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Artist Threatened with Censorship for Critiquing Contemporary Art Organization’s Practices

December 1, 2014

via Daniel Djamo

Daniel Djamo // Dear Mr. Luca Curci, 2014

Daniel Djamo // Dear Mr. Luca Curci, 2014

 

Dear Mr. Luca Curci / 2013

This work was sent to the call for artists BorderBody – Mixing Cities, an exhibition that was supposed to take place at Palazzo Barone Ferrara, from Bari (Italy), organized by International ArtExpo and Mr. Luca Turci, after they had mailed me, informing me of the deadline (November 7th, 2013). The exhibition was supposed to take place between November 28th and December 6th, 2013 (for one whole week). I never thought that they would invite me to participate yet again in an exhibition organized by them, after the following:

From: International ArtExpo
To: dndjamo@yahoo.com 
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 11:27 AM
Subject: Border Cities & New Identities | Romania 2013 – Confirmation

Dear Daniel, 

we are glad to confirm your participation in Border Cities & New Identities | Romania 2013.

Border Cities & New Identities | Romania 2013 – International Art Exhibition of Photography, Video Art, Computer Graphics, Painting, Architecture and Performing Art will be held in Suceava (Romania), at The Water Plant “Uzina de Apa”from July 26, to August 02 2013. 

In attachment you will find the submission form with all details to take part in the event with the works “And I loved only you” and “Le noir subit”. The entry fee for each artwork selected is:

photography / video art / computer graphics / painting / architecture categories
- 100 euro per selected work
performing art category
- FREE per selected performance

Since the deadline for applications was yesterday, we need your confirmation as soon as possible.
  
Thanks for all your time,
Luca Curci
Director

International ArtExpo
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 33
70122 Bari (Italy) 
+39.0805234018
+39.3387574098
www.lucacurci.com/artexpo
 

From: dndjamo@yahoo.com
To: International ArtExpo
Sent: Tuesday, July 2, 2013 12:13 PM
Subject: Re: Border Cities & New Identities | Romania 2013 – Confirmation

Dear Mr. Luca Curci, first of all hello to you as well.

I will enlist some of the reasons why I am stunned to hear that you are asking 100 euros\work:

1. never, under no circumstances have I heard someone pay 100 euros\work to exhibit in Suceava for almost a week (I am Romanian and I know things around my country)
2. you never ever said anything about an exhibition fee in the call that I found through the artist call website that presented the exhibition
3. I just wanted to present some works in Suceava because I wanted people from the Romanian region of Moldavia to see what it is that I do
4. I do not need this sort of publicity. I did this only to share something with the artistic community
5. If we are talking about money, I never payed for any exhibitions that I was in – I was actually the one being payed to exhibit in some cases (a few until now, it’s true). I am a young artist – 26.

It would had been correct to put in all of your calls the sum of money that you are asking. This is how it would be fair. And 100 euros to exhibit in Romania is totally crazy. And where? In Suceava?! 

Yours, poorly,
Daniel Djamo

http://djamo.weebly.com/

P.S.

On November 30th, 2014, at 3:59 PM I received a message from Mr. Curci in which he threatened me with a lawsuit if I would not take down the page from this free website made on weebly.com in 7 days (a website that does not belong to any specific company).
Also, he insisted that he would inform ALL OF THE INSTITUTIONS and my GOVERNMENT (written like this, with capital letters) of my misbehavior.

This happened 1 year and 24 days after I have sent my work to him, in a demand to include it 
in one of his exhibitions, at Palazzo Barone Ferrara, after he continued spamming my mailbox with news regarding his projects (message sent on November 6th, 2013, at 1:15 AM). I have also provided him with the online link.

From: dndjamo@yahoo.com
To: Luca Curci
Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2013 1:15 AM
Subject: hello daniel djamo work submission

Hello, Mr. Director Luca Curci. I want to present to you my work – photography – for your upcoming exhibition.

I will have it printed (it is a promise) – and I always keep my word.
Also, I want to have it in an exhibition in Romania. I want to make you famous. You deserve it. You are amazing.

I dedicate it to you: http://djamo.weebly.com/dear-mr-luca-curci.html

Yours, kindly,
Daniel Djamo

He never replied to my demand of being part of the exhibition. So, I was unable to send it. I guess that Mr. Curci does not like my art.

Now, November 30th, 2014: He wrote to me that he is paying between 500 and 1000 euros/day for renting the spaces of his exhibitions. Of course, I do believe that he payed 1000 euros/day to have some works exhibited in Uzina de Apa (in Suceava, Romania). That meant that for the whole exhibition week he payed between 3500 euros and 7000 euros. To have payed this money for the exhibition only, he should have presented 70 works, only to neutralize the payment (for Uzina de Apa, Suceava, Northern Romania, the European center of marketed art). I am also very sure that he has the bills that state that he payed between 500 to 1000 euro/day for Suceava’s exhibition space.

Democratic as it should be on paper, the internet can prove a place of censorship.

And as open to dialogue as Mr. Curci seems to be, the content of my website angers him. I did not insult Mr. Curci, I did not use foul language in writing my messages and nor did I lie. I just shared two things with the artistic community: the price and the places of exhibition. And, of course, humor should be censored, as we are all aware.

I am kindly asking ROMANIAN INSTITUTIONS and my GOVERNMENT to take notice of my misbehavior, in presenting one’s point of view upon a matter.

I would want to thank all of the people who contacted me in regard to this work. Thank you for your support.

 

_____________________________________________________________________

Please share this story widely and post comments below to support the artist being threatened  for refusing to take his work down from his website. 

Other cases surrounding Mr. Luca Curci / ArtExpo Group that have been shared publicly:

Luca Curci and the ArtExpo Scam

Mexico Biennale paintings missing

International ArtExpo. Next Festivals

ArtExpo 2005 by Luca Curci in Italy

If there are other readers who have had similar experiences with Mr. Curci / ArtExpo we invite them to also share their stories with us. 

Police Censors Exhibition “Diorthosi” (Correction) by Artist Paola Reveniotis (Nicosia, Cyprus)

November 28, 2014

via Diana Georgiou

The transexual artist, Paola Revenioti, had a photographic exhibition on 20 November 2014, depicting the naked bodies of trans and gay individuals. Citizens complained about the content and the Cyprus state police walked in, without notifying anyone, and charged the organisation for publicly displaying obscenities: namely, penises. Note, the exhibition is supported by the municipality of Nicosia and by the national LGBT association. Further note, homosexuality has been decriminalized since 1998. Final note, Cyprus has happily agreed to embrace all articles of the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Article 10 of the convention clearly states: everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.

I am looking for a lawyer to take on the above case. This is a voluntary position. It follows equality and diversity guidelines.

