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Parasites and Prophets (25-26 October 2013, / Bucureşti)

October 21, 2013


Parasites and Prophets

International Conference on Artistic Production, Organization and Struggle

25-26 October 2013, 5-9 pm Bucureşti, Str. Gazelei nr. 44, sector 4

Participants: Tatiana Baskakova, Simona Dumitriu, Palo Fabuš,  Joanna Figiel, Fokus Grupa (Iva Kovač, Elvis Krstulović), Vladan Jeremić, Marko Miletić, Márton Pacsika, The Presidential Candidate (Florin Flueraş, Ion Dumitrescu), Jiří Ptáček, Ştefan Tiron, Vesna Vuković

Graphic intervention: Zampa di Leone

Moderators: Corina L. Apostol, Vjera Borozan, Raluca Voinea

Artists today:

  • the State instrumentalizes them;
  • the corporations employ them to whitewash their image;
  • galleries and collectors look at them as at a hen with golden eggs;
  • the wider public expects to be entertained by them;
  • the activists wait their helping hand in saving the world;
  • the cultural institutions legitimize their very existence through them, under the more noble mission of emancipation and education;
  • their colleagues rely on their inexhaustible humour, intelligence and creativity;
  • they themselves are most often struggling for survival.

We are using the word “artist” here in a very general sense; “cultural worker” is lately replacing the much-tainted-by-Romantic-mythology “artist”. To change the word is not enough though. To change the perception upon them as a group which contributes to society, that is a task which first needs self-awareness. Then it needs organization and affirmation.

The conference “Parasites and Prophets” aims to initiate a dialogue among the cultural workers community in Bucharest and their peers from Europe, mostly in the former East, about precarious working conditions, unpaid project work, economic situation and incomes, public funding, collaboration, solidarity, labour struggles. How to fight against precarious conditions in contexts where labour struggles are more difficult to localize? Which tactics and models of organizing already exist? How can they be enacted and expanded collectively and publicly?


The public programme of the two days, Friday, 25th and Saturday, 26th of October 2013, from 5 in the afternoon till 9 in the evening comprises short presentations by the participants, discussions, references to the local context of Bucharest and to the artists’ struggle in a wider climate of social unrest and accumulated political demands, collective drawing, informal exchange and optimistic projections for the near future.

More information on the event and participants you can find on the websites: and or by emailing at: or, or by phone: 0728503012.

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Participant Bios

Corina L Apostol is Ph.D candidate in the Department of Art History at Rutgers University – New Brunswick. She is also a curatorial research fellow of the Norton and Nancy Dodge Collection of Nonconformist Art from the Soviet Union at the Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum. She is the co-founder of Art Leaks and co-editor of the ArtLeaks Gazette.

Tatiana Baskakova is a London-based Russian artist working experimentally on the possibility of political critique in contemporary art practice, with emphasis on context and performance as a key but not the only media. In 2011 she performed Invigilator’s Revolt while working as a gallery assistant in a major Moscow art institution, trying to organise a trade union for gallery workers and being fired for “sabotage” as a part of it. In 2013 she made a celebratory lecture about V.I. Lenin in the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development in London. Baskakova takes part in anonymous institutional critique groups that organise and campaign against unpaid gallery labour. She received her BA in Art Practice and MA in Art and Politics from Goldsmiths College University of London.

Vjera Borozan graduated from the department of art history at the Philosophical faculty of Charles University in Prague. She has taught at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno and at the Academy of Arts, Design and Architecture in Prague. Until recently she collaborated with the initiative She is the director of the online platform Artyčok.TV and an independent curator active in many other areas of the contemporary art scene. Lives in Prague.

Simona Dumitriu is a curator, teacher and artist.  She also researches on Romanian contemporary art history. She is the initiator (in 2011) and member of Platforma space in Bucharest – a space used for exhibitions and workshops, but also as a meeting place for interdisciplinary, social or political initiatives. Between 2009-20013 she taught at the National University of the Arts in Bucharest. In her practice and research, she in interested in: mixing and working at the intersection between curatorial, teaching and artistic practice; archival science and theory as applied to visual arts; discourse analysis and research based performances; methodologies of art education and education as art; queer theory applied to contemporary art, to feminism and to other political issues.

