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PERSPECTIVES


Perspectives


PREFACE This publication appears on the occasion of the exhibition Perspectives, held from October 2, 2019, to January 12, 2020, at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, as part of EUROPALIA ROMANIA Arts Festival. The tense relationship between its cultural aspirations and geopolitical reality has burdened Romania with one of the most troubled pasts in Europe’s recent history. Despite these circumstances, it has proved to be fertile ground for artists. The exhibition Perspectives examines various expressions of cultural identity and reveals how shifting social and political contexts constantly challenged Romanian historiography. As observers of their socio-historical surroundings, artists worked in various settings and expressed themselves on different levels: pictorially, formally and conceptually. This exhibition presents works from the beginning of modern tradition to contemporary art and looks at art production against the backdrop of broader social and political themes. As such, it offers an alternative reading of the conventional understanding of Romanian art history. Rather than establishing a rigid conceptual framework, Perspectives forges a loose structure, a set of directions that enables a non-exhaustive exploration of the complexities within Romanian society and its rich art production. WW

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1 FLUID IDENTITY Wallachia and Moldavia have for centuries embraced their heterogeneous nature: a Latin region with an Eastern Orthodox religious identity, situated in an ancient Oriental world but Western by language and heritage. The spread of national ideals during the Revolution of 1848 led to the formation of the United Principalities in 1859 (named Romania from 1866) and ultimately culminated in the proclamation of independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1877. Almost simultaneously with the formation of Romania’s modern state, art academies were established in the Moldavian and Wallachian capitals of Iaši (1860) and Bucharest (1864), based on the standards of European Academies. The first academicians also stimulated national consciousness. Although the notion of national and cultural identity has been a changeable process throughout the history of Romania, the countryside and the country’s various rural, religious and ritualistic narratives have been an important source of inspiration for artists. WW

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Reproduction after Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, Romania Revoluţionară [Revolutionary Romania]

Theodor Aman, Horă [Round Dance]

Ciprian Mureşan (1977) Romanian blood 2004 Inkjet print Courtesy of the artist Reproduction after Constantin Daniel Rosenthal (1820-1851) Romania Revoluţionară [Revolutionary Romania], 1848 In: Petre P. Panaitescu, Istoria Românilor, Editura Didactică şi Pedagogică, Bucharest, 1990, 325 p.

Gheorghe Tattarescu (1818-1894) 11 februarie 1866 – România descatuata [February 11th, 1866 – The Modern Romania] 1866 Oil on canvas Private collection, Romania

The image depicted in this book is a reproduction of the painting Romania Revoluţionară [Revolutionary Romania] by the Jewish Austrian-Hungarian painter Constantin Daniel Rosenthal. The original work was created in Paris in 1848 and portrays the British Marie Grant—better known as Maria Rosetti, wife of the political leader Constantin A. Rosetti. She is dressed in a Romanian folk costume and poses with the Romanian flag draped over her shoulders. The painting has become a symbol for the nation and holds an important place in the country’s nationalistic imagery. Prominently displayed at the National Museum of Art, it is reproduced here in the school textbook Istoria Românilor. This book was written by the historian Petre P. Panaitescu and first published in 1942. It was reintroduced unaltered in the school curriculum in 1990 to 1991, replacing textbooks from the Communist period. Rosenthal was born in 1820 into a Jewish family in the city of Pest in the Austrian Empire. After attending the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, he arrived in Bucharest, the capital of the Principality of Wallachia, where he was soon introduced to liberal-radical circles and became a close friend of the revolutionary Constantin A. Rosetti. Rosenthal took active part in the Wallachian Revolution of 1848 and he even applied for Wallachian citizenship. One of the goals of the revolution was to unite with the Principality of Moldavia, thus forming the core of what would later become the Romanian nation state. The revolution was ultimately repressed by Russian and Ottoman troops. Rosenthal left Wallachia and later joined Romanian radicals living in exile in Paris. WW

Theodor Aman (1831-1891) Horă [Round Dance] Circa 1890 Oil on canvas Muzeul Județean Mureș [Mureș County Museum]

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Created during the last decade of the artist’s life, the round dances in Theodor Aman’s painting reflect efforts to promote national ideology. The intellectuals of 1848 reserved a prominent and almost ontological place for the Romanian peasant, as propagated through art and literature. Although the son of a rich merchant, descended from a Macedonian-Romanian and Armenian father and a Greek mother, and elevated to knighthood by the monarch, Theodor Aman created choreographed paintings that depicted an idyllic and joyful version of peasant and village life. These scenes are far removed from the lack of property rights, freedom of work and the corporal punishment by boyars, members of the privileged class. IM

Aristide Demetriade (1872-1930) Independența României: Războiul RomânoRuso-Turc 1877 [Romanian Independence: The Romanian-Russian-Turkish War of 1877] 1911-1912 Film, B/W, silent, 120'
, excerpt, 1'42" Arhiva Națională de Filme [Romanian National Film Archives] Works such as Horă [Round Dance] had an important impact on the visual culture of Romania. For example, Romanian Independence: The


Romanian-Russian-Turkish War of 1877, the first Romanian feature film made in 1911-1912 by Aristide Demetriade and financed by the Royal Household, begins with a country scene illustrating the translucent life of peasants before their departure for war. This sequence cinematographically reproduces Aman’s painting. IM

Radu Mocanu (1989) Romanian Traces n.d. Carved tire Corina Bârlădeanu Collection Carol Popp de Szathmári (1812-1887) Portrait of king Carol I of Romania In the photographic album: Carol I, Elisabeta, and their German relatives With 76 photographs by Carol Popp de Szathmári, Franz Duschek and Franz Mándy Circa 1866-1883 Collection Florea Paul Cezar

In 1848, painter Carol Popp de Szathmári began to experiment with daguerreotype, an early form of photography. He was the first photographer in Romania and one of the first in Europe. A passionate traveller, he documented different historic events around him. After the outbreak in 1853 of the Crimean War he went to the banks of the Danube to document fighting between the Russian and Ottoman armies. This made him one of the first war photographers. Szathmári Carol Popp de Szathmári, Portrait of king Carol I of Romania

