the process of realization in Europe. 254 pages with theoretical contributions by Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Hou Hanru, Katerina Koskina, Theophilos Tramboulis, Claudia Zanfi, Ana Paula Cohen, Maartje Berendsen, Lidia Porcar, Ramon Parramon, Ute Meta Bauer, François Hers, Jean-Baptiste Joly, Iara Boubnova, Ruxandra Balaci, Mihnea Mircan, Yorghos Tzirtzilakis, Raluca Velisar, Pelin Tan, Jochen Becker/ Metrozones, Erden Kosova, Teresa Macrì, Eric Corne.
only in german
Trans:it. Moving Culture Through Europe
A project by Adriano Olivetti Foundation, Rom
mit Mario Airo, Can Altay, An Architektur , Patrick Andre, Atelier van Lieshout, Erik van Lieshout, Baktruppen, Shigeru Ban, Massimo Bartolini, Matei Bejenaru, Irina Botea, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Eva Brunner-Szabo, Campement Urbain, Calin Dan, Antoniy Donchev, Esra Ersen, Harun Farocki, gelitin , Ion Grigorescu, Jeanne van Heeswijk, Gülsün Karamustafa, Kim Sooja, Iosif Kiraly, A. P. Komen / Karen Murphy, Athanasia Kyriakakos, Erik van Lieshout, Armin Linke / Renato Rinaldi, Aydan Murtezaoglu, Lucy Orta, Osservatorio Nomade, Maria Papadimitriou, Cesare Pietroiusti, Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Oda Projesi , Bülent Sangar, School of Missing Studies, Skart Group, Sean Snyder, Simon Starling, Socrates Stratis, Anne-Violaine Taconet, Krassimir Terziev, Barthelemy Toguo, Gert Tschögl, Florin Tudor, Andrei Ujica, Urban Void, Mona Vatamanu, Zafos Xagoraris, Edwin Zwakman