Palo Fabuš received his Bc in applied informatics at the Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University in Brno, and MA from the Department of Media Studies and Journalism FSS MU Brno, currently a PhD candidate at Sociology Dept. of Charles University in Prague. In 2004-2005 he was the editor-in-chief of IM6 magazine. Curator of Zoom festival (2005, 2006). He worked as an editor of Literární noviny (2005-2008). Co-founded Jlbjlt in 2007. He taught Social Media course at the Department of Media Studies and Journalism FSS MU Brno and gave guest lectures at FF MU Brno, FaVU Brno, FIT VUT Brno, FAMU Prague, and AVU Prague. Since 2009 Palo is an editor of Umělec magazine; since 2011 its editor-in-chief.

Joanna Figiel is a doctoral candidate at the Centre for Culture Policy Management, City University London and Research Associate in the Hybrid Publishing Lab, at the Innovations-Inkubator Leuphana Universitat. Her research focuses on labour issues, precarity and policy within the creative and cultural sectors. She completed her MA at the Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths. She is a member of the editorial collective of ephemera.

Fokus Grupa (Iva Kovač, Elvis Krstulović) is an artist collective based in Rijeka and Zagreb, Croatia. Their practice is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and they work across art, design and curating. Their artistic strategies take political shape, without becoming a representational form of ‘political art’. Fokus Grupa concentrate on the relations between art and its public manifestations, in terms of working culture, aesthetics, and social and economic exchange values. Their work investigates the inherent power structures of the art-system. To this effect, they explore its economic, spatial and legal implementations. The collective tries to expand the boundaries of their artwork, using printed matter, films and installations, works on paper, discussions, workshops and texts.

Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić are a Belgrade-based artists, cultural and political workers making interventions and installations that combine documentary video, photography and drawing. They have been collaborating together since 2002. The political economy of the city and social struggles in the context of production of urban space are in the focus of their research. Their projects “The Housing Question”, “Under the Bridge”, “The Housing Agenda”, “On Use Value of Art”, “Belleville” and “Gazela” support movements of Roma precarious workers and migrant workers in Europe in order to consolidate potentialities for social transformation. Their recent exhibitions include: Self Made Urbanism Rome, NGBK, Berlin; Places of memory – Fields of vision, Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki; O2, Red House, Sofia; Absolute Democracy, Rotor, Graz; Oktobar XXX, 15th Pančevo Biennial, Serbia; The Housing Agenda, Cable Factory Gallery, Helsinki and La mason Folie Wazemmes, Lille; Moving Forwards, Counting Backwards, MUAC, Mexico City. Jeremić & Rädle were initiators of the project Call the Witness – 2nd Roma Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennial and are co-authors of artworks within the collective Chto Delat? Their artworks are in the collection of the Thessaloniki State Museum of Contemporary Art, MUDAM, Luxemburg, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven and Museum Reina Sofia, Madrid.

Marko Miletić is a cultural worker, and a member of the Kontekst collective. He is a student at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade. From 2007 to 2010, he worked on the  Kontekst gallery project; Since 2011 he has been part of the editorial board of the Lice Ulice magazine. In his work, he addresses the formation of space for critical and political action in the field of contemporary art and culture by discussing questions of cultural politics and production as well as researching links between cultural production and urbanism. His recent projects include among others: Encounters – Future of European Integrations, Political Economy and Culture: Left Critical Perspectives, a three-day conference, 25 – 29. September, 2012, Belgrade/Serbia; The importance of the student protests in the 1930ies in Yugoslavia, audio-visual installation in public space, upcoming, October 2012, Urbanfestival, Zagreb/Croatia; Kontekst, struggle for autonomous space, 2011 – ongoing; From Creative Work to Creative City, a two-day seminar in the frame of 52nd October Salon, November 2011.

Márton Pacsika is an emerging curator based in Budapest. He was a co-founder and curator of the Demo Gallery, Budapest (2010-2012), and is currently a board member of the Studio of Young Artist’s Association and of the Labor Gallery committee. His main fields of research include twentieth-century Hungarian Progressivism, cultural policy, and socially engaged art.

Jiří Ptáček lives in Prague and is an independent curator and art critic. Throughout his career he has collaborated with several galleries and art magazines working in the field of contemporary art. He worked as an editor-in-chief of Umelec magazine, international art magazine published in Prague (2003-2006), curator of NoD Gallery in Prague (2007-2008) and Gallery of Young Artists in Brno (2011). Between 2009 and 2011 he acted as a pedagogue of Video Studio at Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno. In summer 2012 he became a new curator of Fotograf Gallery in Prague. He is one of constituent members of Ateliér Бања Лука, an international iniciative of young artist and curators focusing on models of a collaborative practice. Last two years he also runs a flat “community gallery” Zutý Mánes in České Budějovice (together with an artist Michal Vavrečka).