Facla, Volume 4, no. 10

was court painter and photographer to Alexandru Ioan Cuza, the Domnitor (Ruler) of the Romanian Principalities, and the first Romanian king, Carol 1. WW

Facla Volume 4, no. 10, 9 March, 1913 Cover illustration by Iosif Iser (1881-1958)

To crush the peasant uprising against the landowners, the Romanian army mobilised 140,000 soldiers who fired live rounds, resulting in 11,000 deaths. The press was quick to inject an antisemitic tone to this bloody dénouement, blaming the mainly Jewish tenants of mainly Romanian landowners. This work by Iosif Iser, published in the magazine Facla in 1913, is a response to the event, which was the object of intense debate at the time. It portrays King Carol I with 1907 written in blood on his forehead. IM

Nicolae Grigorescu (1838-1907) Evreu din Bacău [Jew from Bacău] 1874 Oil on wood Private collection, Bucharest, Romania Olga Greceanu (1890-1978) Grup de țărănci pe câmp [Peasant Women in the Field] 1920 Oil on cardboard Institutul de Cercetări Eco-Muzeale Gavrilă Simion Tulcea
 [Gavrilă Simion Eco-Museum Research Institute, Tulcea] Nicolae Vermont (1866-1932) Lectură la lumina lămpii [Reading by lamplight] 1914 Oil on canvas Fundação Bonte [Bonte Foundation] Ion Grigorescu (1945) Urzică [Nettle] n.d. Oil on canvas laid on cardboard Courtesy of the artist and Plan B – Foundation and Gallery (Cluj and Berlin) Ștefan Bertalan (1930-2014) Floarea Soarelui – Studiu [Sunflower Study] 1980 Mixed media on paper Private Collection

Founded in 1966 in Timişoara by Ştefan Bertalan, Roman Cotoșman and Constantin Flondor, Group 111 was the first experimental art movement in Romania. They were influenced by the principles of constructivism, kinetic art and the Bauhaus school. The group was invited to exhibit at the Nürnberg Constructivist Biennial in 1969, which earned them international 1 FLUID IDENTITY

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Ștefan Bertalan, Floarea Soarelui – Studiu [Sunflower Study]

MAMŰ Group. Károly Elekes & Aladár László Garda, Zászlók [Flags]

recognition. After the dissolution of Group 111 in 1969, Bertalan and Flondor formed the art group Sigma and continued to work on projects together. Bertalan developed an artistic process informed by his research into cybernetics and his close observation and systematic study of organic processes. WW

MAMŰ, standing for Marosvásárhelyi műhely [workshop]. Târgu Mureș, a city located in Transylvania, has a significant Hungarian minority. In the early 1980s, daily life was dominated by surveillance and the communist regime ideologically controlled public space. The surrounding countryside and hills enabled the members of MAMŰ to meet and present their individually or collectively created performances, rituals, land art and interventions in nature. WW

Constantin Flondor (1936) Solarogramă 1976 Ink on tracing paper Private collection Horia Bernea (1938-2000) Prapor 1976-1977 Oil on canvas Courtesy of The Estate of Horia Bernea and Ivan Gallery, Bucharest Mihai Olos (1940-2015) Untitled n.d. Wood Courtesy of Olos Estate and Plan B – Foundation and Gallery (Cluj and Berlin) Mihai Olos (1940-2015) Untitled 1970s Wood Courtesy of Olos Estate and Plan B – Foundation and Gallery (Cluj and Berlin)

Ana Lupaș (1940) Humid Installation 1970 4 colour photographs Mircea Pinte Collection Mircea Cantor (1977) Coloana Funie [Rope Column] 2015 Oak, Ytong bricks and debris Private collection Ioana Nemeș (1979-2011) Echipa albă (Satan) [The White Team (Satan)] 2009 Fur, leather, horns, gold, epoxide, paint, lacquer, wood Private collection

MAMŰ Group Károly Elekes (1946) & Aladár László Garda (1948) Zászlók [Flags] 1983 Photographic documentation of a performance on the Bread Hills, Târgu Mureș / Marosvásárhely Courtesy of the artists

From 1978 to 1984, a group of art school graduates in Târgu Mureș [Hungarian: Marosvásárhely] formed

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2 FACES OF THE AVANT-GARDE In order to understand the significance of the Romanian avant-garde and its influence on Romanian culture, it is important to place it in the historical and political context of the time. The avant-garde in Romania experienced three successive waves of groups and artists. This chapter presents a selection of works, but aims to address the main themes and subjects that energised the avantgarde movement. From the overtly anti-war stance of the Dadaists to criticism of the Treaty of Versailles, which ratified the unification of Transylvania, Bessarabia and Banat with the kingdom of Romania. From denouncing the ravages of the Great Depression to unambiguous engagement in the national and international antifascist movement. The Romanian avant-garde had a major influence on culture, but also on the society that would then inherit the communist era. IM

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Nicolae Tonitza, După război [After the war]; Marcel Iancu, Mask of Tristan Tzara

Book, 47 pages Collection Vladimir Pană Eugène Ionesco (1909-1994) Precourseurs roumains de surrealism Published in Les lettres Nouvelles, Paris, Éditions Julliard, 1964 Private collection

Nicolae Tonitza (1866-1940) După război [After the war] 1923 Oil on cardboard Private collection, Romania

Tonitza is one of the few realist Romanian artists who attempted to depict the devastation caused by participating in the First World War on individuals. Other artists predominantly portrayed heroic battle scenes and glorified the theatre of war, whereas for Tonitza, war was what it actually is: a conflict between the great and powerful, with disastrous consequences for ordinary people, those who were blindly sent to the front by a country that could have remained neutral after 1914. Because of this, Tonitza adhered more to the pacifist Dadaist view of the First World War. Dada manifestos are full of direct references to symbols of power, texts are covered in flags, national borders, institutions… like Tzara’s rallying cry from 1916: “Let’s shit in different colours on the zoo of art to decorate it with all the flags of consulates”. Marcel Iancu, on the other hand, captured the tragedy of war in his drawings and especially in his masks for Cabaret Voltaire. He tried to draw attention to the impact of participating in war and its effect on the individual. His masks are reminiscent of the ‘gueules cassées’ phenomenon, which Otto Dix tackled later. IM