Please apply via email to diana.georgiou@cuntemporary.org

 

More information about the case via incyprus

Gay rights NGO Accept-Cyprus LGBT has slammed police censorship after photographs exhibited to mark International Transgender Day of Remembrance were confiscated and its chairman charged with exhibiting obscene material in a public space.

Accept said that it has already lodged a complaint with the ombudsman and would also be reporting the issue to local authorities, the European Parliament and the European Commission. The exhibition “Diorthosi” (Correction) by Greek trans activist and photographer Paola Revinioti was staged at Nicosia Municipal Market to mark Thursday’s Transgender Day.
Accept said that on Friday, police confiscated the photographs after a complaint by one individual. It noted that in order to protect the exhibited work during the daily operation of the market, the photographs had been covered. “Therefore the works were covered both when the complaint was lodged and when they were being confiscated by police,” it said.

Police confiscated all the photos, then questioned and charged Accept chairman Costas Gavrielides with exhibiting obscene work in a public space, Accept added. Police acted without informing Nicosia Municipality which had officially given permission for the exhibition nor the organisers, it said. Some of the photos were returned, but others of male nudes were confiscated to be used as evidence in a trial. “Accept condemns what happened as clear-cut censorship and believes it has been targeted for its work,” it said. “The confiscation goes against any artistic expression that does not fall within the antiquated ideas of the police and the state as to what is art,” it added.

The photographer was not in Cyprus when the police raided her exhibition. She told Lemesos newspaper that she had been shocked by developments adding that there was nothing obscene in the photographs, many of which were take years ago for which no issue had arisen in the past in Greece. “It is terrible for an artist to have his work taken down and branded obscene,” she said.

_______________________________________________________________________

Open protest letter

NO TO CENSORSHIP IN ART

As an artistic community we condemn the Cyprus Republic Police’s breaching and seizing of photographs from Paola Reveniotis’ exhibition “Correction” which took place at the Municipal Market in Nicosia on 21/11/14.

As artists and concerned citizens we believe that this downright act of censorship upsets, distresses and offends artistic creativity and the right to freedom of speech and expression.

We consider unacceptable such repressive acts, where art is subject to the judgment and censorship of any form of power.

We also consider it an alarming prospect that freedom of speech may be restricted, instead of protected, by any State institution. We confirm here that such practices belong to totalitarian regimes and not to democratic and multicultural societies.

The role of art is to be critical and to raise awareness on key social issues; to be a tool for change and to promote dialogue on issues that remain sidelined or suppressed.

We welcome Nicosia Municipality’s support for the visual and activist intervention of Paola Reveniotis, organized by ‘Accept’ LGBT Cyprus, as part of the International Day of Transgender Remembrance.

We would like to believe that the confiscation of the photographer’s work will remain an isolated incident, unrelated to her gender identity, sexuality and activism and similarly unrelated to Accept’s action.

We hope that this incident will provide the opportunity for open discussions and expressing positions responsibly on the following issues:

- What is considered obscene and what immoral? How does that insult and threaten society? Therefore, what representations of the nude human body are deemed acceptable?

-When and how is public space assaulted? How can we support the rights of trans persons (and also of other social groups) to claim public space and speech?

-What is the role of Art? Can what is constrained be considered Art?

-What are the limits and criteria of censorship, and at the expense of whom is censorship practiced? Who is eligible to censor and under what capacity?

Finally, we demand that any prosecution against the organizers of the exhibition is suspended and that the artist’s work is immediately returned.

Sincerely,

Artists and citizens of Cyprus.

 

Sign the petition here.

 

 

The Case of Atelier 35 (Bucharest Romania)

November 24, 2014

For more background on this case please read Atelier 35 Evacuated by the Romanian Artists’ Union to Make Room for Pavilion (Bucharest, Romania)

 

//EN

Xandra Popescu and Larisa Crunțeanu. English translation, editing by Corina L. Apostol

 

We are publishing the reply of the R.A.U.(Romanian Artists’ Union) to the current team members of Atelier 35, Larisa Crunţeanu and Xandra Popescu.

Here is the full text and below our response to each of their points:

R.A.U. (Romanian Artists’ Union) / STATEMENT

Concerning the recent discussions on social networks about Atelier 35, the Romanian Artists’ Union makes the following statement:

Due to the fact that false information was spread through social networks concerning Atelier 35, the Romanian Artists’ Union wants to inform the public about the real situation through this statement.

Atelier 35 is a brand created, supported and protected by the R.A.U. throughout the four decades of its existence. It was and should remain a vector of change, experimentation and renewal for the contemporary art space. Atelier 35 has not ceased its activities. It only returns to the space that made it famous and where history was created – Orizont Galleries. The R.A.U.’s efforts to recover the lost space of Atelier 35 have successfully materialized and now its activity can be resumed after a long period of exile.

The decision of the board of the R.A.U was made because of the legitimacy of the space and its history, as well as to avoid recurring conflictual situations ascertained at the space on Selari 13 [the current address of Atelier 35]. If the people who are currently coordinating the curatorial projects at Atelier 35 are exasperated by the serious incidents that happened there and find inappropriate the opportunity to continue their work in the space which the R.A.U. considers to be the home of Atelier 35, then we thank them for their cooperation, and at the same time contradict their the news that Atelier 35 is dead. We continue to support the work of young artists, both from morally and financially.

The R.A.U. reaffirms its social, political and cultural tolerance, and its willingness to support and collaborate with artists of all ages and aesthetic options, with professional curatorial teams, as it has in the case of Atelier 35, or with independent cultural operators, such as the Centre for Visual Introspection, Electroputere, Meta Foundation, etc.

The Board of the R.A.U.  

 

We appreciate the Union’s prompt response, but we believe that their explanations do not address the issues that we raised. We revisited their statement and reacted to each point.

1. “Atelier 35 is a brand created, supported and protected by the R.A.U. throughout four decades of its existence. […] Atelier 35 has not ceased its activities. It only returns to the space that made it famous and where history was created – Orizont Galleries.”

With each possible occasion we mentioned the history of Atelier 35, the artists who were supported by it, including in our last text published here. But should the Union reproach us for taking this project personally? For considering it as an extension of our artistic practice? An impersonal project based on volunteering would have probably lasted as long as volunteer services usually do.

2. “It was and should remain a vector of change, experimentation and renewal for the contemporary art space.”

We believe that through our work we have done just that. In our practice we always tried to expand the boundaries of what contemporary art can be. But under these circumstances, we can not really be scolded [by the Union] for the absence of art objects on the walls. Also, we believe that the pressure to produce and exhibit something constantly is unjustified. Even more so, there was never a written agreement between us and the R.A.U. on the rights and obligations of both parties.

