luni, 18 mai 2015

'Stop and Go!' Bulgarian International truck drivers, stories from the Giurgiu/ Ruse border, Eastern European Migration

Bulgarian International Truck Drivers: A Methodological Approach

This is a post about a team of artists and researchers based in Eastern and Central Europe who investigate artistically on issues related with movement, migration, spaces, borders, fronteers.
The picture presented above comes from Emilya Karaboeva's research on Bulgarian Truck Drivers during the Cold War Era.

For more details on this project visit the following blog:

Nodes of Transformation and Transition focuses its research on the transformation of the informal hubs, nodes and terminals at the “PAN-European corridors” in Eastern Europe and Vienna that emerged parallel to the increase in traffic volume after the fall of Communism and moreover their impact on the public realm at the margins and even in the core of the cities.
When increasing numbers of people are obliged to spend increasing amounts of time in transit, when their vehicles serve increasingly as a form of personal shelter or home, then transition nodes along their primary route – where exchange between the actors en route happens – acquire ever-greater significance. The alternative models of urbanism that ensue from the paradigmatic shift at these spaces, are shaped by polyrhythmic densifications and the continual performance of difference such as also increasingly inform our everyday lives.
In a first step of developments of informal nodes so-called “leakage currents” and “ant (flying) vendors” give rise to their spatial and social structures (Karl Schlögel, 2009). Where trade takes place exchange happens and difference arises. If we follow Henry Lefebvre’s thesis that urbanity is no more defined by density but by the degree of difference performed at specific places then these nodes paradigmatically represent new forms of urbanity (Henry Lefebvre, 2003). Many of these informal gathering places over time might have been transformed into more formal and controlled territories, and new ones might have appeared. Examples of such transformations have already reached the peripheries and cores of many middle European cities and have had an impact on the process of their urbanisation (Regina Bittner, 2007) by the reconfiguration of the urban fabric and its social life.
Although spaces in general are considered to be socially produced – no matter if they are de jure private or public property – the very same spaces can be at different times featureless non-places (Marc Augé 1992) or lived spaces, where only private concerns of a few individuals can be negotiated, or even a wider public might encounter for discussions. In previous research projects informal nodes – especially illegal markets were investigated – but just as single entities and at one specific timeslot only. What remained largely unexplored so far was emphasising on these nodes as polyrhythmic ensembles, linked to their temporal adaptability – reacting on daily, weekly and seasonal rhythms of traffic flows – as well as their interdependence of one another.
The (geo-political) position of Vienna concerning the corridors is of our particular interest: In Vienna three of the major PAN-European corridors are intersecting in its wider metropolitan region. Vienna is the meeting point of decision- and policymakers and the seat of headquarters of several private companies involved in planning and executing the expansion and upgrading of the (traffic) infrastructure in Eastern Europe, as well as the source and target destination of humans, goods, capital circulating via these nodes and employees regularly visiting them.
The points of departure for our research therefore are three nodes arranged in a triangle, one of its corners represented by Vienna, while the other two are located close to each end of the north-south axis of the PAN-European corridors where (post-socialist) transformation unfolded against different geo-political backdrops: in the border and port cities of Rousse/Giurgiu (BG/RO), and in Tallinn (EST). The clusters differ radically owing to their historical and current geo-political location, the quality and degree of their regulation by the state and legal formalisation, and the design of the hubs and nodes.
In the light of current political discourse in the West, which fosters fear of an invasion of cheap mobile labour and goods from the East, via these very corridors, it seems pertinent to show our dependence on such networks, by recalling the extent to which these “imports” underpin our living standards. A re-evaluation of dualistic discourse about the so-called East and West is also implicit in this focus on the nodes of mobility networks and the diverse range of mobility streams that pass through them. In the view of those multi-local social actors who work or stop at these nodes, the centre is increasingly far-removed from the (former) West, and the definition of centre and periphery increasingly needs to be challenged.
The project draws extensively on theories from interdisciplinary mobilities studies (Tim Cresswell 2011), in our case inspired by cultural anthropology, human geography and urban studies, and on mapping discourses, which, although fairly well established in the English-speaking world, are still under-represented in the German scientific community. By introducing this synthesis of theories and methods from interdisciplinary critical mobilities studies and performative or even immersive spatial strategies of research and representation drawn from artistic research practice, the project is likely to impact theoretical production and practice in a number of fields. In seeking to integrate highly contested or even seriously disputed art-based research in established scientific community discourse, the project consciously fosters a paradigm shift.