Victor Brauner (1903-1966) Cap și Doi Boxeri [Head and Two Boxers] 1925-1929 Oil on canvas 
Muzeul Regiunii Porţilor de Fier, Drobeta Turnu Severin 
[Iron Gates Museum, Drobeta Turnu Severin] Hans Mattis-Teutsch (1884-1960) Atleți [Athletics] 1930-1940 Oil on canvas Private collection, Romania Milița Petrașcu (1892-1976) Peștele [The Fish] 1922-1924 Bronze Muzeul de Artă Vizuală Galați [Museum of Visual Arts, Galați]

The relationship between the Romanian avant-garde and the sculptor Constantin Brâncuși was extremely complex. Avant-garde writers in Romania often wrote about Brâncuși’s work. In 1924, they invited him to take part in the international exhibition organized by Contimporanul magazine in Bucharest (with Ion Vinea and Marcel Iancu as curators). Brâncuși illustrated the volume Plants and animals by Ilarie Voronca. His name featured alongside those of other important international avant-gardists in the Nadia Grossman-Bulighin, Băiat [Boy]; Milița Petrașcu, Peștele [The Fish]

Marcel Iancu (1895-1984) Mask of Tristan Tzara 1970’s (after the 1916 original) Mixed media on cardboard Collection Janco-Dada museum, Ein Hod, Israel Dan Perjovschi (1961) Urmuz 2009 Drawing Private collection Urmuz (1883-1923) Algazy & Grummer 1930 10

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manifesto marking the launch of unu magazine. In Paris, Benjamin Fondane, Tristan Tzara and later Victor Brauner, sought Brâncuși out, wrote about him and supported him. But the relationship also worked centrifugally, when students from Brâncuși’s studio joined the avant-garde movement. That was the case for the sculptor Milița Petrașcu. After her studies in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Munich, she arrived in Paris in 1919 and became an apprentice in the sculptor’s studio. One year later, Milița Petrașcu returned to Bucharest and joined the ‘Contimporanul’ group, which she never left, even after the magazine was discontinued in 1932. The Codreanu sisters—Irina and Lizica—followed a different path, just like the composer Marcel Mihalovici. Lizica Codreanu excelled in avant-gardist dance and Mihalovici pursued his composition studies. But in 1922, Irina Codreanu began visiting Brâncuși’s studio as a student together with Sanda Kesse. Irina Codreanu only returned to Romania occasionally but often published reproductions of her work in Contimporanul and she participated as much as possible in local and international exhibitions organized by the magazine. IM

București [Archive of the National Center of 
Dance Bucharest] Corneliu Michăilescu (1898-1965) După bal (Păpuşi) [After the Ball (Dolls)] 1926 Oil on cardboard Muzeul de Artă Constanţa [Constanţa Art Museum] Nadia Grossman-Bulighin (1891-1930) Băiat [Boy] 1925-1930 Oil on cardboard Private collection, Romania unu Volume II, no. 12, 29 April 1929, 8 p. Avant-garde periodical, published
 from 1928 to 1932 in Dorohoi and Bucharest Director and editor: Saşa Pană (1902-1981) Collection Vladimir Pană Avant-garde magazines

Lizica Codreanu (1901-1993) Le P’tit Parigot 1926
 Lizica Codreanu performing in a Pierrot-Éclair costume Produced by Les Films Luminor René Le Somptier (director), Lizica Codreanu (choreography), Robert Delaunay (set), Sonia Delaunay (costumes) 35 mm film transferred to digital format, B/W, silent Excerpt: 2' Courtesy of Forum des Images, Paris Arhiva Centrului Național al Dansului

Following the involvement of Tzara, the three Iancu brothers and Arthur Segal in the founding of Dada around 1916, the first Romanian avant-garde movement was formed between 1922 and 1924 with the magazine Contimporanul, managed by Ion Vinea and Marcel Iancu. Several years later, the magazines 75HP, Punct and Integral were launched. The second movement started in 1928 with the publication of the magazines Urmuz and unu, supported by satellite publications XX contemporary literature, Alge [Algae], Muci [Snot] and Pulă [Dick]. After the start of the Great Depression, the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War, and the intensification of far-right movements in Greater Romania, the avant-garde became engaged in the antifascist movement. It left artistic preoccupations aside and adopted a robust militant position in magazines such as Cuvântul Liber [Free Word], Omul libre [Free Man], Opinia publica [Public Opinion], Viața imediată [Immediate Life], Tempo, Manifest [Manifesto] and Drumul femeii [The Woman’s Path]. After experiencing the Holocaust and the Second

Irina Codreanu, Tors de femeie [Female Torso]

unu, Volume II, no. 12

Irina Codreanu (1896-1985) Tors de femeie [Female Torso] 1928-1929 Bronze OB collection

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Geo Bogza, Mary-Ange Pană and Sașa Pana, Ușă șifonier [The Door]

World War, the third avant-garde movement emerged from hiding with the group ‘Infra-Noir’. This group did not have its own magazine but expressed itself in author or collective volumes written in Romanian or in French. IM

Geo Bogza (1908-1993), Mary-Ange Pană (1905-1993) and Sașa Pană (1902-1981) Ușă șifonier [The Door] 1932 Ready-made Collection Vladimir Pană

Although avant-gardists had already integrated readymade objects in their projects, this door created by Geo Bogza, Mary-Ange and Sașa Pană is the only ready-made generated by the Romanian avant-garde. This codicil door was created to mark the end of the magazine unu and is very close to the Duchampian notion of the ready-made. On the reverse of the door there is a hand-written text: “Today, 6 December 1932 (feast of St. Nicholas), I was here and I drank sweet wine, I laughed a lot, I kissed Saşa and Mary, everyone was adorable and I was happy. / Geo Bogza / Codicil: unu is no longer, but we are…”. IM