3. “The decision of the board of the R.A.U was made because of the legitimacy of the space, its history, as well as to avoid recurring conflictual situations ascertained at the space on Selari 13.”

We could always oppose the historical discontinuity argument. Supposing that we accept the opportunity to continue our work in the basement of the Orizont galleries. Who can guarantee us that after a short period of time we will not be forced to leave also that space?

- This aside, the manner in which the R.A.U. acts proves its lack of attention to us and our work. We believe that it would have be just to consult and inform us of their decision before it was taken and not put us before the fact. From what we understand we were the last to learn about the Union’s decision.

- Regarding the conflicts at Şelari 13, we want to emphasize that since we began working there we always had a proper and civilized attitude towards the artists-union members in the building. Often the R.A.U’s leadership suggested to us that we are bothering these artists. We never said we were “exasperated.” The only conflict we considered insurmountable was the following: in May 2012, while members of the Atelier 35 collective were installing an exhibition, a member of the R.A.U entered the space uninvited, behaving aggressively, and escalated to sexual harassment and threats. This incident has been resolved legally. The board of R.A.U. could have given a warning to the gentleman who has since admitted the offense. The bylaws of the R.A.U. state that after two such warnings, the artist in question must leave the Union. The board of the R.A.U. decided not to take any action. Therefore, we do not understand why, given these circumstances, the aggrieved party is the one who must leave space. We also noticed some embarrassment on the part of the R.A.U to address this incident, as if, because of its sexual connotation this is something we should be ashamed of.

Concerning other conflict situations, which we do not consider insurmountable, we will discuss those in a future text.

Meanwhile, the aforementioned R.A.U. artist has again committed an assault against Ms. Lili Grigore, the invigilator of the space.

4. “If the people who are currently coordinating the curatorial projects at Atelier 35 are exasperated by the serious incidents that happened there, find inappropriate the opportunity to continue their work in the space which the R.A.U. considers to be the home of Atelier 35, then we thank them for their cooperation, and at the same time contradict their the news that Atelier 35 is dead.”

We have never said we were exasperated, but we are really disappointed about how the R.A.U. has managed these situations, the lack of transparency and that we are excluded from the decision making process that concerns us.

From their statement “the space which the R.A.U. considers to be the home of Atelier 35”  we deduce that, indeed, the board of the Union considers it perfectly normal and legitimate to make decisions about Atelier 35 in the absence of the Atelier 35 collective. What the Union is suggesting here is that Atelier 35 can continue without its current collective. That we are dispensable and easily replaced. That Atelier 35 belongs to them , and not to us. But what is Atelier 35? Can we really talk about it as a “brand”? Has the Union obtained a copyright on this group of words? And since Atelier 35 is the concept of a project space, is it necessary to turn it into a brand?

Let us remember that:

The R.A.U. is a legally established national union of artists, whose assets are based on contributions from its members (Statute) and stamp duty. (Law No. 35, 6.06.1994)

By virtue of its status as a national union of artists the R.A.U. is granted a number of spaces owned by the Municipality (supported by taxpayers), 

The R.A.U. acts as a representative and protector of its members. If all the resources and benefits that the Union holds would be redistributed and negotiated inside the Union, then its members would be responsible in this regard.

However, the Union elects, because of its “social, political and cultural tolerance” to work with “independent cultural operators”. We believe that the stakes of this situation should exceed the current conflict and we raise several questions relevant to the entire artistic community:

What are the criteria for granting spaces for cultural activities by the Bucharest Municipal Council?

What are the R.A.U. criteria for awarding spaces and studios ?

Who are the independent cultural operators with whom the Union has worked in the past and what were the conditions of those collaborations?

Will the new organization [Pavilion] which was awarded the space on Şelari 13 have a budget or will they work under the same conditions as the current team of Atelier 35?

Who are the members of the Board of the R.A.U. and what are the protocols of the decision making process regarding groups who are coordinating R.A.U. spaces without being members?

We believe that these are legitimate questions that concern the whole artistic community and should be discussed in public, with everyone involved. In this regard, we launch a formal invitation to the R.A.U. and Pavilion to take part in a discussion starting with the above questions. This will take place on December 12, 2014, starting at 19.00, in the space at Şelari 13.

Thank you,

Atelier 35

Larisa Crunţeanu and Xandra Popescu

 

Editor’s note: At the time of publishing this text Pavilion Center for Contemporary Art and Culture declared through a Facebook update that they will no longer occupy the space of Atelier 35, because they decided it is not the appropriate space for their “extensive activities.” 

 

 

//RO

Text de Xandra Popescu și  Larisa Crunțeanu

 

În virtutea dreptului la replică, publicăm precizarile U.A.P.R. la anunțurile făcute de membrele echipei Atelier 35 din prezent, Larisa Crunțeanu și Xandra Popescu. Iată textul integral, iar mai jos reacția noastră la fiecare punct:

UAP/PRECIZARE

Cu privire la discuțiile apărute recent pe rețelele de socializare referitor la Atelier 35, Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici din România face următoarele precizări:

Intrucât pe rețelele de socializare au aparut informații false referitoare la Atelierul 35, Uniunea Artistilor Plastici din Romania tine sa informeze prin acest comunicat despre situatia reala.

Atelier 35 este un brand creat, sustinut si protejat de UAP dea lungul a patru decenii de existenta . A fost si trebuie sa ramana un vector al schimbarii , experimentului si innoirii pentru spatiul de arta contemporana.

Atelierul 35 nu si-a incetat activitatea. El revine doar in locul care l-a consacrat si unde a creat istorie, la Galeriile Orizont.
Eforturile UAP de recuperare a spatiului pierdut de Atelier 35 s-au materializat cu succes iar acum activitatea acestuia poate fi reluata, dupa o perioada lunga de exil.

Hotararea Consiliului Director al UAP de a lua aceasta decizie este argumentata atat prin motive de legitimitate asupra locului , cu istoria lui , cat si prin evitarea unei permanente situatii conflictuale constatata la adresa din Selari 13.

Daca persoanele implicate in coordonarea proiectelor curatoriale la Atelier 35, exasperate de gravele incidente petrecute acolo, nu gasesc potrivita aceasta sansa de a continua activitatea in locul in care UAP considera acasa Atelierul 35, le multumim pentru colaborare si le contrazicem informatia conform careia Atelier 35 a murit. Sustinem in continuare atat moral cat si material activitatea tinerilor artisti.

UAP din Romania isi reafirma toleranta sociala, politica si culturala, oferindu-si disponibilitatea de a sustine si colabora cu artisti de toate varstele si optiunile estetice, cu echipe curatoriale profesioniste, cum s-a intamplat dea lungul timpului si la Atelier 35, sau cu operatori culturali independenti , cum a fost cazul in parteneriatele cu Centrul de Introspectie Vizuala, Electroputere Craiova, Fundatia Meta, etc.