The Romanian Presidential Candidacy (Florin Flueraş, Ion Dumitrescu) is based in Bucharest, the main initiators being Ion Dumitrescu and Florin Flueraș. Part of Postspectacle practice, with campaign rallies already having been held in Bucharest, Vienna, Oslo, Sao Paolo.

Ştefan Tiron  Performance/Cultural Hacking: Preliminary report on the past and present use of psychotronic weapons of mass destruction in Romania (with Alexandra Croitoru) 2007, selling of Surveillance Technology from the East to the West at Sigint 2009 in Koln, Germany, Presidential Candidacy National Day at Afi Palace Bucharest 2011, Brancusiologist at Gate of Kiss (colab with Manuel Pelmus and Brynjar Åbel Bandlien) CNDB/Bucharest, Chez Bushwick/NY, Oslo/ Dramatikkens Hus, undercover Fundraising for Romanian Presidential Candidature at dOCUMENTA 13 in 2012 (with Ion Dumitrescu). Since 2013, member of the new Comission for Public Monuments at the Romanian ministry of culture. Curatorial practice: In 2005 invites members from different peer2peer subcultures to curate several events at the Galeria Nouă Bucharest (otaku, industrial/noise/distro, dark deviant art , horror buffs, gaming/LAN party/dc++). Between 2006-2013 he co-organized a Cozzzmonautica series of sleep-over events about DIY Space Exploration, space art, Cosmology&ideology, science friction, sound art in Arad Natural History Museum, Oradea University, WestGermany/Berlin, private homes and galleries. Current 2013 edition Timișoara/Simultan/TamTam “New Jobs in Outer Space.” TW: @TironStefan

Vesna Vuković is a translator, curator and researcher, member of Zagreb-based collective [BLOK], associate and periodic lecturer at the Academy of Fine Arts Zagreb. She writes and publishes here and there.Vukovic’s work is dedicated to the art in public space and its relation to the politics of public domain. Her curatorial practice explores in-between-spaces of generation, production and representation of contemporary art, as a form of expanded exhibition, as well as spatial organization of the public sphere. Projects and exhibitions, as curator: UrbanFestival, an annual series of interventions in public spaces, Zagreb, 2001–2009; If you meet them on the streets, join…, series of interventions in public spaces, Zagreb, 2008; Money etc, Gallery Miroslav Kraljević, Zagreb, 2010. Publications, as editor: Save as…city.doc, Frakcija magazine 30/31, 2004; Politics of Space, UrbanFestival catalogue, 2006; Operation:City – manual for living in neo-liberal reality, 2008, How we regret…, UrbanFestival catalogue, 2008, Removed from the Crowd. Unexpected Encounters I, 2011.

Raluca Voinea is an art critic and curator based in Bucharest. She is co-director of the Association, founded in 2012 together with Matei Bejenaru, Livia Pancu, Lia Perjovschi and Attila Tordai-S., an institution which is part of the network. She is also involved in several other curatorial or editorial collectives from Romania (, IDEA arts + society, Long April). With she has developed since 2009 a Department for Art in Public Space, a programme of discursive events and artistic productions. She was one of the four curators (with Markus Bader, Oliver Baurhenn and Kuba Szreder) of the international project The KNOT. Linking the existing with the imaginary, developed in the public space of Berlin, Warsaw and Bucharest in 2010.

The collective Zampa di Leone (founded 2000) focuses its activities and its comic narrative against right wing and liberal political practice and contemporary art production that takes a vassal’s role in the society of the crisis of the liberal capitalist culture. Mapping the art scenes all around the world and particularly in Serbia, Germany,  Croatia and Turkey, and deconstructing the controversial gentrification processes, Zampa digs its claws into the wonderland of contemporary culture. For more than 10 years Zampa di Leone provides awesome opportunity for everyone to join Zampa di Leone World Movement and to ZAMP IT UP with crazy beats from the synchronized peripheries.  A number of critical actions, interruptions and sabotages of exhibition openings at large art events (like the Istanbul Biennial 2009 for example or many artistic actions against non-transparency of the management of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade) and other museums were carried out by the collective Zampa di Leone from 2000 until today.


Organizational team: Corina L. Apostol, Raluca Voinea, Edi Constantin, Angelica Iacob
Special thanks to: Adriana & Silviu Apostol, Simion Constantin & team, Misa Janeckova, Cristian Voinea, Biroul MelodramaticVlad Morariu,Dmitry VilenskySociété Réaliste


Conference organized by Bucureşti & ArtLeaks in the frame of the project “Close-up: creative tools for new criticism.”

