54
Scena9 BRD Residence
Str. I.L.Caragiale

0724583852

Scena9 BRD Residence is located in an historical monument on 32 Ion Luca Caragiale Street, built in 1890 that belonged to King Mihai and was also a gift of King Ferdinand to Queen Mary. In the future, BRD — Groupe Société Générale plans to transform it into a cultural-artistic space, open to the new generations of creators.

Artist-Run Culture – Criticism, Resistance, Getaway

MULTIMEDIA
Tip eveniment
FOCUS NAG
Perioada Expozitie
05.10.2018 - 05.11.2018
Program
  • 19:00 - Deschidere
  • 03:00 - Inchidere

Artist-Run Culture – Criticism, Resistance, Getaway

Igor Mocanu

 

Contemporary art criticism and theory seem to have agreed upon some major chronological references when discussing Western artist-run culture: artist-run culture generated in the European and Transatlantic West, as well as in some Asian-Pacific countries in the 1970s and it was only after year 2000 that we may only talk of a discourse to outline the evolution of this movement. Surely, there have been, since before the beginning of the 21st century, random theories, impromptu responses to them, or conceptual statements concerning the artist-run culture – an undismissable landmark in this historical framework is the 1983 essay by artist AA Bronson, “The Humiliation of the Bureaucrat: Artist-Run Centres as Museums by Artists” –, with the key moment being represented however by the opening in 2004 in Vancouver by curator Keith Wallace of the InFest event: International Artist Run Culture, in itself an intercontinental reiteration of the international FESARS taking place in Stockholm in 1999 and of Space Traffic in Hong Kong in 2001.

In post-Communist Romania, for example, artist-run spaces actually meant a sort of a safe-house in the confrontation with two types of absence. First of all, the absence of a consistent art market liberal system and, secondly, the lack of any museum public acquisition policies. Although the first artist institutions were organised in Bucharest in the 1930s, within the historical avant-garde groups – the most renown and durable such example is Studioul de Arte Decorative (The Decorative Art Studio) the set up by the Integralist artist M.H. Maxy, together with Corneliu Mihăilescu and Hans Mattis-Teutsch, in a context where museums and state galleries where hardly present, while commercial galleries actually represented mere outgrowths of the few existing private collections. Furthermore, right after the Great Depression of 1929 – 1932, culture and art began to face a depression of the lack of representation. It was the time of the first overgrowth of hundreds of associations, unions, trade unions and leagues making up for the lack of political representation in an increasingly right-wing radicalized landscape. It is also when, on the background of this democratic void, The Fine Arts Union - a forerunner of the UAP (Visual Arts Union) - is set up; unlike the Romanian Writers’ Society – precursor of today’s USR (Romanian Writers’ Union) - which was an elitist bourgeois organisation, The Fine Arts Union was actually a leftist labour organisation, concerned with the rights of workers in the field of art.

The situation hasn’t changed much after 2000 when, especially after 2007, artist-run culture and artists’ organisational drive grew more than ever before. Concurrently, several artist collectives, unaffiliated to any specific exhibition space, became active.

In a paper published in 2014, I suspected that such growth was a form of contemporary collaborationism of the artists with the financial institutions of power, when they joined their initiatives to the most unbearable methods of self-management. Meanwhile, I could recognize that this artist-run type of movement can generate a new criticism of the self-management paradigm, it can create a space of resistance and can lead to new community ties, in a public space from which the state withdraws ever more obviously, leaving behind it the same democratic void reminding of the 1930s. I believe that such periodical reappraisals are more than needed for an updated and competent view of the specifics of Romanian contemporary arts landscape.