duminică, 22 februarie 2015

The book of the scientist, Vinzavod Art Centre, Moscow



10 FEBRUARY - 8 MARCH 2015

This exhibition is a programmatic one in the new sphere that we call “social science art”. It examines and displays research practices of social sciences as both the subject and context of artistic reflection. ..Its goal is an experiment in the area that Bruno Latour named “flat ontology.” On the one hand, the exhibition includes ethnographic photographs from two regions along the Volga River; on the other, these photographs are accompanied by commentary by different social scientists. Latour’s notion of flat ontology implies non-hierarchical relationship of scientific knowledge and its subject as is explored in the anthropology of science. In the context of this art project, the same non-hierarchical relationship exists between the photographs and the commentary.

Groups of researchers were invited to participate in the exhibition. They were given a series of photographs to comment on. We also enclosed some leading questions: “Who is in front of you? What do you think about the person or group of people in the picture, their material wealth, the character of the landscape or the situation captured by the photo?” The aim of the commentator was to create a format for the display of their commentary that was compatible with “artists’ books" (livre d’artiste) and the well-known genre of artists’ manuscripts, in which an artist creates illustrations for verses or a poem, and also, in some cases, writes out the text by hand. Each comment by a researcher, no matter how short, is an artifact of this “scientists’ book" (livre du scientifique).

Many of our colleagues who decided to participate in this experiment asked whether they got it right and whether they correctly understood what was depicted in the photographs. We replied that there were no right answers and that the commentary from the scientists was going to be in the exhibition on an equal footing with the photographs: as artifacts, as works of art that are the textual equivalent of a photograph, that is, an incomplete and somewhat arbitrary “snap-shots.” Here, in the last instance, the view of the photographer and the scientist is not the truth, an objective representation of reality, but an instrument of art. It is possible, however, to say the reverse. The result of the view of the scientist and the view of the photographer is a mini-ethnographic or mini-sociological sketch, quite accurate in its capacity as a photographic or sociological miniature.

From the point of view of this symmetry, this project is close to conceptual art, which introduces textual commentary into the framework of an image, as the conceptual artist Terry Atkinson, in his introduction to the first issue of Art-Language (1969), a journal for conceptual art, rhetorically asked: “Can this editorial … [as] an attempt to evince some outlines as to what ‘conceptual art’ is … count as a work of conceptual art?” Furthermore, as the photographer’s view and the social scientist’s view, taken together, pose new questions about both the optics of knowledge and about the composition and structure of the audience of the exhibition, this project is close to “ethnographic conceptualism,” an artistic and anthropological movement that uses methods of conceptual art in ethnography on the one hand, and conceptual art as a method of ethnographic research on the other. If we add that this experiment is also conducted with new aesthetics, and subject-matter that does not place science outside the picture’s frame, and make it a part of aesthetic reflection and artistic creation, then this is exactly what we are trying to do, creating a community that we call “the Department of Research Art.” The aim of this community is to create a space for experimentation in a flat ontology of the work of artists and scientists, a non-hierarchical atmosphere of cooperation not restricted to their professional boundaries.

Nikolai Ssorin-Chaikov
Kristina Romanova
Sofia Gavrilova

joi, 5 februarie 2015

From slippers to flip-flops, researching the Global banal

Few years ago - in 2003-2004 I wrote my MA thesis on how people use slippers in a block of flats in Bucharest, Romania: a kind of trail, in-between private flats, and public corridors and shops around the corner, from where to buy fresh bread early in the morning (see Cristea, Gabriela. 2004. 'Slippers as Visual Marks of Class Formation: Anthropological Study of Everyday Politics in a Block of Flats in Bucharest, Romania' [unpublished thesis], Departament of Social Anthropology, Central European University.) What I can say is that I have enjoyed that fieldwork terribly and that I saw in it the potential to be developed into a visual project. I almost visualised the trails of those slippers...

Last year I came across this book + project. Similar, but at a different scale: globalization, many oriental places, colourful to look at.
I like how stories are attached to images and how the idea of trail makes one look differently at the world. It makes you feel that our small gestures and things, are not so small - that they belong to bigger flows and longer chains. With what implications? Everybody can look at this web-site and decide for him/herself. Flip Flop Trails...

luni, 26 ianuarie 2015

Store images and store together

Laboratorio di sociologia sociale' s idea is to put and store together images from anthropological and sociological researches. This project is based in University of Genova, Italy.
They also organise a conference and a CfP.

