Bucharest Art Weekend | Interview

As we recently told you here, Bucharest Art Weekend takes place on October 18th-19th, 2014 (Sat-Sun, 11 am – 8 pm), with 22 participating locations, and in addition, ART ON DISPLAY will extend in the urban space the events that are part of Bucharest Art Weekend, turning downtown Bucharest into a temporary art gallery by organizing exhibitions and displaying installations in commercial spaces from October 16th to 26th, 2014. Find out more in our exclusive interview with the organizers.

After this year’s NAG#8 experience in May, you are now continuing the initiative of promoting contemporary art and emerging young artists to the Bucharest public by offering a whole weekend of art, this time during the day, and a more diverse program of events. Tell us about this new project and the program for October 18th and 19th (Sat-Sun), what are the highlights of the first edition of Bucharest Art Weekend and what will the visitors find challenging and different from NAG (White Night of the Galleries).

Bucharest Art Weekend is an event crafted on the wishes of NAG participant locations, artists, curators, and of its public. In the days following NAG#8, we have issued out online surveys consulting our partnering locations and our public on possible ways to grow the event in the future. Both categories said that they would like us to organize an autumn event, during the day and with a longer period – thus locations, artists, curators could interact more with the visitors, and vice versa.

We were extremely lucky in getting a grant from the ARCUB, through Bucharest 555 Program – which enabled us in replicating the event in its new clothes and also including the production of an urban art installation, a first for us.

BUCUR/ESTI urban installation

The urban art installation

Bucharest Art Weekend is showcasing projects in 22 locations, including exhibitions openings, performances, launching of a new contemporary art venue, etc. From 11 am to 8 pm, art lovers will be able to grab a map and start their urban weekend stroll through the galleries: Aiurart Contemporary Art Space, Anaid Art Gallery, 418 Contemporary Art Gallery, Anca Poterașu Gallery, AnnArt Gallery, Atelier 030202, Căminul Artei – Centrul Artelor Vizuale, Centrul Artelor Vizuale – multimedia center, EASTWARDS PROSPECTUS, Galateca Contemporary Art and Design Gallery, H’art Gallery, Imbold Gallery, Ivan Gallery, LABORNA Contemporary Art Gallery, NAG Pop Up Gallery @ MagheruOne, Nicodim Gallery, Pavilion – center for contemporary art and culture, Sala Dalles / MNAC, Platforma Space / MNAC Annex, Studio ARTE, Victoria Art Center, Zorzini Gallery.

You’ve started Bucharest Art Weekend with a call for projects for the urban art installation that you mentioned earlier, themed BUCUR/EȘTI. We would like to know what captured your attention regarding the winning project. 

The winner of the Call is pinBucharest, by Architect Olivia Monoranu (b. 1985), project that struck the selection jury with its playfulness and contemporary approach of the theme. The work is on display in the Old Center of Bucharest, at the crossroads between Franceza St. and N. Tonitza St., from October 16, 2014 to January 6, 2015. ARCUB was very supportive, again, in assisting us with getting the public display approval, and we only hope that the installation will be treated with the joyfulness, rather than punches and kicks.


pinBucharest by Architect Olivia Monoranu

With the project ART ON DISPLAY you are extending the Bucharest Art Weekend program in the public space from October 16th to 26th. It is an interesting concept to use commercial spaces to display art, bringing together established and emerging artists. Share some insights regarding the selection of works, the participating artists and the idea behind ART ON DISPLAY, first introduced during NAG#8, with Ioana Ciocan’s Blue Heart.

The Art on Display idea has been haunting for the last two years, we have been looking for opportunities to fund it since 2012, and finally we were able to receive a grant from ARCUB this year, through Bucharest 555 Program. Ioana Ciocan, Suzana Dan and Diana Marincu invited 10 artists to produce a project for this event, site-specific or not, but taking into account the coordinates of the space.

Lea Rasovszky

Lea Rasovszky – Home is where my tired eyes meet the starry night / ART ON DISPLAY

They were all thrilled at the idea of inserting their works in the pedestrian route and expand in a way the specially designed spaces for art. The project is a challenge in itself: we didn’t have the comfort of organizing an exhibition in spaces that are used with artistic projects, like art galleries and such. We had to convince the owners of the spaces, the representatives of the brands that we’re professional and we’ll not damage their spaces (the first legitimate concern of every owner). Then we had to convince them that their space and/ or brand will benefit from the interaction with contemporary artists, and from the interaction of their clients and potential clients/ passersby with the unusual window showcase.

Sorina Vazelina

Sorina Vazelina – Ocolul infinitului mic pornind de la nimic / ART ON DISPLAY

Ada Mușat

Ada Mușat – The Undying of Hunger Artist / ART ON DISPLAY

Finally we can only hope that anyone involved could benefit from the project: the artists, the commercial spaces, Bucharest citizens, the town itself – changes in mentalities are possible more through direct action, rather than pompous discourses. Although invited by different curators, all 10 invited artists have their own vision on urban life; passersby will see 10 different and varied analysis of the same subject: the city.