Consiliul Director al UAP din Romania

Apreciem răspunsul prompt din partea Uniunii, însă considerăm că aceste precizări nu adresează obiecțiile noastre. Reluăm textul pe puncte și oferim sub fiecare reacția noastră.

1.“Atelier 35 este un concept creat, sustinut si protejat de UAP de-a lungul a patru decenii de existenta (…) Atelierul 35 nu si-a incetat activitatea. El revine doar in locul care l-a consacrat si unde a creat istorie, la Galeriile Orizont.”

Noi am invocat cu fiecare ocazie istoria Atelier 35, artiștii pe care i-a susținut, inclusiv în ultimul text publicat aici. Dar ni se poate reproșa însă că am luat acest proiect în mod personal? Că l-am considerat o extensie a practicii noastre artistice? Un proiect impersonal realizat pe bază de voluntariat ar fi durat probabil cît un stagiu de voluntariat.

2. “A fost si trebuie sa ramana un vector al schimbarii, experimentului si innoirii pentru spatiul de arta contemporana.”
Considerăm că prin activitatea noastră am făcut întocmai acest lucru. În practica noastră am încercat în permanență să extindem granițele a ceea ce arta contemporană poate să fie. Dar în aceste condiții, ni se poate reproșa oare absența unor artefacte pe perete? De asemenea, considerăm că presiunea de a produce și expune în permanență ceva este nejustificată. Cu atît mai mult cu cît între noi și U.A.P.R. nu e existat niciodată o înțelegere scrisă cu privire la drepturile și obligațiile părților.

3. ”Hotararea Consiliului Director al UAP de a lua aceasta decizie este argumentată atât prin motive de legitimitate asupra locului, cu istoria lui , cat si prin evitarea unei permanente situatii conflictuale constatata la adresa din Selari 13.”

Am putea oricînd opune argumentul discontinuității istorice. Presupunînd că am accepta șansa de a ne continua activitatea în Subsolul galeriei Orizont. Ce nume ne garantează că în scurt timp nu va trebui să plecăm și de acolo?

- Dar dincolo de aceasta, felul în care U.A.P.R. acționează face dovada lipsei de atenție față de noi și specificul muncii noastre. Considerăm că ar fi fost corect să fim consultate și informate înainte ca decizia să fie luată, și nu puse în fața unui fapt împlinit. Din cîte înțelegem, am fost ultima parte implicată care a aflat despre această decizie.

- În privința conflictelor de pe Șelari 13 ținem să precizăm că de cînd am venit am avut întotdeauna o atitudine corectă și civilizată față de artiștii membrii U.A.P.R.din clădire. Adeseori însă Conducerea U.A.P.R. ne-au sugerat că îi deranjăm. Singurul conflict, considerăm noi, insurmontabil a fost următorul: În luna Mai 2012 în timp ce membri ai colectivului Atelier 35 instalau o expoziție unul dintre membrii U.A.P.R. a intrat intrat neinvitat în spațiu, manifestînd un comportament agresiv, soldat cu hărțuire sexuală și amenințări. Acest incident a fost soluționat pe cale legală. Conducerea U.A.P.R. ar fi putut adresa o atenționare respectivului domn care dealtfel și-a recunoscut fapta. Statutul U.A.P.R. prevede că la două astfel de atenționări un artist trebuie să părăsească Uniunea. Conducerea U.A.P.R. a ales să nu ia măsuri. Dar nu înțelegem de ce, în aceste condiții, partea lezată este cea care trebuie să părăsească spațiul? Am observat de asemenea o oarecare pudoare a conducerii U.A.P.R. față de acest incident ca și cum, datorita conotației sale sexuale, acesta ar fi ceva de care să ne fie rușine.

Despre celelalte situații, pe care nu le considerăm insurmontabile, vom vorbi într-un material viitor.

Între timp, respectivul artist U.A.P.R. a recidivat, agresînd-o pe doamna Lili Grigore, custodele spațiului.

4. ”Daca persoanele implicate în coordonarea proiectelor curatoriale la Atelier 35, exasperate de gravele incidente petrecute acolo, nu gasesc potrivita aceasta sansa de a continua activitatea in locul in care U.A.P.R. considera acasa Atelierul 35, le multumim pentru colaborare și le contrazicem informația conform căreia Atelier 35 a murit.”

Noi nu ne-am declarat “exasperate”, dar într-adevăr suntem dezamăgite de felul în care U.A.P.R. gestionează aceste situații, de lipsa de trasnsparență și de faptul că procesul de luare a unor decizii care ne privesc ne exclude.

Din precizarea “locul unde U.A.P.R. consideră că Atelier 35 este acasă” reiese că într-adevăr conducerea Uniunii condsiră perfect normal și legitim ca deciziile cu privire la Atelier 35 să fie luate în absența colectivului Atelier 35. Ceea ce conducerea Uniunii sugerează aici este că Atelier 35 poate continua și fără colectivul prezent. Că suntem dispensabile și ușor de înlocuit. Că Atelier 35 le aparține dumnealor și nu nouă. Dar ce este Atelier 35? Se poate vorbi oare despre un brand? A înregistrat Uniunea acest grup de cuvinte la OSIM? Și având în vedere că Atelier 35 este conceptul unui spațiu de proiect, ar fi oare necesară trasformarea sa într-un brand?

Să ne amintim că:

- U.A.P.R. este este o uniune națională de creatori legal constituită, a cărui patrimoniu este asigurat prin cotizații ale membrilor ( cf. Statutuluihttp://uap.ro/statut/) și taxa de timbru (cf. Legii nr. 35 din 6.06.1994)
– În virtutea statului său de uniune națională de creatori legal constituită, UAPR beneficiază de o serie de spații deținute de Primărie (susținută prin banii contribuabililor), cf. Hotărîrii 1280/2003 privind aprobarea Inventarului spaţiilor destinate creaţiei artistice.
– U.A.P.R. acționează ca reprezentant și ocrotitor al membrilor săi. Dacă toate resursele și beneficiile de care Uniunea dispune ar fi redistribuite și negociate în interiorul Uniunii, atunci responsabilitatea negocierilor în acest sens ar cădea strict în responsabilitatea membrilor săi.

Însă Uniunea alege, în virtutea “toleranței sociale, politice și culturale” să colaboreze cu “operatori culturali independenți”. Credem că miza situației ar trebui să depășească contextul de față și să adreseze cîteva întrebări relevante pentru întreaga comunitate artistică.