 CFP: The Slating Gaze/ Lo sguardo obliquo - Deadline, March 30 2015

vineri, 18 iulie 2014

Susan Hiller: An anthropologist who decided to become an artists

Susan Hiller
Susan Hiller, Work in Progress, Friday , 1980
Susan Hiller
Work in Progress, Friday 1980
© Susan Hiller.

Would like to know more about Hiller's 'process of collecting and restaging cultural artefacts and experiences' and 'how visual imagery can inform the understanding of intellectual ideas' (see

marți, 15 iulie 2014

100 of the Most Influential Ethnographies and Anthropology Texts

A selection:

An obvious reaction to looking at these titles is saying I have read this and that, and I would like to read this and that! But also, and here I feel some butterflies in my tummy - happyness, feeling that people around can start writing better ethnographies in anthropology, books to inspire...

luni, 13 ianuarie 2014

Money - to look and think at

Look in your wallet and see what does it contain... Money and other valuable stuff. How do museums display such things?
Curious about how the British Museum dealt with this revolutionary (because it talks about every day, ordinary) topic and how other museums deal with other 'ordinary' simple ideas? I detect a shift of paradigm in making displays: from being interested in displaying only beautiful appealing objects, museums started being also interested in useful objects. How do museums display the 'useful'?

I believe 'Money' is a topic for an exhibition which can be made around the world, in very many different ways. All national museums have coins from archeological excavations! Visitors care for money, I suppose. Classic exhibitions, critical ones, immaginative ones.
I dream of an exhibition whith a roulette...
Thinking at one example only, of a Museum of Gold, in Michael Taussig's book, 'My Cocaine Museum'.

One example of such an exhibition made at the British Museum: Room 68, Money.
Here, an image from their web-site:

Stories of money
Looking at the image, I expect to see coins, bacnotes, shells and different other forms of trading and exchanging goods. What is valuable for people around the world? Mobile phons, I see! Money as fetish, where is lack of money, do we see expensive telephones, inscriptions on coins (like the one above 'VOTES FOR WOMEN') and other marvels of our every day life.
I would make a pannel with present inscriptions: what wold people write today on money?
I would continue this exhibition with another one, on DEBT - following David Graeber's book.

But since I am not in London for the moment, I can only guess what such an exhibition might contain or say.

marți, 10 decembrie 2013

Photography, teenagers and art therapy

Anna Konik. An artist of whose artworks I saw on line. Looking at her photos I felt inspired and motivated somehow: they are simple, real, from the realm of our every day life.

Looking at Anna Konic's website I thought of making a seminar in a small city in south of Italy for teenagers. About images and artworks, about using a camera and understanding the world around as well as building themselves; how art can help them, how camera is a tool of inermedaing with their fears and motivate their ambitions.

Few lines about my first impression of Anna's website:
Grey squares, not so nice really, quite cheap web design, but inside....inside there are some shiny things (shiny for me, I suppose). I look at the photos and the extra videos, the appendixes - I always like to see what is not meant to be seen first: Hair, remains, old buildings - empty spaces, faces, boredom, poverty on faces, drunk. I look also on her CV and in a movie of herself: slim, modest, eastern european happyness of joining 'the world.' To me she looks determined, well organised. She likes to fill in her CV evvvvery single scholarship she took, evvrry single project she thought of, evvery seminar she held, and every other things. I am not going to make a list of her 'every.' (inner thought:  instead, I should make a list of my every!) But just to remark that in this obsessive reference to herself, one can read a certain joy of bringing up to the end some ideas and projects that people in general have. she not only had them, she also filled them, ticked them scrupulously.
How many passions artists have except art?
She seems to have. she made theatre, she participated and joined some/ various groups of therapy, she likes mountain climbing and extreme experiences, recollection, narrativity, she is interested in people and people's problems like 'being a migrant' , or 'a poor woman in a rich suburb of a wealthy town.' she seems to have always the camera turned on.

