02 October - 01 November

A project by Alexandra Croitoru
in colaboration with: Dan Acostioaei,
Vlad Cadar & Biserika & Tamtam,
Simion Cernica, V. Leac & Ștefan Tiron, Monotremu, Dan Perjovschi, Sergiu Sas

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Galeria Helios
Piaţa Victoriei, Nr. 6, Timişoara

friday, 2 october
19:00 – 21:00 Opening with YamYam beer crafted at TamTam

sunday, 1 november
19:00 – 21:00 Closing with YamYam beer crafted at TamTam

Visiting hours:
Tuesday – Sunday / 11:00 – 19:00


Friday - Saturday - Sunday, 2 - 3- 4 oct
16:00 – 19:00 Creative Writing with V. Leac and
Ștefan Tiron

Friday - Saturday - Sunday, 9 - 10 - 11 oct
16:00 – 19:00 Arts & Crafts I with Vlad Cadar and Biserika

Friday - Saturday - Sunday, 16 - 17 - 18 oct
16:00 – 19:00 Arts & Crafts II with Vlad Cadar and Biserika

Friday - Saturday - Sunday, 23 - 24 - 25 oct
16:00 – 19:00 Home Exterior Design with Monotremu

Friday - Saturday - Sunday, 30 - 31 oct & 1 nov
16:00 – 19:00 Icon painting with Dan Acostioaei

The first exhibition of Salonul de proiecte's 2015 – 2016 programme will take place it the frame of Timișoara Art Encounters at Galeria Helios. Focusing on the cult of Constantin Brâncuși in Romania, the project discusses how his high-performance on the international art scene has become a Romanian high-performance, through connecting the artist predominantly with the nationalist discourse. As early as the inter-war years, Brâncuși's international reputation played a major role in his transformation into a national hero. This process, also observable some time later in the context of the ’socialist-humanist’ rediscovery of Brâncuşi during the ’60s - ’70s and his protochronistic [that is, involving an anachronistic assertion of priority in innovation] rediscovery in the ’70s - ’80s, has continued to develop and be refined in the contemporary context, that of competitive advantage of nations. Nowadays, against a backdrop of globalisation and of European identity policies, the Brâncuşi myth is tending to be significantly exploited even in strategic planning for the branding of Romania. The Brâncuşi cult has been kept alive over the years by an excessive number of works by Romanian experts on the sculptor, who have now even come to influence the attitude to the artist adopted in governmental and commercial communication strategies, in popular culture and in a range of forms of discourse, whether nationalistic, such as that of the experts on the Dacians and of Orthodox specialists, or trans-national, such as that of yoga practitioners and of the Freemasons.

As artists educated in Romania, it was stamped in our conscience the image of a Brâncuşi as a paragon seated on the topmost step of the pantheon of the history of art, and this very over-exposure to this kind of homage-laden discourse eventually produced in us a need to deconstruct the Brâncuşi myth. (Even the title of the project was inspired by a hagiographic work of this kind that also restates very clearly a certain type of local artistic ’patriarchy’ – Brâncuşi. Our Father by Paul Rezeanu, former director of the Craiova Art Museum.)

photo credits: Alexandra Croitoru & Monotremu

Dan Perjovschi’s drawings or the video works of Simion Cernica and Sergiu Sas remind us once again that a purely aesthetic response to Brâncuşi’s work is no longer possible in the Romanian context. Our own response – being as it is, subjected to disturbance from the nationalist pathos that suffuses the subject of Brâncuşi – passes beyond the realm of visual art to become political.

In fact every contribution to the exhibition calls into question the cultural, historical, political and social framework that made it possible for Brâncuşi to be ‘canonised’ and ‘nationalised’ and opens up the topic of the collateral interactions of this cult within the artistic context as well as in the wider one, that of the contemporary Romanian society. Throughout the month of October the exhibition programme will include a series of workshops addressing the issue of the ‘canonisation’ of Brâncuşi both among the Romanian cultural elites and in popular culture: Dan Acostioaei’s painting workshop takes the portrayal of the sculptor as its starting-point and focuses on the orthodox iconographic canon; the one devised by V. Leac and Ştefan Tiron focuses on ’creative writing’ exercises that take the sayings of Brâncuşi as their inspiration; the one suggested by the Monotremu duo will discuss the changes undergone by characteristics of Brâncuşi’s oeuvre in their employment in vernacular architecture; the ’arts and crafts’ workshop led by Vlad Cadar will feature Brâncuşian motifs being recycled into a limited edition of souvenirs. (AC)

This exhibition is organized by Salonul de proiecte București in conjunction with two other projects by Alexandra Croitoru that are scheduled for this autumn: an exhibition at Plan B Gallery Cluj and an artist-book entitled Brâncuşi. An Afterlife, to be published in partnership with Editura IDEA Cluj and Archive Books Berlin.