- Care sunt criteriile pentru acordarea spațiilor destinate activităților culturale din partea Consiliului General al municipilui București?
– Care sunt criteriile pentru acordarea atelierelor și spațiilor U.A.P.R.?
– Care sunt operatorii culturali independenti cu care Uniunea a colaborat în trecut și care au fost condițiile acelor colaborări?
– Noua organizație care va beneficia de spațiul din Șelari 13 va beneficia de un buget sau va lucra în aceleași condiții ca și actuala echipă a Atelier 35?
– Cine sunt membrii Consiliului Director al U.A.P.R. și care este procedura de luare a deciziilor cu privire la echipele care coordonează spații ale U.A.P.R. fără să fie membri?

Considerăm că acestea sunt întrebări legitime care privesc întreaga comunitate și care ar trebui purtate în public, împreună cu toți cei implicați. În acest sens, lansăm o invitație oficială către U.A.P.R. și Pavilion de a lua parte la o sesiune de discuții pornind de la întrebările de mai sus. Aceasta va avea loc pe data de 12 Decembrie 2014, începînd cu ora 19.00, în spațiul din Șelari 13.

Vă mulțumim,
Atelier 35
Larisa Crunțeanu și Xandra Popescu

 

Nota editorului: La momentul publicării acestui text, Pavilion Centru de Artă și Cultură Contemporană a declarat printr-un update pe Facebook că renunță la ocuparea spațiului Atelier 35, deoarece au decis că nu este un spațiu potrivit “pentru activitatea lor extinsă.” 

Atelier 35 Evacuated by the Romanian Artists’ Union to Make Room for Pavilion (Bucharest, Romania)

November 22, 2014

Adio Atelier 35 en

Text by Xandra Popescu and Larisa Crunțeanu. English translation, editing by Corina L. Apostol

 

//EN

Atelier 35 takes its name after an institutional network founded by the Romanian Union of Artists in 1969 with art spaces in major cities, dedicated to experimental art and to artists at the beginning of their career; the number 35 suggests the conventional age limit of youth. Currently Atelier 35 in Bucharest is powered by Larisa Crunțeanu and Xandra Popescu.

In 2007, when the previous team (Daniel Alexandru, Vlad Ionescu, Roxana Patrichi, Silvia Saitoc) began to manage the space, they decided to reactivate the spirit of Atelier 35, after learning about its history. When we began working we were well aware of the role Atelier 35 played in the Romanian art community, and its connection with important artists and theoreticians: Alexandru Antik, Geta Bratescu, Magda Cârneci, Călin Dan, Ion Grigorescu, Teodor Graur, Adrian Guță, Iosif Kiraly, Ana Lupaș, Dan Mihălțianu, Wanda Mihuleac, Ion Nicodim, Lia and Dan Perjovschi, the Rostopasca group, Laslo Ujvarossy, and many others.

We started working in Atelier 35 Bucharest under the following circumstances: we were going to exhibit the video series Casting for a Perfect Gentlemanin the space, and while we were installing we learned that this would be the last project there. The previous team was going to withdraw, and it was rumored that the R.A.U. (The Romanian Artists’ Union) would turn the space into a ceramics shop. One of the members of the team then asked us if we were interested in managing the space instead. We said yes, and we began our activities as a group of three, together with Alice Gancevici.

We knew that the ArtistsUnion manages many other spaces which the city hall keeps for cultural organization. The spaces in Bucharest which we know are all dedicated to fine arts, without contextualizing or discussing artistic practices today. Thus, we considered it necessary to keep Aterlier 35 for contemporary art practices.

Almost three years after we began working:

In the morning of November 20th, 2014 we received a phone call from Mr. Petru Lucaci, the president of the R.A.U. who informed us that we need to leave the space located on Șelari 13 street, which will be taken over by Pavilion[Pavilion Center for Contemporary Art and Culture, sponsored by UniCredit Țiriac Bank until December 1st 2014]. Mr. Lucaci mentioned in the same conversations that the papers have already been signed.We do not know what contract he referred to, but we want to mention that, although we have been working for over 3 years in this space, there were never any written agreements between us and the Union.

Consequently, legally speaking, the Union does not have any obligations towards us. The same situation happened with the previous team, who also did not have a contract.  We can only assume that the groups and collectives who worked at Atelier 35 have been intentionally kept in a state of precarity by the Union. Its leadership never assumed any responsibilities towards the people who have worked for free in this space since 2007.

We have often been told that we are disturbingthe artists who have studios in the same building. According to the leadership of the Union, some of the artists are particularly offended by the fact that our projects do not necessarily produce objects which are visible and can be exhibited.

Indeed, we conceived of Atelier 35 as a working space, and not a space for putting out finished artistic products. Instead, we ask ourselves why the artists working in the building became the evaluators of Atelier 35s activities? They themselves receive studio spaces from the Union. Who and how evaluates the value of their work?

Despite these conditions, Atelier 35s activity was productive, both for us and the Union. The institution received symbolic capital as a consequence of our uncompensated labor, and our practice and the practices of those with whom we collaborated found a physical space to exist in.

From time to time the Union sent us suggestions to exhibit artists who had already produced shows or who were ready to work on a show. (the idea behind this was explained to us thus: “as long as you don’t put any works on the walls, we will tell you who to work with”)

Consequently, our discussions with the Union were stuck in a circular set of arguments: we tried to defend our freedom to implement our own program, and that we were working for zero wages and we did not have a production budget. The Union kept emphasizing that we are the only space in Bucharest who does not have to pay rent or utility bills. At the same time, we were one of the very few venues for non-commercial artistic projects. Moreover, we functioned in a space for culture owned by the city hall. According to whose criteria are these spaces allocated? The situation was the same in the case of the Center for Visual Introspection who existed in an ArtistsUnion space from 2008 to 2011, when due to a change in legislation, the curatorial collective was replaced.

Over time, the Union leadership made us several promises about gaining access to the bathrooms on the next floor, hiring a professional invigilator, paying for an internet provider, renegotiating the agreement with the restaurant which uses the front of the building for customers etc. But all these pledges were never kept, rather the Union adopted a delaying strategy, always promising better and bigger things.

Our relocation in the basement of the Orizont Gallery was never discussed or mentioned. Moreover, during our latest discussions with the Union this summer we were informed that we would be compensated for our work, and that we would receive at least a year long contract.

We also want to stress that the decision to relocate Pavilion in the space of Atelier 35 was taken a long time ago, and were informed at the last minute, just days ago. Gergő Horváth, the artistic director of Pavilion, phoned us on November 11th and asked to visit the exhibition Theres Nothing We Can Do With This Heritage / Dana Andrei and Coate-Goale,while never mentioning anything about the intended relocation of Pavilion in our space. Mrs. Lili Grigore, the current invigilator of the space, an employee of the Union, informed us two weeks ago that two men came to Atelier 35 claiming that they would take over from now on, and made measurements of the space.