To me, she seems that she could have been many other things other than being an artist.
I like glimspes of her work. I fear the phenomenologists' part, the one where she reffers to big names and their proximity in that special place in Berlin. I cannot stop thinking how was that place in 1938 two years before the climax? let's go back to likings. I like the anthropological and human touch of her projects, and the imperfection of their presentation in the following site:

joi, 19 septembrie 2013

Art from bureaucracy and archives on display

Recently I started to be interested in how archival materials can be displayed in an attractive and intelligent way.
It is the researcher who wants to display artistically, or the artist who is fascinated by the scientificity and bureaucracy of the researcher?
This post will be made out of titles of books/ exhibitions/ artists concerned with these issues:
Start with 1
1. an article about an exhibition of the Bauhaus Archive in Germany


2. Forging Folklore, Disrupting Archives - an exhibition plus events organised 15 May-15 July 2014 in Goldsmiths College, Constance Howard Gallery with the special contribution of materials from the Special Collections, Goldsmiths.

3. A very good book on art practices and archives: - Sven Spieker (ed.), 2008. The Big Archive: Art from Bureaucracy. Cambridge&London: The MIT Press. The articles included were written by: Freud, Ducham, Breton, Corbusier, Lissitzky, Eisenstein, Susan Hiller, Michael Fehr, Andreea Fraser, Sophie Calle. Introduction: Ilya Kabakov - Sixteen Ropes.

duminică, 17 februarie 2013

Eunamus – European National Museums: Identity Politics, the Uses of the Past and the European Citizen

Now, that the EUNAMUS project is completed, 

three ways to get a quick overview of Eunamus’ findings and policy implications.

 From Bodil Axelsson,

·         National Museums Making Histories in a Diverse Europe. This summary report brings together key points from three years of research in short, clear texts and compelling photos. It covers the role of museums as a stabilizing force for the changing nation, the varied ways museums perform this role, their use of exhibition and narrative strategies, the way their histories are dependent on local political conditions, and the resultant silences that deny a complete or complex history. It includes a substantive discussion of the ways in which European national museums deal with conflict, promoting partisan division, obscurantist ignorance, or future-oriented reconciliation. It is available from this webpage:
·         Striking a Balance: How national museums can contribute to a socially cohesive Europe. This policy brief summarises Eunamus findings, gives away research parameters, and includes recommendations for policy makers:
·         Short introductions to Eunamus nine open access reports are available in this pamphlet:
·         The entire project’s rich set of case studies and reports are available from the Eunamus website at

Among the most recent reports are
·         Voices from the Museum: Qualitative Research Conducted in Europe’s National Museums. Jocelyn Dodd, Ceri Jones, Andy Sawyer and Maria-Anna Tseliou. This study presents the findings from interviews and focus groups carried out at six European national museums with visitors and minority groups. It looks at the connections that can be made between national, European and minority identities and how these frame very different experiences of the national museum. Available from this webpage:
·         National Museums and the Negotiation of Difficult Pasts. Conference Proceedings from EUNAMUS Brussels 26-27 January 2012. Dominique Poulot, José Maria Lanzarote Gurial & Felicity Bodenstein (eds). The papers examine museum policies in dealing with conflicts of displaced communities or contested religious heritage; the role national museums play in handling historical issues that are socially and politically sensitive; and cases related to restitution. Available from this webpage:

·         Entering the Minefields: the Creation of New History Museums in Europe. Conference Proceedings from EUNAMUS Brussels 25 January 2012. Bodil Axelsson, Christine Dupont & Chantal Kesteloot (eds). This collection presents four inside stories from the Deutsches Historisches Museum, the Polish History Museum, the House of European History and the Maison de l'Histoire de France (launched during the 2007 Presidential campaign and closed after the political shift 2012). It turns out that new history museums and critical research respond in similar ways to pressures from governments and funders. Among the responses are professional networking, the promotion of dialogues, and the sharing and accepting of a plurality of legitimate standpoints and identities. Available from this webpage:

joi, 28 iunie 2012

The fetish of 'culture' in Romanian post-socialist society

ICR is the Romanian Institute of Culture. Its branches in important capitals of the world (London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Istambul, New York) are important sources of representation for Romania, but also of outcome for Romanian contemporary artists. Through ICR, Dan Perjovsky exhibited at MOMA for example...

After the new government in power decided that ICR should be moved from the tutelage of the presidency, under the tutelage of the Senat/ Parliament, 'workers in the cultural field' in Romania and representatives and members of civil society started protests.