1. Aparatus 22, No Title, 2014 / Invited by Diana Marincu. Calea Victoriei 87 – 89 (Hotel Cherica Constanța space)

2. Bogdan Ciocodeică & Diana Roșu, Little Black Box, 2014 / Invited by Ioana Ciocan. Calea Victoriei 81 (As Travel space)

3. Andreea Dobrin, Thank you in advance!, 2014 / Invited by Ioana Ciocan. Calea Victoriei 141 (intervention in the courtyard of George Enescu National Museum)

4. Radu Mocanu, Golden Black, 2014 / Invited by Ioana Ciocan. Gen. Gheorghe Magheru Blvd 1 (Liliac Pop Up Store – Magheru One space)

5. Ada Mușat, The Undying of Hunger Artist, 2014 / Invited by Suzana Dan. Calea Victoriei nr. 81 (As Travel space)

6. Mircea Nicolae, Minimal Pay, 2014 / Invited by Suzana Dan. Calea Victoriei 87 – 89 (Hotel Cherica Constanța space)

7. Buleu Pompiliu, Trai pe vătrai, 2014 / Invited by Suzana Dan. Amzei Square 5 (NAG Info Point space)

8. Lea Rasovszky, Home is where my tired eyes meet the starry night, 2014 / Invited by Diana Marincu. Calea Victoriei 114 (Musette Store space)

9. Iulia Toma, Migration Effect, 2014 / Invited by Diana Marincu. Calea Victoriei 114 (Musette Store space)

10. Sorina Vazelina, Ocolul infinitului mic pornind de la nimic, 2014 / Invited by Suzana Dan. Calea Victoriei 114 (Musette Store space)

We’ve mentioned emerging artists and your support to offer them visibility and opportunities to grow. Is this how “25 Years After”/ NAG Pop Up Gallery debuted and will it continue during the Bucharest Art Weekend or separately? And also, are there artists who you are already collaborating with on long term?

NAG Pop Up Gallery is conceived as a platform for contemporary art production, which is so scarce nowadays, focusing on emerging artists. Just like we did in the past for NAG, when we have produced several exhibitions: Sorina Vazelina (NAG#7, 2013), Mircea Pop (NAG#8, 2014), PASAJ (Michele Bressan, Lea Rasovszky & Larisa Sitar; curator Diana Marincu – MNAC Annex, NAG#8, 23.05-12.07.2014). We have debuted the Pop Up Gallery space on the 7th Floor of Magheru One, our main partner for the project, on August 23, 2014 with  „25 Years After” curated by Ioana Ciocan – a series of exhibitions with young artists focusing on the marking of the 25 years post December 89. „Ţică! A căzut Ceauşescu!” / „Ţică! Ceauşescu has fallen!”, by Andreea Dobrin, curator: Ioana Ciocan, architect: Attila Kim, was on show from August 23 to September 21, 2014.

Dig the Inbetween

Lea Rasovszky, PASAJ show, NAG #8 / View more. Photo by The re:art.


Mircea Pop, NAG #8 / View more. Photo by The re:art.

For Bucharest Art Weekend we’ll open the second „25 Years After” exhibition: Radu Mocanu’s Golden Black, curator: Ioana Ciocan, architect: Attila Kim. The exhibition opening on SAT, October 18, at 7 pm, will remain open to the public until THU, November 13, from Thursdays to Sundays, from 11 am to 7 pm. It will be followed on November 15, 7 pm, by a performance on the Romanian educational system from artists Gabriela Mateescu and Marina Oprea. And hopefully, with the support of our partners, we’ll go on with the project in November – December 2014.

Radu Mocanu

Radu Mocanu – Golden Black show

What do you think about the local art scene and the growing interest in contemporary art? What have you noticed so far related to the feedback and reactions of people who have come to NAG and what are your expectations for Bucharest Art Weekend in this regard?

The Romanian art scene has grown enormously both locally and internationally in the last years  – if we might be so hyperbolical about it. If we just look at NAG numbers, from 12 participating locations at our first edition, in 2007, this year we had 72 locations, from 2000 visitors in 2007 we went to over 40000 visitors in 2014! NAG was the first nocturnal event in Romania after the Night of the Museums, it has created a trend in Bucharest and in the country, it got replicated in other cities – and we dare to say that it is the most successful one in creating a viable platform for education, visibility and interaction between contemporary arts actors and the public. The local art scene has become much more diversified and active, and the public just wants more: more days for the event, more events, more advertising, more interaction, more urban interventions, more.

Radu Mocanu

Radu Mocanu – Golden Black, ART ON DISPLAY

We feel this as a new beginning. 2014 seems to be evolving rapidly. Are there any other events planned for the current year? What are the things that you intend to focus on, perhaps change or develop in the following period? Will you also extend certain existing projects to other cities or start featuring Romanian and international artists, for example?

All the above described projects are the babies of Ephemair Association, with its core of 2 dedicated professionals: Suzana Dan and Silvia Rogozea. We would like to warmly thank all our fellow professionals in the contemporary art scene, our collaborators, volunteers, our sponsors, partners, media partners, providers, our personal doctors, our friends and families who have supported us throughout the last 8 years – we would have never been able to achieve our goals without them! Since 2010, we have had a very supporting sponsor for the last four NAG editions, Raiffeisen Bank, and we can only hope that they will continue to believe in our projects. Also, we would like to mention that, from the first NAG edition in 2007, the National Museum for Contemporary Art – MNAC has strongly supported all our projects.

Our plans for the future indeed include the coordination with other cities and towns in Romania in order to have a nationwide range for NAG, we have been able to do that only for the NAG#5 edition, back in 2011, when we have organized it in both Bucharest and Cluj. We have been in contact with similar events in Europe in order to set up an artists exchange project for the nocturnal events – that is one of the directions we’d like to follow in the future. Art production will remain our focus, and this is where our sponsors and financers’ input become vital. Also we’d like to continue our 2014 new projects: NAG Pop Up Gallery, Art on Display, and Bucharest Art Weekend.

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Thank you to Silvia Rogozea for the interview and photos. We will be back soon with photos and updates.

Check our recommendations for the two projects here (Bucharest Art Weekend + ART ON DISPLAY).

Find out more about NAG on their website and Facebook / Contact: noaptealba@gmail.com.

Bucharest Art Weekend Facebook event / ART ON DISPLAY Facebook event.

View Bucharest Art Weekend + ART ON DISPLAY recap.