Ghérasim Luca (1913-1994) Două femei bat la ușă / O muribundă le oferă din partea mea un ceai [Two women knock on the door / A dying woman offers them tea on my behalf] 1942-1945 8 pages of matt black cardboard with calligraphic texts, colour applications and collages Alexandru Solomon Collection

Ghérasim Luca, Două femei bat la ușă / O muribundă le oferă din partea mea un ceai [Two women knock on the door / A dying woman offers them tea on my behalf]

Infra-Noir, in Bucharest in the early 1940s. The group operated clandestinely until the end of the war and remained active until its participation in the exhibition Le Surréalisme en 1947 in Paris (curators: André Breton, Marcel Duchamp). In 1952 Ghérasim Luca arrived in Paris where he became a leading figure of sound poetry. The unpublished and unexhibited artist’s book: Two women knock on the door / A dying woman offers them tea on my behalf is exhibited for the first time. IM

Isidore Isou (1925-2007) Symphonie no. 1: La guerre (1947) I. Menaces… (3'36") II. Victoire nazie… (4'06") III. “Hâtez-vous de nous exaucer pour…” (4'01") IV. “Des lendemains qui chantent…” (1'46") Conducted and orchestrated by Frédéric Acquaviva
 With the voice of: Frédéric Acquaviva, Camille Cholain, Mara Faustino, Isidore Isou, Catherine James, Roland Sabatier and Alain Satié In: Musique Lettristes [CD], Edition Al Dante,
 France, 1999 Archive Acquaviva, London Isidore Isou (1925-2007) Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et une nouvelle musique [Introduction to a new poetry and a new music] 1947, Gallimard, Paris, 416 p. Archive Acquaviva, London

Alongside Gellu Naum, Paul Păun, Virgil Teodorescu and Dolfi Trost, Ghérasim Luca is one of the most important representatives of Romanian Surrealism. Together they founded the Surrealist Group,

In the early 1940s, Isidore Isou spent a short time in Bucharest as an avant-garde journalist and published, together with Serge Moscovici, the magazine Da [Yes], which was banned as soon as it appeared. At the end of the Second World War, the artist sought refuge in France where he launched, as a critical reaction to Dadaism and Surrealism, the Lettrist movement. The activities of Isidore Isou embraced almost every domain of creation and human thought: literature, cinema, visual and performing art, philosophy,

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Isidore Isou, Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et une nouvelle musique [Introduction to a new poetry and a new music]

nature, the publication was printed and published by the army and contained extracts from the novel Nepokronennîie [The Unvanquished] (1943) by the Soviet writer Boris Leontievici Gorbatov. Perahim’s illustrations were in the style of the Soviet political cartoonist Boris Efimov, whom he discovered during his stay in Moscow. IM

Jules Perahim (1914-2008) Soldați germani [German Soldiers] Circa 1944-1945 Gouache on paper Private collection Announcement for the exhibition Ororile războiului [The Horrors of War] by Jules Perahim; Jules Perahim, Soldați germani

Max Hermann Maxy (1895-1971) Cine sunt ucigașii [Who are the killers] 1968 Oil on canvas Muzeul de Artă din Iași [Iași Art Museum]

political economy, sciences psychology—synthesised in what he termed ‘kladology’. In the late 1960s, Isou’s theories influenced authors such as Guy Debord and Gil J. Wolman and led to the emergence of other radical currents, such as Situationist International and the May ’68 events as well as the publication of the imposing treatise Le Soulèvement de la Jeunesse [Youth Uprising] in 1949. IM

Leon Alex (1907-1944) Cizma fascistă [The Fascist Boot] n.d. Charcoal on paper Muzeul Țării Crișurilor [Țării Crișurilor Museum] Announcement for the exhibition Ororile războiului [The Horrors of War] by Jules Perahim Produced for Jurnalul sonor ONC no. 13 / 1945, 
B/W, sound, 00'27" Arhiva Națională de Filme [Romanian National Film Archives] Horrors of War was the title of an exhibition by Surrealist artist Jules Perahim. It took place in 1945 in ARLUS, the Romanian Association for the Reinforcement of Relations with the Soviet Union, founded by the Ministry of Propaganda in Bucharest. The exhibition featured a series of watercolours and gouache paintings from 1944. At the time, Perahim followed the frontline alongside the Soviet-organised Tudor Vladimirescu Division as graphic designer for the newspaper Grai Nou [New Voice]. Ephemeral in 2 FACES OF THE AVANT-GARDE

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Gábor (Gavril) Miklóssy (1912-1998) Grivița 1933 1952 Oil on canvas Muzeul Naţional al Ţăranului Român [The Romanian Peasant Museum]

Gábor (Gavril) Miklóssy, Grivița 1933

Painted in 1952 by socialist-realist Gábor (Gavril) Miklóssy during a period in which the history of the Romanian Workers’ Party was actively being (re)written, it is one of the few artistic representations of the railway workers’ strike in Grivița, which took place in February 1933. After the devastating effects of the Great Depression, this strike began peacefully with railway workers voicing their demands following the government’s austerity measures. The workers opposed a 25% cut in wages and the requirement to present proof of income tax payment for the preceding three years. Miklóssy’s work evokes the clashes that took place between the workers and law enforcement who, on 16 February, received orders to shoot, killing seven strikers. IM

Mona Vătămanu (1968) & Florin Tudor (1974) Grivița ’33 2018 video, 32'18" Courtesy of the artists

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4 SELF-REPRESENTATION IN POST-WAR TIMES After two decades of rule by Stalinist leader Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Nicolae CeausĚŚescu came to power in 1965. The early years of his leadership were characterised by relative liberalisation and openness towards the West. This changed in 1971, when CeausĚŚescu started an offensive against cultural autonomy, demanded a return to strict socialist realism and implemented nationalistic policies, strict surveillance of activities, indoctrination and a cult of personality. This period of rigid rule posed difficulties for artists. In order to escape communist cultural ideology, they developed their practice in relative isolation or in secret. Others adopted a passive stance and worked in related fields such as graphic design and illustration. The 1989 Revolution prompted the construction of new cultural narratives. With the opening of Romanian borders, artists were finding their place internationally. Yet, entering the global arena compelled artists to address past and present dichotomies between East and West. WW