Some of them initiated a petition, saying that they do not sustain the present director of ICR, Horia Roman Patapievici, but that they do not agree with the way the change was done through ordonanta de urgenta. (petition Mungiu, Parvulescu).
Even so, in the following days, a march and a protest in front of ICR affirmed much more the support for Patapievici, than anything else. 'Marsul papioanelor' was a tribute to Patapievici himself and to the 'high ellitist culture' of Romania.

The following link to an article on summarises the attempts that the Romanian cultural ellite, and their suporters all over the world, did in trying to stop the decision of the Government to change the present director of ICR, Horia Roman Patapievici.
By making a summary of all the letters of support that the present direction of ICR has received, the text presents in a certain way the kinship/ lineage of all the suporters of the Romanian high cultural field.
To me this text is very problematic. On the one hand it shows the support Patapievici received from 'big names' in the field of culture, and on the other hand, how good PR organisation he used in asking for this help all over the world. After eight years in power at ICR, the text transmitted to me that Patapievici really wants to keep his position.
An interesting annalysis about the relation between culture and politics (in both the decision of change as well as in the protests) could be found in more articles on Critic Atac, as well as in the comments posted by some of the readers of this articles, for example:
Patapievici was politically named by the president Basescu and played a very important political role in the last presidential campaign when, in an interview for a Spanish newspaper (La Vanguardia), he denigrated on sexual issues the counter-candidate of Basescu. Knowing that the news was instantly diffused on Spanish media, and that so many Roumanians in Spain watch TV, the outcome of Patapievici's position is easy to guess. Basescu wan the ellections not with the suport of Romanians in Romania, but from the suporters of Romanains abroad. (A very important episode of the ellections in Paris, where another important cultural figure, Baconsky was ambasados, deserves further annalysis.)
 Isn'it this politics?

Why certain institutions and people get so much support from so called 'civil society' and cultural workers in Romania? Was the field of culture opposed to any other fields in post-socialist Romania? Why 'cultural workers' and artists know to fight so well for their rights and intersts and so little for the rights of the Romanian society at large?

I believe that a research on some projects founded by ICR (before and during Patapievici in power) would be very useful in this discussion. : what kind of conferences, exhibitions and events did ICR organise. Who participated there, how the money were spent? What was the real impact of these events?

miercuri, 13 iunie 2012

Education in the Expanded Field: Critical Pedagogy as Poetics in Contemporary Art

Conference held by Sven SPIEKER
Professor and Chair, Department of Germanic, Slavic and Semitic Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara
on Wednesday, June 20, 2012, at 5 p.m.
at the New Europe CollegeStr. Plantelor 21, Tel: 021 307 99 10, Bucharest

*** I want to devote this lecture to what I am calling “the expanded field of education in contemporary art” in the first two decades of the 21st century. I am guided by the fervor with which the art world has embraced, over the last decade or so, topics such as learning, education, pedagogy, teaching, research, and study as a critical practice, proposing either to work within institutions of education, or making education the focus of their work. These tendencies do not necessarily promote knowledge as a universal end in itself, on the contrary. […] United in their opposition to the political status quo; the failures of public education; and the consequences of neo-liberal capitalist economic policies all over the world, the artists I want to discuss here promote teaching and study as an open-ended and even “poetic” practice that would not be grounded in the manipulative pedagogy of Platonic dialogue with its predictable “learning outcome” (the battle cry of the Bologna process): education, they argue, means unpredictable adventures in the realm of knowledge.

*** Sven SPIEKER teaches in the Comparative Literature Program; the Department of Art and Art History; and the Department of Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in European modernism, with an emphasis on the Eastern European avant-gardes, contemporary art – with an emphasis on Eastern Europe -, and critical theory. Spieker has published on topics ranging from the Russian avant-garde (Malevich, Rodchenko, Dziga Vertov) to late 20th-century art in Russia and Western Europe (Ilya Kabakov, Boris Mikhailov, Marcel Duchamp, Martin Kippenberger). His essays and articles have appeared in German, Russian, Swedish, Polish and English. Spieker has organized several international conferences (most recently, The Office in the Studio: The Administration of Modernism at the University of Jena, Germany; and in 2011 a roundtable on critical curatorship in Eastern Europe at the College Art Association Meeting, New York City. Participants: EmiliaKabakov; Cosmin Costinas; Piotr Piotrowski; Victor Misiano; Karel Cisar; Lolita Joablonskiene). Spieker's latest book publication focused on the archive as a crucible of European modernism (The Big Archive, MIT Press, 2008). Spieker is the editor of ARTMargins ( projects include a Critical Anthology of Conceptual Art in Eastern Europe, and a study of Kazimir Malevich in the media age. ***

duminică, 10 iunie 2012

anthropology in/of museums

8-10th of June, RAI Conference at British Museum.
Two panels dedicated to museums, representation and the relation between anthropology and the museum world.
P02 Exhibiting Anthropology and
P14 Anthropology in/of museums.