The decision concerning the displacement of Atelier 35 was taken without informing or consulting us in due time.

We appeal to the Romanian Artists’ Union not to concede the space in which Atelier 35 is currently running their program to the organization Pavilion. Please support our appeal by signing this petition and sharing it widely.

 

Finally here are some projects which we think are especially relevant to our conceptual approach in Atelier 35:

Theres Nothing We Can Do With This Heritage (2014)

A project by Dana Andrei and Coate-Goale which is still open to the public. The project explores concepts of time and the gaze in public space, questioning positions of power. A review by literary critic Bogdan Ghiu appeared on Liternet (only in Romanian) 

Pink, Purple & all the Rest. Queering recent protests (2014)

A project initiated by Veda Popovici, which consisted of discussions and a workshop that resulted in an art object with the potentiality of a political symbol after three days of working in a group. The discussions focused on the social dynamics in the current mass protests, which project certain behaviors and identities over the participants, while feminist and LGBTQ positions are usually cast aside. Larisa Crunțeanus dialogue with Veda Popovici, entitled The mud on the bootswas recently published in Arta Magazine.

1:1 (2013)

A group exhibition curated by Mihaela Varzari which included an exhibition, a workshop in Băneasa forest, a performance at the opening, and two nights of film screenings and discussions. The project focused on the concept of a subjective map, tracing geo-political approaches in the works of six international artists: Ziad Antar, Liliana Basarab, Heath Bunting, Victor Man, Deimantas Narkevičius, Tanja Ostojić. A bilingual publication about the project can be accessed online.  

What we had and what we lost (2013)

This workshop led by Irina Botea materialized into a series of site-specific interventions about the emergence of insulated windows and their impact on social behaviors. These included video works, photographs, art objects, performances and sound-art.  After Irinas project, the participants decided to keep working in the space, which led to a new project entitled Collaborative Strategies

Cafe 35 (2012)

A project developed by Daniela Palimariu together with Atelier Brut and Alice Gancevici, which was then readapted as Tranzit Cafeat tranzit.ro/București. At Atelier 35 it was intended as a site-specific project, imitating the restaurant outside the space and raising questions about the gentrification of Bucharests Old Center, which is currently populated by a great deal of restaurants, bars and clubs.

 

 

//RO

Text de Xandra Popescu și  Larisa Crunțeanu

Spațiul de proiecte Atelier 35 își ia numele după o rețea de spații artistice în marile orașe din țară, înființată de către Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici în 1969, dedicată experimentului și artiștilor aflați la început de carieră; Numărul 35 sugerează limita convențională a tinereții. În prezent, Atelier 35 din București este coordonat de Larisa Crunțeanu și Xandra Popescu.

În 2007, cînd echipa precedentă (Daniel Alexandru,Vlad Ionescu, Roxana Patrichi, Silvia Saitoc)a luat în gestiune acest spațiu, au decis să reactiveze spiritul Atelier 35. Eram conștiente despre rolul Atelier 35 și legătura sa cu artiști și teoreticieni importanți precum: Alexandru Antik, Geta Bratescu, Magda Cârneci, Călin Dan, Ion Grigorescu, Teodor Graur, Adrian Guță, Iosif Kiraly, Ana Lupaș, Dan Mihălțianu, Wanda Mihuleac, Ion Nicodim, Lia și Dan Perjovschi, the Rostopasca group, Laslo Ujvarossy, și mulți mulți alții.

Am început să activăm în spațiul Atelier 35 în următoarele condiții: urma să expunem seria video Casting for a Perfect Gentleman, iar în timp ce instalam ni s-a spus că acesta avea să fie ultimul proiect Atelier 35. Echipa de-atunci urma să se retragă și se zvonea că U.A.P.R. ar intenționa să transforme spațiul într-un magazin de artă ceramică. Unul dintre membrii echipei precedente ne-a întrebat dacă ne interesează să preluăm spațiul.

Am acceptat și ne-am început activitatea în formula de trei, noi două împreună cu Alice Gancevici.

Știam că UAPR gestionează multe alte spații pe care primăria le rezervă organizațiilor cu destinație culturală. Celelalte spații UAPR din București pe care le cunoașteam erau dedicate artelor frumoase (fine arts), fără a contextualiza sau a pune în discuție aspecte ale practicii artistice în prezent. Așa că noi am considerat necesar să păstram Atelier 35 pentru practica artei contemporane.

Facem un salt în timp peste aproape trei ani:

În dimineata zilei de 20 Noiembrie 2014 am primit un telefon de la domnul Petru Lucaci, președintele U.A.P.R., prin care am fost anunțate că va trebui să părăsim spațiul din Șelari 13, în favoarea colectivului Pavilion. (Pavilion Center, sponsorizați pînă la data de 1 decembrie 2014 de UniCredit Țiriac Bank).

Domnul Lucaci a menționat în acea conversație că “hârtiile sunt deja semnate”. Nu știm despre ce fel de contract ar putea fi vorba, dar trebuie să specificăm că deși lucrăm de aproape 3 ani în acel spațiu, între noi și U.A.P.R. nu a existat niciun fel de hîrtie.

Astfel, din punct de vedere juridic, U.A.P.R. nu ar avea nicio obligație față de noi. La fel a fost și cu echipa precedentă din care au făcut parte Roxana Patrichi, Vlad Ionescu, Silvia Saitoc, Daniel Alexandru. Presupunem că în mod intenționat colectivele care și-au asumat numele Atelier 35 au fost menținute într-o stare de precaritate. Conducerea U.A.P.R. nu și-a asumat niciun fel de angajament față de oamenii care au lucrat în mod voluntar în acest spațiu începînd din 2007.

Nouă ni s-a spus adeseori că îi deranjăm pe artiștii din clădire. Conform conducerii U.A.P.R. aceștia ar fi fost mai cu seamă lezați de faptul că activitățile noastre nu produc un rezultat vizibil și expozabil. Întradevar, noi am luat Atelierul în sensul său de bază (adică un loc în care se lucrează) și nu neapărat un loc de desfacere a unor produse artistice gata realizate. Dar ne întrebăm de ce artiștii care au atelier în clădire sunt în poziția să evalueze activitatea Atelier 35? La rîndul lor, ei primesc ateliere din partea Uniunii. Ne întrebăm de asemenea cine și cum evaluează valoarea muncii dumnealor?

Cu toate acestea, pînă la un punct situația a fost profitabilă atît pentru noi cît și pentru U.A.P.R. Instituția a capitalizat în mod simbolic de pe urma muncii nostre iar practica noastră și a celor cu care am ales să intram în dialog și-a găsit un spațiu fizic.