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Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki, Videograms of a Revolution

Totul la vedere

art, are the enlargement, extension and development of space for exhibiting artistic practices and outcomes: they used their intimate flat as an exhibition space for individual artists, they mounted exhibitions in their studio where they also debated with close friends and they presented their work in a magazine destined for the general public. In this sense, the television programme as a medium for communicating artistic knowledge follows naturally. Launched in the early 2000s, the cultural programme Totul la vedere [All visible] was broadcast on national television. By showing it in an exhibition context, the performative character is highlighted and by-passes the generic way in which this television show was conceived and perceived. IM

Aurel Bauh (1900-1964) Entre chien et loup [Between Dog and Wolf] 1929-1935 Gelatin-silver print mounted on matt paper Răzvan Bănescu Collection Aurel Bauh (1900-1964) Pluie d’été [Summer’s Rain] 1930-1950 Gelatin-silver print mounted on paper Răzvan Bănescu Collection Andrei Ujică (1951) and Harun Farocki (1944-2014) Videograms of a Revolution 1992 Video, 108' Courtesy of the artist

Television played a pivotal role in the Romanian revolution that overthrew the communist regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu. On 22 December 1989, demonstrators occupied TVR, Romanian public television, and continuously broadcast unfolding events in Bucharest for 120 hours. Videograms of a Revolution focusses on the period between Ceaușescu’s last speech from the balcony of the Central Committee building and his trial and execution. Ujică and Farocki collected footage from public television archives, as well video recordings by activists and amateurs, to create a film essay that reflects on the relationship between image and power. WW

Aurel Bauh (1900-1964) Bucureşti Editura De Stat Pentru Literatura Si Arta, Bucharest, 1957, 250 p. Private collection

A Romanian-born Jew, Aurel Bauh studied in Berlin with sculptor Alexander Archipenko and in Paris with painter Fernard Léger. From 1937 to 1960, he lived in Bucharest, where he opened a photographic studio called 43. This studio quickly became an important meeting place for avant-garde artists. Bauh extensively photographed Bucharest. In 1957, his images were published in the album Bucureşti, depicting the dynamics and beauty of the city. The foreword was written by one of the most influential figures of 20th century Romanian literature, Tudor Arghezi, a great advocate of the avant-garde. WW Aurel Bauh, Bucureşti

Totul la vedere Cultural television program on the Romanian public broadcast Moderators: Lia and Dan Perjovschi Editor-in-chief: Ruxandra Garofeanu 18 November 2000 84'17" Courtesy of TVR, Romanian National Broadcast

Among the numerous important contributions made by Lia and Dan Perjovschi to Romanian contemporary

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house pARTy II

Ion Grigorescu, Revoluția culturală [Cultural Revolution]; Lia Perjovschi, Testul Somnului [The Test of Sleep]

Ion Grigorescu (1945) Revoluția culturală [Cultural Revolution] 1972 Collage of photographs Private collection

aim to become completely independent from foreign countries, resulted in living standards falling dramatically and an increase of shortages. His failed systematization program and his megalomaniac urban development projects had a devastating financial impact and ripped apart the social fabric. In this repressive climate, cultural life in Romania was subject to strict censorship. Exhibitions that did not follow the official doctrine were shut down by the authorities. Despite such a restrictive socio political context, an unofficial art scene flourished. Dissident artists responded by retreating to private spaces. Events such as basement shows in Bucharest and Sibiu, pocket shows in Oradea and House pARTy were organized in a hidden way, away from the public eye. WW

house pARTy I 1987 Video registration of the one-night-event in July 1987, at the home residence of Nadina and Decebal Scriba in Bucharest VHS-PAL, colour, transferred to digital format, 14'58" Participants: Călin Dan, Dan Mihălțianu, Wanda Mihuleac, Andrei Oişteanu, Decebal Scriba, Nadina Scriba and Dan Stanciu Camera: Ovidiu Bojor and Dan Mihălțianu Courtesy of the artists house pARTy II 1988 Video registration of the one-night-event in August 1988, at the home residence of Nadina and Decebal Scriba in Bucharest VHS-PAL, colour, transferred to digital format, 33'40" Participants: Călin Dan, Teodor Graur, Iosif Király, Dan Mihălțianu, Wanda Mihuleac, Andrei Oişteanu, Decebal Scriba, Nadina Scriba and Dan Stanciu Camera: Ovidiu Bojor and Dan Mihălțianu Courtesy of the artists

House pARTy was a one-night artistic event held in July 1987 and repeated in August 1988 at the home of Nadina and Decebal Scriba. The event consisted of a series of installations and short performances created in the rooms and garden of the house. These interventions were documented on VHS tapes, allowing a posteriori reconstitution, at any time in the indeterminate future. House pARTy involved artists and intellectuals who would later become key figures of the Romanian art scene. By the mid-1980s, Ceaușescu’s authoritarianism and devastating nationalistic Communism paralyzed the country. His economic policy, motivated by the 4 SELF-REPRESENTATION IN POST-WAR TIMES

Ștrandul Kiseleff [Kiseleff Swimming Pool] Film footage documenting the
construction of Kiseleff Swimming Pool in Bucharest With: Marcel Iancu and Iulian Iancu supervising the construction 1929-1930 Film, director unknown, B/W, silent, 8'29" Arhiva Națională de Filme [Romanian National Film Archives] Ion Grigorescu (1945) În Bucureştiul iubit [In My Beloved Bucharest] 1977 8 mm film transferred to digital format, 14'37" Courtesy of the artist Ion Grigorescu is one of the most significant Romanian artists of the post-war period. As both a painter and conceptual artist, his artistic practice is radically integrated in his private and personal life. His work explores his strained relationship with the communist regime but also critically addresses capitalist society. In My Beloved Bucharest was secretly filmed and reveals the poverty in a working-class neighbourhood of Bucharest. The video was made in 1977, shortly after the earthquake that destroyed large parts of the city and enabled Ceaușescu to force through his megalomaniac urban development projects. WW