With the support of the Culture programme of the European Union

Partners: Academy of Fine Arts in Prague,, Czech Centre Bucharest

Main partner of ERSTE Foundation



Vă invităm la conferința internațională

Producție culturală, organizare şi luptă

25-26 Octombrie 2013, orele 17:00-21:00 Bucureşti, Str. Gazelei nr. 44, sector 4

Participanți: Tatiana Baskakova, Simona Dumitriu, Palo Fabuš, Joanna Figiel, Fokus Grupa (Iva Kovač, Elvis Krstulović), Vladan Jeremić, Marko Miletić, Márton Pacsika, Candidatul la Preşedinție (Florin Flueraş, Ion Dumitrescu), Jiří Ptáček, Ştefan Tiron, Vesna Vuković

Intervenții grafice: Zampa di Leone

Moderatoare: Corina L. Apostol, Vjera Borozan, Raluca Voinea

Situația artiştilor astăzi:

– statul îi instrumentalizează;
– corporațiile se folosesc de ei ca să-şi spele imaginea publică;
– galeriile şi colecționarii se uită la ei ca la găina cu ouăle de aur;
– publicul asteaptă să fie delectați de ei;
– activiştii aşteaptă ajutorul lor pentru a salva lumea;
– instituțiile culturale îşi legitimeaza existența prin ei sub pretextul nobilei misiuni de emancipare şi educare;
– colegii lor se bazează pe umorul, inteligența şi creativitatea lor;
– în cele mai multe cazuri ei înşişi se luptă pentru supraviețuire.

Cuvântul „artist” este folosit aici într-un sens foarte general; termenul de „muncitor cultural” a început în ultimul timp să-l înlocuiască pe cel de „artist”, mult prea alienat de mitologia romantică. Însă nu este suficient să schimbam terminologia. Ceea ce trebuie să schimbăm este percepția publică asupra lor, ca un grup care contribuie la dezvoltarea societății – o sarcină care necesită conștiință de sine, organizare şi afirmare.

Conferința “Paraziți și profeți” are ca scop inițierea unui dialog între muncitorii culturali din Bucureşti şi colegii lor din Europa, în special din Europa de Est, despre condiții de lucru precare, muncă artistică neplătită, condiții economice şi venituri, fonduri publice, colaborare, solidaritate, luptă. Cum putem lupta împotriva condițiilor de viață precare în contexte în care aceste eforturi sunt greu de localizat? Ce tactici şi modele de organizare există deja? Cum pot fi ele reactivate şi dezvoltate atât colectiv cât şi public?

Programul public al celor două zile, vineri, 25 şi sâmbătă 26 octombrie de la 17:00 la 21:00 va cuprinde prezentări ale participanților, dezbateri, trimiteri la contextul local din Bucuresti şi la luptele artistice în contextul mai larg al mişcărilor sociale şi al cerințelor politice acumulate, desen colectiv, discuții informale şi predicții optimiste pentru viitorul apropriat.
Pentru mai multe informații despre eveniment şi participanți puteți consulta site-urile şi sau prin email: sau, sau la telefon 0728503012.

Organizare: Corina L. Apostol, Raluca Voinea, Edi Constantin, Angelica Iacob

Mulțumiri: Adriana & Silviu Apostol, Simion Constantin & team, Misa Janeckova, Cristian Voinea, Bureau for Melodramatic Research, Vlad Morariu, Dmitry Vilensky, Société Réaliste

Conferință organizată de Bucureşti şi ArtLeaks în cadrul proiectului
“Close-up: creative tools for new criticism.”

Cu sprijinul programului Cultura al Uniunii Europene

Parteneri: Academia de Arte Frumoase din Praga,, Centrul Ceh Bucureşti

Partener principal al ERSTE Foundation

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 25, 2013 2:28 PM

    Artistic integrity, artistic integrity, artistic integrity!

    It’s that simple, but completely clear to me after doing a big contemporary art festival in the suburbs of Copenhagen in 2012 (, with Temporary Services, Jakob Jakobsen, Kathrin Böhm, Wooloo among 17 others). Be extremely aware of your product (‘What, How & for Whom’ in short) and which criterias that will include. If that’s clear to you and those engaged in your work and praxis (curator, context, cooperators e.g.), then it’s no longer a threat but a choice YOU make.

    BR, Matthias Hvass Borello, curator, DK


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