Din cînd în cînd conducerea U.A.P.R. ne-a trimis sugestii de artiști care aveau expoziții aproape gata produse sau care erau pregatiți să își asume acest lucru (pe ideea că “dacă tot nu puneți ceva lucrări pe perete, vă spune noi cu cine să lucrați”).

Altfel, discuțiile noastre cu UAPR au rămas blocate într-un set circular de argumente: noi am încercat să ne apărăm libertatea de a implementa propriul program și le aminteam că lucrăm în mod voluntar și în absența oricărui buget de producție. La rîndul său, conducerea UAPR ținea mereu să ne sublinieze că suntem singurul spațiu din București care nu achită chirie sau cheltuieli de întreținere.

Eram în același timp și singurul spațiu de proiecte, un spațiu care nu vinde.

În plus, funcționam într-un spațiu al Primăriei destinat culturii. Ne întrebăm conform căror criterii sunt alocate aceste spații? În aceeași situație s-au mai aflat și cei de la Centrul de Introspecție Vizuală, care au funcționat într-un spațiu al UAPR din 2008 pînă în 2011, cînd, datorită unei schimbări legislative, colectivul a fost înlocuit.

De-a lungul timpului, conducerea U.A.P.R. ne-a făcut nenumărate promisiuni legate de accesul la grupurile sanitare de la etaj, angajarea unei persoane competente pentru activitatea de custode, încheierea unui contract cu un furnizor de internet, renegocierea înțelegerii cu terasa din fața clădirii, ș.a.. Dar a existat mereu  această strategie de amînare în virtutea unor promisiuni mai mari.

Trebuie să menționăm însă că niciodată în discuțiile noastre nu a fost menționată ideea mutării la subsolul Galeriei Orizont. Mai mult, în vara acesta, la ultima discuție cu U.A.P.R. ni s-a spus că urmează să fim remunerate pentru activitatea noastră în baza unui contract pe o perioadă de cel puțin un an.

Un alt aspect care trebuie menționat e faptul că această decizie s-a luat în urmă cu mai mult timp, iar noi am fost anunțate în ultimul moment. Gergő Horváth, directorul artistic al Pavilion, a dat un telefon pe 11 noiembrie întrebînd cînd ar putea vizita spațiul. Doamna Lili Grigore, angajata UAPR care ține spațiul din Șelari 13 deschis, ne-a relatat în urmă cu două zile că la finalul lunii Octombrie au venit doi bărbați susținînd că ei se vor ocupa de acum încolo de spațiu și au făcut măsurători.

Decizia privind mutarea Atelier 35 a fost luată cu mai mult timp înainte, fără să fim consultate sau informate asupra acesteia.

Solicităm Uniunii Artiștilor Plastici din România să nu cedeze organizației Pavilion spațiul în care își desfășoară în prezent activitatea colectivul Atelier 35. Vă rugăm să semnați și să dați mai departe această petiție

 

Iată cîteva dintre proiectele realizate de echipa curentă și relevante pentru abordarea conceptuală a Atelier 35:

N-avem ce face cu moștenirea aceasta (2014)

Un proiect de Dana Andrei și Coate-Goale, ultimul din Șelari 13 și încă vizitabil zilele astea. Proiectul pornește de la intersecția ideii de timp și privire în spațiul public, chestionând pozițiile de putere. Un articol foarte fain despre proiect a scris Bogdan Ghiu pe Liternet.

Roz, Mov și Restul (2014)

Inițiat de Veda Popovici, un proiect care a luat forma unor discuții cu publicul și un atelier în care am esențializat cele 3 zile de lucru în comun sub forma unui obiect de artă cu potențial de simbol politic. Discuțiile s-au concentrat asupra dinamicii din cadrul protestelor care impun anumite comportamente și identități asupra tuturor participanților, pozițiile feministe și LGBTQ fiind de cele mai multe ori date la o parte. Am atașat de asemenea și articolul “Noroiul de pe bocanci” pe care l-am facut atunci cu Veda și l-am publicat în revista Arta.

1:1 (2013)

Un show de grup curatoriat de Mihaela Varzari care a inclus o expoziție, un workshop în pădurea Băneasa, un performance la deschiderea expoziției și două seri de proiecție de film și discuții. Proiectul s-a concentrat asupra ideii de hartă subiectivă, tratând abordări geo-politice în lucrările a șase artiști internaționali: Ziad Antar, Liliana Basarab, Heath Bunting, Victor Man, Deimantas Narkevičius, Tanja Ostojić. Acesta s-a încheiat cu o publicație bilingvă pe care o poți consulta aici.

Ge-am avut și Ge-am pierdut (2013)

Acesta a fost un workshop condus de Irina Botea, care s-a transformat apoi într-o serie de intervenții site-specific despre apariția geamurilor de tip termopan și impactul lor asupra comportamentelor sociale. Manifestările au inclus lucrări video, fotografii, obiect, performance, sound-art. Participanții la acest proiect au decis după plecarea Irinei să rămînă în spațiu și să continue să colaboreze, ceea ce a dus la un nou proiect intitulat Strategii de Colaborare.

Cafe 35 (2012)

Un proiect dezvoltat de Daniela Pălimariu împreună cu Alice Gancevici, care fost apoi reluat sub numele Cafe Tranzit la tranzit.ro București. În Atelier 35 el a fost gândit site-specific, imitând terasa de afară și punînd accentul pe poziționarea problematică a spațiului în Centrul Vechi al Bucureștiului – puternic gentrificat și populat în prezent într-un procent uriaș de restaurante, baruri și cluburi.

 

Mai mult despre Atelier 35: Xandra Popescu și Larisa Crunțeanu, Poveștiri Exemplare, IDEA Artă + Societate #44, 2014

 

L’Internationale statement in support of Museo Reina Sofia

November 5, 2014

via L’Internationale

L’Internationale wishes to state its support for the right to show the work Cajita de fósforos (2005) by the artists group Mujeres Públicas in the context of the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge. Given a series of complaints issued by various groups about this work in the last days, we feel it is important to take a position in relation to their attacks. To claim that the work Cajita de fósforos (Little Box of Matches) and, by extension, the Museo Reina Sofía, incites the burning of churches is to simplify the meaning and context of the work. Like the many other pieces that make up the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge, Cajita de fósforos alludes to the transformative and emancipatory power of something small and modest (such as a box of matches) when understood within a network of subtle historical references. L’Internationale believes that a democratic society should expect and require that its public museums are nor merely vehicles for the legitimisation and reproduction of established discourses and views of past and present power.

The fact is that the right to be present and to represent has to be argued for in the art field and its institutions, despite the modern assumption of aesthetic autonomy. That is why contemporary institutions undertake the unavoidable mission of being open to serious, disruptive arguments that refute the existing symbolic order. This is an imperative to which we commit ourselves, even if it means shaking our very foundations and exposing our contradictions.