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Lia Perjovschi (1961) Testul Somnului [The Test of Sleep] 1988 Performance documentation,
 B/W photograph, vintage prints, unique Courtesy of the artist and Ivan Gallery Bucharest Paul Neagu (1938-2004) Gradually Going Tornado 1974 Vintage photos from Gradually Going Tornado performance Private collection Geta Brătescu (1926-2018) Atelierul [The Studio] 1978 8 mm film transferred to digital format, 17'45" Camera: Ion Grigorescu Courtesy of The Estate of Geta Brătescu, Hauser & Wirth and Ivan Gallery, Bucharest

Considered one of the most influential post-war Romanian artists, Geta Brătescu received major international recognition in the last years of her life. In the 1970s, Brătescu discovered the liberating potential of the studio, a place where she was free and could work independently. Her studio at the Artists’ Union was the setting for her iconic film Atelierul [The Studio], in which we see the artist physically interacting with the space and her Geta Brătescu, Atelierul [The Studio]

Geta Brătescu, Plimbarea lui Esop [Aesop’s Walk]; Din isprăvile lui Nastratin Hogea [From the endeavours of Nastratin Hogea], Viorica Dinescu, with illustrations by Geta Brătescu

work. In this film, the conceptualisation of the artistic act itself and the self-reflexive nature of Brătescu’s art becomes apparent. WW

Geta Brătescu (1926-2018) Elnoi 2006 Object book (Leporello, drawings made with closed eyes on paper, 16 parts) Courtesy of The Estate of Geta Brătescu and Ivan Gallery, Bucharest Geta Brătescu (1926-2018) Plimbarea lui Esop [Aesop’s Walk] 1967 Animation film produced by Animafilm, Geta Brătescu (script, image, direction), music by Radu Călpescu,
 sound by B. Bernfeld 10'52" Arhiva Naţională de Filme [Romanian National Film Archives] Geta Brătescu (1926-2018) Altă Scufița Roșie [The Other Little Red Riding Hood] 1969 Produced by Animafilm
, Geta Brătescu (script, image, direction) 9'30" Arhiva Naţională de Filme [Romanian National Film Archives]

Geta Brătescu, Elnoi

Din isprăvile lui Nastratin Hogea
 [From the endeavours of Nastratin Hogea] Viorica Dinescu, with illustrations by Geta Brătescu Children’s book published by Editura Tineretului, Bucharest, 1964 Private collection

Geta Brătescu studied literature and arts in Bucharest. In 1949, the communist authorities forced her to leave the Academy of Fine Arts due to her bourgeois background. She was only able to finish her art education in the late 1960s, during the early, more moderate years of Ceaușescu’s regime.

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4 SELF-REPRESENTATION IN POST-WAR TIMES


Dan Perjovschi, Post-Tate şi Universitate [Post-Tate and University]; Dan Perjovschi, Notebooks with drawings for Revista 22

Kinema Ikon is the longest-running art group in Romania, with members from various backgrounds in arts and science. Founded in 1970 as a workshop within the art school of Arad, it is currently hosted by the Art Museum of Arad. During communist times, the workshop was supposed to produce documentary films. But in effect, it secretly functioned as a circle for experimental cinema, organising screenings of avantgarde films and producing more than 60 experimental short films by various authors. After the revolution, the group briefly focussed on video art, but since 1994 its members work exclusively in the fields of digital art and interactive installation. WW

Following her exclusion from art school, Brătescu started working as a graphic designer for different institutions, illustrating children’s books and making animation films while maintaining her artistic practice. In the early 1960s she became art director of the literary magazine Secolul 20. WW

Miklós Onucsán (1952) Hygiène de l’art. Contre culture 
[Art Hygiene. Counterculture] 1987-2008 Silkscreen on linen, wooden poles Courtesy of the artist and Plan B – Foundation and Gallery (Cluj and Berlin)

Cărţile cu Apolodor Gellu Naum, with illustrations by Dan Stanciu Children’s book published by Editura Ion Creangă, Bucharest, 1979, 44 p. Private collection Dan Perjovschi (1961) Notebooks with drawings for Revista 22 2011-2013 Book with drawings Private collection Dan Perjovschi (1961) Post-Tate şi Universitate [Post-Tate and University] 2006 Book of drawings Private collection Isidore Isou (1925-2007) Poémes Lettristes 1944-1999 Alga Marghen, plana-I 12VocSon033 (LP), Italy, 1999 46'18" Archive Acquaviva, London

Mona Vătămanu (1968) & Florin Tudor (1974) Copacul lui Gagarin [Gagarin’s Tree] 2016 video, 22'50" Courtesy of the artists Mona Vătămanu (1968) & Florin Tudor (1974) O situație imposibil de miraculoasă [Impossibly Miraculous Situation] 2016 Architectural model Courtesy of the artists

The multidisciplinary work of Mona Vǎtǎmanu and Florin Tudor focusses on societal changes in the context of Romania’s current post-communist condition.
 The architectural model Impossibly Miraculous Situation refers to the controversy surrounding the Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, O situație imposibil de miraculoasă [Impossibly Miraculous Situation]

Fabrizio Garghetti (1939) Isidore Isou (1925-2007) performing Lettrist poetry at Milano Poetry Festival 1985 B/W photographs Archive Acquaviva, London Kinema Ikon. Florin Hornoiu (1952) Navetiștii [Commuters] 1975 16 mm film transferred to digital format, 7'22" Courtesy of the artist 4 SELF-REPRESENTATION IN POST-WAR TIMES

