[artinfo] Opening of PAVILION UNICREDIT contemporary arts centre in Bucharest

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Sun Feb 15 09:50:16 CET 2009


BUCHAREST, February 19th, 2009: PAVILION UNICREDIT, the centre for
contemporary art and culture, announces its official opening with the
exhibition "STATEMENT", curated by Lia Perjovschi.

The Day's Agenda:

11.00 - 12.00: Press conference, followed by a presentation tour of
the centre and the exhibition.

12.00 - 13.00: Q&A Session (Questions & Answers - open discussion).
Participants: Lia Perjovschi, Eugen Ra˜descu, Ra˜zvan Ion, Andrei Cra˜ciun.

19.00: Official opening of the exhibition "STATEMENT". Curator: Lia Perjovschi.

21.00: Punch Glam Party with kitschy pop music video projection.

"STATEMENT" exhibition, curated by Lia Perjovschi
February 19th - April 19th 2009

For the first time in the last twenty years, a bank becomes an art
centre. A centre in the centre of the city, not at its outskirts, as
we were used so far by the logic of transition. The spaces for
contemporary art, had they not been already displaced, closed or
thrown at the periphery, are becoming smaller and smaller or more
business-related. The history of the Romanian contemporary art is the
history of the losses - a place, a market, a man, a few ideas. And,
as always, an exaggeration is surpassed by an other, and the lack of
the assorted art units is politically concealed by the ever too big
and too dependent Central Unit: the museum.

An art magazine created a BIennale and now opens ONE permanent centre
for the contemporary art.

The midpoint of PAVILION UNICREDIT is not "the show", as some may
think, but "the archive/ information". The main focus here is the
"the knowledge", the resource.

Any new place and any new project starts with a STATEMENT. In
Romanian: declararat¸ie de credint¸a˜. What the place want to be, and
what it might be.

STATEMENT is an expositional plan. A route. A process. The storyboard
of a contemporary art centre nowadays. A conceptual expression for the
lines of force structuring the intellectual life and the life in
general. A multidisciplinary programme created with modesty (books,
newspapers, quotations). A data bank and a possibilities bank. Art is
not alone. Art is positioned in a cultural, political and scientific
framework. Works of art admired and then given away as gifts, replicas
more interesting than the original, hundreds of artists in texts,
images, postcards. Institutional history in bags. A map of ideas that
may go wild or may structure itself peacefully. A laboratory where the
spectators become researchers.

STATEMENT breaks the vicious circle built up out of financial
humiliation, bureaucratic imbecility, cultural ignorance and lack of
understanding, institutional autism, the reduction to the state of
always asking and always being rejected without any explanations, and
the state of "everything against you". STATEMENT uses the "Do-It-
Yourself" resources that the curator-researcher has coalesced for the
last twenty years.

What do we define as an artistic object? Where should the artistic
research start and how far can it go? How free is our thinking?
We have become conservative without even knowing it. We wish to be
avant-gardists, to overthrow things, but we do everything within the
same logic frame. We complain about the same things. We reiterate the
same mistakes. Culturally, we are in the tunnel effect.

What can be done?
What if we change the perspective? What if we watch through the both
ends of the telescope? Here in Universe. Here on Earth. Here in
Romania. Here in Pavilion.
The resource in STATEMENT is not only the art theorist or the cultural
philosopher, but also the artist, the astronaut, the string theory
specialist, the astronomer and the inventor.
Are the artists also inventors? How does the world look when seen from
outside the world?
Is a T-shirt art? Is a postcard a work of art? What do some images
tell us when they are downloaded from the Internet and then
xerocopied? What does the democratic access to information imply? For
how long can we count on the popular anthology? Why does Second Life
imitate life?

We know what we are made from (our genome), we know where we are (in
the Universe), but do we know why? (Lia Perjovschi translated for
media by Dan Perjovschi).


Most of the 140 million inhabitants from Russia are living in
Communist block of flats, in apartments they call hruschiovi
("khrushchevs"), after the name of the former Communist leader of
the '60s, the period when they were built. But the initiator of the
project was actually Stalin. He imagined them and he also turned the
project into reality. As a country dominated by Russia for 45 years,
Romania may pride itself on the same type of habitat. Hruschiovi have
some small kitchenettes, and this was a big step forward, as compared
to the so-called kommunalki (they had common kitchens, common
bathrooms and, sometimes, even common bedrooms. The idea of the New
Man, who has nothing to hide, went into the background. Today the
comfort becomes the main propagandistic tool.

PAVILION UNICREDIT is located in Victoria Square, at the ground floor
of such an apartment building. The afore mentioned space became a
banking center in 1993 and it has stayed like this for the last 15
years. The actual building of the edifice started in the years of the
communist regime and it was concluded five years after the fall of the
communism. The hruschiovi from the center of Bucharest have witnessed
the changes of a Stalinist society into a capitalist society, with
strong social and political marks. PAVILION UNICREDIT uses this space
for its messages, for its location (right across the center of the
executive power - the Romanian Government building) and, moreover,
for its hastily forgotten history. It is a space without an
extraordinary history, a space of the broken up history, of the
revolutionary delays. A space for the knowledge and interest in
society, city and community.

PAVILION UNICREDIT is a work-in-progress independent space, a space
for the production and research in the fields of visual, discursive
and performative. It is a space of the critical thinking, and it
promotes a certain artistic perspective on art and cultural
institutions, one that implies a socio-political involvement. Still,
the basic function of the space will remain the concretisation.

PAVILION UNICREDIT will set up every year three-four exhibitions,
discursive events, a film projection schedule and an informal
educational program entitled The Free Academy.

The centre will shelter one of the most important areas of information
in the entire country, which is constituted of the CONTEMPORARY ART
ARCHIVE (archive created by Lia and Dan Perjovschi) and the PAVILION
RESOURCE ROOM (a non-archive created by Ra˜zvan Ion and Eugen Ra˜descu).

The structural design, the architecture of the space was created by
Adriana Mereut¸a˜, one of the most remarkable Romanian architects. The
space is an unusual one for a centre of contemporary art and it was
designed in such a way so as to preserve the elements of the original
space, of the Communist building. Simultaneously, the architectural
project added functionality and conception to is utility, while
maintaining as centre of gravity, in its core, the archives/informations.

(for PDF file and more info: 



Director: Ra˜zvan Ion
Research Curator: Lia Perjovschi
Coordinator: Andrei Craciun
Project manager: Raluca Pop
Assistant Director: Ioana Nitu
Website/ Software design: Alexandru Enachioaie
Space Design/ Architecture: Adriana Mereuta
Intern: Silvia Vasilescu


Dan Perjovschi
Eugen Radescu (chairman)
Ioana Paun
Felix Vogel


PAVILION UNICREDIT is the first centre for contemporary art and
culture from Romania and it is the result of an extended cooperation


devised and founded by Razvan Ion and Eugen Radescu.


Visiting address: S¸os. Nicolae Titulescu, 1 (Victoria Square),
E-mail: pavilion at pavilionmagazine.org
Telephone: 031-103-4131


Opening hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 12.00 - 19.00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 14.00 - 21.00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

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