The public museum is neither a place for staging harmony in a world that is fraught with conflicts, nor a site for disrespectfully shocking citizens for the sake of avant-garde radicalism. We believe the museum should be a space where questions are posed to visitors that are equally subjects with a critical capacity, open to proposals in the public domain. The best museums should be places where knowledge replaces passive admiration, where judgement displaces prejudice and where agency takes the place of impotence. As a result, society as a whole should vindicate and defend the museum as an essential place where democratic societies not only debate the content of expression – for that purpose there are also other suitable forums – but also the conditions that make this expression possible at all.

The work of the Argentinian collective Mujeres públicas, which corresponds to a political struggle at a specific time and in a specific place, forms part of an in-depth exercise of reflection, through learning and collective practice, on the will and capacity of societies to go beyond the structures that confine them. At stake in this attack on the museum and its exhibition are therefore not only the traditional right of freedom of artistic expression and the exceptional nature of the museum as a space where anything is possible. There is also a threat to the more crucial capacity of maintaining a society that can confront and critically question problematic conditions in its immediate and widest environment through its own public institutions.

L’Internationale

 

Please sign and share this letter of support for Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía, and the team at the Museo Reina Sofía.

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Support Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía, and the team at the Museo Reina Sofía in their opposition to the attempted censorship of a work of art in the exhibition “Really Useful Knowledge” (Madrid, Spain)

November 1, 2014

via CIMAM International Committee of ICOM for Museums and Collections of Modern Art

CIMAM wishes to express its support to Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, and the entire team at the Museum in their negative to censure a work of art* presented within the exhibition Really Useful Knowledge [curated by WHW (What, How and for Whom)]. Religious groups are pressuring the Spanish Ministry of Culture to censure this exhibition. CIMAM is against such pressures on any cultural institution dedicated to promoting the principles of artistic expression and freedom.

The exhibition endeavors to position the notion of critical pedagogy as a crucial element in collective struggles, and explore the tension between individual and social emancipation through education with examples that are both historical and current, and their relation to organizational forms capable of leading unified resistance to the reproduction of capital.

The programming of art institutions is done for the construction of a civil and public space of debate and of a critical discussion around the experiences we share. Art institutions are for freedom, respect and debate; never for repression, violence nor censorship.

CIMAM wishes to encourage debate and civilized exchange of ideas and wants to express the deep concern for the turn of the actions against the freedom of artistic expressions and of the values of dialogue defended by the Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS).

CIMAM has initiated a petition addressed to the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports, to support Manuel Borja-Villel, director of Museo Reina Sofía (MNCARS) and the entire team involved in this exhibition.

Please SIGN and share!

(*) Mujeres Públicas’s “Cajita de fósforos” (2005) consists of two matchboxes depicting, on one side, a burning church building, and on the other, the slogan: “The only church that illuminates is one which burns. Contribute!” (La única iglesia que ilumina es la que arde. ¡Contribuya!). The presentation of the piece by Mujeres Públicas, an Argentine feminist collective, was equated by one religious organization to a use of public funds by the state museum to “insult Christians.”

Source: Hyperallergic.

Stop The October Salon “Massacre!” (Belgrade, Serbia)

October 29, 2014

A group of artists and cultural workers called the October Salon Art Community, and the Belgrade Cultural Centre (KCB), organizer of the October Salon (OS), object to the manner in which the Belgrade city government decided to change OS into a biennial exhibition, instead of keeping the annual exhibition tradition as it has been for more than 5 decades.

The right-wing and neoliberal government of the city of Belgrade brutally performs so-called “austerity measures,” attacking directly public institutions and their programs, not spearing even successful ones with a long tradition.

KCB has stated that “the adoption of such a decision, without participation of the public and without democratic procedure, violated one of the fundamental principles in government- the principle of transparency in decision-making related to cultural politics and events of importance to the City of Belgrade”.
(from: http://www.seecult.org/vest/kcb-autokratska-odluka-o-os )

 

KCB started an on-line petition against this violent decision. Please support their struggle and sign the petition here:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/296/205/552/p-e-t-i-c-i-j-a-za-ponitenje-odluke-o-promeni-statusa-oktobarskog-salona/?cid=FB_TAF

In an open letter, the October Salon Art Community is inviting local and international artists and cultural workers to protest against this act in order to stop it. Here is their letter:

http://www.seecult.org/vest/odbrana-oktobarskog-salona )

Stop the October Salon “Massacre!”
We, cultural workers and artists who built and created for years the artistic program in Belgrade – the October Art Salon, are inviting all local, regional and international participants of the October Salon and the wider international art community to stand up against the attack on Salon and and its existence.
We must fight back against cuts!
The October Salon is not a biennial exhibition!
The October Salon was held annually for more than five decades – it is a unique exhibition of art and culture that has its roots in the socialist reception of the European modernism.
The brutal annihilation of the unique space for art production in Belgrade, Serbia, wrongly attributed to the more nicely reformist mantra “austerity measures”, are recognizable unjust mechanisms, just in favor of few individuals and against public good for all the citizens in Serbia.
The October Salon is a public good.
We demand that the October Salon remains what it always was – a manifestation of the recent local, regional and international art production that takes place annually.
We ask the Belgrade city government to suspend immediately the decision of seizing the Salon.
Culture cannot be eradicated with arrogance and blind cuts!
Belgrade, 29th of October 2014.
October Salon Art Community

 

About / From the page of the October Salon:

http://www.oktobarskisalon.org/51/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=3&lang=en

 

The October Art Salon is a representative event featuring actual tendencies in the domain of visual arts, founded under the auspices of the City of Belgrade. It was established in 1960 as an exhibition of the best works in the sphere of fine arts. In 1967 it became an important review of the current trends in applied arts, too. Owing to its tradition of more then four decades, the October Salon represents an important segment in the study of the modern Serbian art of the second half of the 20th century. The Salon has become a point of reference of Serbian culture, a representative review of creators in the broad sphere of visual arts and a great exhibition of authors whose selectors are prominent experts in this area. In the course of its history, the Salon has changed its concept and organisational forms, but it has remained a strong challenge to creative consciousness.The Council of the Salon makes decisions on its concept. This Council consists of renowned experts in the sphere of visual arts (art historians, art critics and artists), appointed by the City of Belgrade. The Council selects the international Jury that gives three equal awards for the best art works exhibited at the Salon. An art director, who suggests a concept of the Salon, was appointed since 2001.

Curators of the recent October Salons were: Nicolaus Schafhausen and Vanessa Joan Müller, Branislav Dimitrijević and Mika Hannula, Galit Eilat and Alenka Gregorič, Johan Pousette and Celia Prado, Darka Radosavljević, etc..

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