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government’s financial support for the Cathedral of National Redemption, while at the same time closing several hospitals. Still being constructed in front of Ceaușescu’s People’s Palace, it symbolises the newly acquired power of the Orthodox Church. The film Gagarin’s Tree uses the deserted Gagarin Youth Centre in Chişinău, Moldovia, as the backdrop for an interview with philosopher Ovidiu Țichindeleanu, addressing issues such as space exploration, socialist utopia and the post-communist era. WW

subREAL, The Castle of the Carpathians

subREAL The Castle of the Carpathians 1994 Cigarette packages, wooden stakes and chair Private collection SubREAL was established in 1990 in Bucharest, shortly after the revolution that ended the Ceaușescu dictatorship. It was formed by art historian Călin Dan and artist Dan Mihălţianu, who left the group in 1993. Shortly after, they were joined by architect and photographer Iosif Király. In their work, subREAL investigated the cultural heritage of late-communist Romania in relation to its transition to a liberal capitalist society, engaging in political, social and cultural criticism. The Castle of the Carpathians consists of a model of the People’s Palace that was commissioned by Ceaușescu, ‘The Genius of the Carpathians’, as he crowned himself. A chair on which stakes are mounted floats above the model, referring to Vlad the Impaler, better known as Dracula. The Castle of the Carpathians is part of subREAL’s Draculaland series that satirically deconstructs the one-dimensional understanding of West versus East. It counters the Western stereotypical image of Romania as well nationalist tendencies within Romanian society. The revolution and subsequent transition prompted the emergence of a new art scene and the search for a new cultural identity, challenging Romanian historiography, which for decades had consistently emphasized the realities imposed by the communist party. It argued for the deconstruction and reconstruction of cultural narratives, with respect to a possible Western future as well Romania’s Communist past. Furthermore, the increasing marketability of art and the Western-dominated international art scene posed new challenges for artists from Eastern Europe. WW

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4 SELF-REPRESENTATION IN POST-WAR TIMES


Exhibition views


Ioana Nemeș, Echipa albă (Satan) [The White Team (Satan)]

Reproduction after Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, Romania Revoluţionară [Revolutionary Romania]; Ciprian Mureşan, Romanian blood; Gheorghe Tattarescu, 11 februarie 1866 – România descatuata [February 11th, 1866 – The Modern Romania]

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Reproduction after Constantin Daniel Rosenthal, Romania Revoluţionară [Revolutionary Romania]; Ciprian Mureşan, Romanian blood; Gheorghe Tattarescu, 11 februarie 1866 – România descatuata [February 11th, 1866 – The Modern Romania]; Theodor Aman, Horă [Round Dance]; Aristide Demetriade, Independența României: Războiul Româno-Ruso-Turc 1877 [Romanian Independence: The Romanian-Russian-Turkish War of 1877]; Radu Mocanu, Romanian Traces; Carol Popp de Szathmári, Portrait of king Carol I of Romania; Facla, Volume 4, no. 10

Carol Popp de Szathmári, Portrait of king Carol I of Romania; Facla, Volume 4, no. 10; Nicolae Grigorescu, Evreu din Bacău [Jew from Bacău]

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Facla, Volume 4, no. 10; Nicolae Grigorescu, Evreu din Bacău [Jew from Bacău]; Olga Greceanu, Grup de țărănci pe câmp [Peasant Women in the Field]; Nicolae Vermont, Lectură la lumina lămpii [Reading by lamplight]; Ion Grigorescu, Urzică [Nettle]; Ștefan Bertalan, Floarea Soarelui – Studiu [Sunflower Study]; Constantin Flondor, Solarogramă; Mihai Olos, Untitled; Horia Bernea, Prapor

Olga Greceanu, Grup de țărănci pe câmp [Peasant Women in the Field]; Nicolae Vermont, Lectură la lumina lămpii [Reading by lamplight]

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Nicolae Vermont, Lectură la lumina lămpii [Reading by lamplight]; Mihai Olos, Untitled; Ion Grigorescu, Urzică [Nettle]

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Ștefan Bertalan, Floarea Soarelui – Studiu [Sunflower Study]; Constantin Flondor, Solarogramă; Horia Bernea, Prapor

Nicolae Vermont, Lectură la lumina lămpii [Reading by lamplight]; Mihai Olos, Untitled; Ion Grigorescu, Urzică [Nettle]; Mircea Cantor, Coloana Funie [Rope Column]; Constantin Flondor, Solarogramă; Horia Bernea, Prapor; MAMŰ Group. Károly Elekes & Aladár László Garda, Zászlók [Flags]; Ana Lupaș, Humid Installation

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subREAL, The Castle of the Carpathians; Nicolae Tonitza, După război [After the war]; Marcel Iancu, Mask of Tristan Tzara

Victor Brauner, Cap și Doi Boxeri [Head and Two Boxers]; Irina Codreanu, Tors de femeie [Female Torso]; Hans Mattis-Teutsch, Atleți [Athletics]; Corneliu Michăilescu, După bal (Păpuşi) [After the Ball (Dolls)]

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Milița Petrașcu, Peștele [The Fish]; Nadia Grossman-Bulighin, Băiat [Boy]

unu, Volume II, no. 12; Geo Bogza, Mary-Ange Pană and Sașa Pana, Ușă șifonier [The Door]; Ghérasim Luca, Două femei bat la ușă / O muribundă le oferă din partea mea un ceai [Two women knock on the door / A dying woman offers them tea on my behalf]

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Isidore Isou, Introduction à une nouvelle poésie et une nouvelle musique [Introduction to a new poetry and a new music]; Leon Alex, Cizma fascistă [The Fascist Boot]

Announcement for the exhibition Ororile războiului [The Horrors of War] by Jules Perahim; Jules Perahim, Soldați germani; Max Hermann Maxy, Cine sunt ucigașii [Who are the killers]

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Gábor (Gavril) Miklóssy, Grivița 1933

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Ștrandul Kiseleff [Kiseleff Swimming Pool]; Ion Grigorescu, Revoluția culturală [Cultural Revolution]; Lia Perjovschi, Testul Somnului [The Test of Sleep]; Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki, Videograms of a Revolution; Kinema Ikon. Florin Hornoiu, Navetiștii [Commuters]; Miklós Onucsán, Hygiène de l’art. Contre culture 
[ Art Hygiene. Counterculture]

