Spatiul Public Bucuresti | Public Art Bucharest 2007 is a pilot project which creates a platform for trans-disciplinary discussions and debates exploring how public art encourages a critical engagement with the structures of power which are dominant in society.. The non-existence of a public sphere in Romania during Communism created the conditions for the unfettered capitalism of the post-Communist period to acquire a monopoly on the public space. Bucharest is one of the fastest developing cities in Europe, however one where post-Communism and globalization have created specific tensions and eccentric juxtapositions in the architecture, urban environment and social life. The ways in which people in the city perceive, experience and respond to these tensions define an active public space, which needs to be acknowledged by the cultural discourse and analysed in open debates.
The project Spatiul Public Bucuresti | Public Art Bucharest 2007 has three objectives:
—to support Bucharest’s synchronization with the evolution of contemporary art and to create awareness about the importance of the public space; —in the medium term, to create a self-sustained initiative for public art; —in the long term this self-sustained initiative allows continuous and consistent realization of public art projects.
For the pilot stage of the project, taking place throughout 2007, the following Romanian artists with international profile were invited to participate: Mircea Cantor, Anetta Mona Chisa in collaboration with Lucia Tkácová, Nicoleta Esinencu, H.arta, Daniel Knorr, Dan Perjovschi, and Lia Perjovschi. The artists’ projects confront the public with a series of contemporary themes relevant both from an international perspective and for a context in which the exercise of democracy has not yet been fully incorporated. The streets, squares and markets of the city, public and private institutions, public transportation, and mass media channels constitute settings for the artists’ interventions. Within the artists’ projects a central role is held by a multifunctional project space, which opens in September for one month, with a daily program of activities. Professionals from different fields will present and discuss contemporary issues. The project space will attra ct not only an audience with a cultural background, but also young people, a casual street audience or people frequenting bars. Along with the discussions and workshops, a variety of activities will be staged, such as lectures, film projections, musical performances and club events.
The artists’ books series is published by IDEA Publishing House Cluj and Walther König Cologne, 2007.
Spatiul Public Bucuresti | Public Art Bucharest 2007 opens on 20th of April 2007 with an international conference which brings together theorists, representatives of institutions which are supporting public art initiatives, as well as key figures of the cultural and public life of Bucharest. The conference participants are: Marius Babias, Marlis Drevermann, Sabine Hentzsch, Olaf Metzel, Timotei Nadasan, Horia-Roman Patapievici, Serban Sturdza, Michael M. Thoss, and Adriean Videanu.