Aurel Bauh, Bucureşti; Aurel Bauh, Entre chien et loup [Between Dog and Wolf]; Aurel Bauh, Pluie d’été [Summer’s Rain]; Ion Grigorescu, Revoluția culturală [Cultural Revolution]; Ștrandul Kiseleff [Kiseleff Swimming Pool]

34


Geta Brătescu, Atelierul [The Studio]; Fabrizio Garghetti, Isidore Isou performing Lettrist poetry at Milano Poetry Festival; Kinema Ikon. Florin Hornoiu, Navetiștii [Commuters]; house pARTy II

Paul Neagu, Gradually Going Tornado; Geta Brătescu, Atelierul [The Studio]; Fabrizio Garghetti, Isidore Isou performing Lettrist poetry at Milano Poetry Festival; Geta Brătescu, Elnoi; Geta Brătescu, Plimbarea lui Esop [Aesop’s Walk]; Geta Brătescu, Altă Scufița Roșie [The Other Little Red Riding Hood]; Din isprăvile lui Nastratin Hogea
 [From the endeavours of Nastratin Hogea], Viorica Dinescu, with illustrations by Geta Brătescu; Cărţile cu Apolodor, Gellu Naum, with illustrations by Dan Stanciu; Dan Perjovschi, Post-Tate şi Universitate [Post-Tate and University]; Dan Perjovschi, Notebooks with drawings for Revista 22

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Lia Perjovschi, Testul Somnului [The Test of Sleep]; Paul Neagu, Gradually Going Tornado

Geta Brătescu, Atelierul [The Studio]

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house pARTy II

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Kinema Ikon. Florin Hornoiu, Navetiștii [Commuters]; Miklós Onucsán, Hygiène de l’art. Contre culture 
[ Art Hygiene. Counterculture]; Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, Copacul lui Gagarin [Gagarin’s Tree]

Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, Copacul lui Gagarin [Gagarin’s Tree]; Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor, O situație imposibil de miraculoasă [Impossibly Miraculous Situation]

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subREAL, The Castle of the Carpathians; Andrei Ujică and Harun Farocki, Videograms of a Revolution

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COLOPHON This publication appears on the occasion of the exhibition Perspectives, held from October 2, 2019, to January 12, 2020, at BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, as part of EUROPALIA ROMANIA Arts Festival. Published by Bureau for Art Projects & Europalia International, Brussels. ISBN 9789464000245 Editor Wim Waelput Authors Igor Mocanu Wim Waelput Copy editing Julie Verheye Translations Liz Morrison Design Kahil Janssens Photographs Thomas Min

COORDINATING TEAM General commissioners EUROPALIA ROMANIA Baron Philippe Vlerick Ovidiu Șandor General Manager EUROPALIA Koen Clement President ICR, the Romanian Cultural Institute Mirel Taloş Liliana Ţuroiu (until 07.2019) EUROPALIA Arts Team, Brussels Dirk Vermaelen, Artistic Director, Eva Bialek, Project Coordinator, Ghislaine Peeters, Project Coordinator, Marie-Eve Tesch, Project Coordinator, Julie Verheye, Project Assistant, Christopher Claessens, Logistics EUROPALIA Arts Team, Bucharest Horia Barna, Artistic Director, Alexandru Gligor, Visual Arts Expert, Claudia Lazăr, Visual Arts Expert EUROPALIA Communication Team, Brussels Colette Delmotte, Luna Klaps, Johan Smeyers EUROPALIA Finance, Human Resources & General Administration Team, Brussels Stefana Ciubotariu, Julie Erler, Ly Nguyen, Florian Wolf EUROPALIA ROMANIA Communication & Sponsoring Team, Bucharest Paula Hotea, Miruna Olteanu, Aura Marin, Simona Chițan, Cristina Gagiu, Sever Petrovici Popescu

PERSPECTIVES BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels 2 October 2019 – 12 January 2020 CURATOR Wim Waelput CO-CURATOR Igor Mocanu In collaboration with the EUROPALIA Arts Team Lenders The artists Arhiva Națională de Filme Institutul de Cercetări Eco-Muzeale Gavrilă Simion Tulcea Janco-Dada Museum, Ein Hod, Israel Muzeul Județean Mureș Muzeul Național al Țăranului Român Muzeul de Artă Constanţa Muzeul de Artă din Iași Muzeul de Artă Vizuală Galați Muzeul Regiunii Porţilor de Fier, Drobeta Turnu Severin Muzeul Țării Crișurilor, Oradea TVR, Televiziunea Română Alexandru Solomon Collection Archive Acquaviva, London Fundação Bonte Collection Florea Paul Cezar Hauser & Wirth Ivan Gallery Bucharest Corina Bârlădeanu Collection Mircea Pinte Collection Plan B – Foundation and Gallery (Cluj and Berlin) Răzvan Bănescu Collection The Estate of Geta Brătescu The Estate of Horia Bernea The Mihai Olos Estate Vladimir Pană Collection OB collection And the lenders who wish to remain anonymous

Organization in Romania Art Safari: Ioana Ciocan, General Manager, Ioana Spiridon, Assistant Exhibition production Chloroform: Pieter Blondé & team Lighting Colin Fincoeur & team Technical coordination Frédéric Oulieu & team Audiovisuals Thomas Bernadet Conservation ArTouché: Bettina Bouttens & Carla Viana Art Handling BOZAR art handlers Insurances Eeckman Art & Insurance, Loyd’s Transport Hizkia Van Kralingen, Voter transport Graphic design labels TAVU: Colin Snaps, Jérome De Wilde, Daniel Santos Audio guide Guide ID Press Gerie Soetaert, Press & Communication

Image back cover: Ciprian Mureşan, Romanian blood, 2004


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Perspectives  

This publication appears on the occasion of the exhibition Perspectives, held from October 2, 2019, to January 12, 2020, at BOZAR Centre for...

Perspectives  

This publication appears on the occasion of the exhibition Perspectives, held from October 2, 2019, to January 12, 2020, at BOZAR Centre for...

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