I particularly think that discussions which have anthropological background applied to the museum world are very useful. Some of the reasons for this assumption are the following:
a. anthropology is reflexive and critical at its own discourse and making (also as a response to its collonial non-reflexive past) - and museums very often tend not to be reflexive. Why so, it is an interesting topic of discussion.
b. anthropology works with scale - personal stories, options, realities; museums tend to generalise.
c.both anthropology and museums deal with truth. relation to that, both deal with representation/s of partial truths.
e. it was also discussed the role of art interventions in ethnological or anthropological museums - and its playful, critical point in addressing issues that employeed researchers and currators in museums are not allowed to
f. etc - this was by far the most interesting part!

being said that, I attach two images from a bok with the installation of Fred Wilson, an artist who specifically works and criticises the museum field.

marți, 29 mai 2012

Bucharest 1_jazz and manea

There are very different ways to travel in a city. One of these means could be through sounds, noises, music. The sound of manea and jazz makes me think at Bucharest.

'Cristina' is a song interpreted by the jazz singer Maria Raducanu. This is an exceptional jazz piece of music that originaly was a manea interpreted by Azur.
I have also found a version of the song that sounds more like an original manea. Please listen to the difference manea.
The lirics (in Romanian) are something like this:
'When I met you, Cristina, you had a painfull beautifull hair and an apple flower was on your hair.
When the night comes over Bucharest/ I look at the girls and see that you are not there.
When we got separated, Cristina, you had a painfull beautifull hair and an apple flower fell down from your hair.'
For those intereted in what a manea is, please go and search. Briefly, it is a kind of music with oriental touch that can be heard in most Balkan countries, bearing different names: from turbo-folk to others...
When I hear this song I am thinking at the neighborhood that starts at back of Lizeanu junction, after one passes the barrier of the blocks of flats from Obor market. It is a very green and poor area, with small houses and improvised colours and textures.  The sound of manea and jazz makes me think at Bucharest,  summer, sunset, jazz and manea and last but not least, the fragility of an apple flower.

I have also received this version of the song, if you fancy rock manea. I did! Robin and the Backstabbers.  Multumesc

vineri, 20 aprilie 2012

How to learn to be a curator

This is a programe in France (Grenoble) to train future curators in the field of arts.
The application deadline: 30th of April.

Please, see for the application pack and procedures:


Candidates are expected to have attained a level equivalent to a master’s degree, or to have some years of significant professional experience. They are aware of the production and the mediation of contemporary art within the institutional contexts, and are open to the current landscape of diversifying sites, forms, languages and economies of culture specific to emergences in the field of contemporary art. A sufficient level of cultural knowledge allows the candidate to question the debates on art, from other theoretical fields.

Considering the pedagogy at the École (autonomy of the participants, individual researches, study trips, meetings and seminars), the capacity to work both independently and collaboratively is necessary. The École du Magasin is an international program that welcomes artists, curators and theoreticians from all over the world. The languages of communication in the program are English and French. Candidates are expected to have sufficient knowledge of both languages. An ability to shift between languages is encouraged.

Session expenses are covered by the École. Participants are not required to pay tuition fees, but must assure their own living expenses. Please note that the École being organised independently from the University system, application to grants offered by the Ministry of Education are hardly received. Candidates searching for a financial support should rather apply to funds developed for an international residency by national or international public or private cultural organisations.

Admission to the École du Magasin is approved in two stages :

1. A pre-selection based on an application, which includes :

* Application form

* Current Curriculum Vitae

* Curatorial project proposal

* 1 Letter of motivation

* 3 cover letters

* Copies of Diploma and/or proofs of employment

The curatorial project proposal is of no more than three A4 pages recto/verso, and includes a curatorial statement, a presentation of the location of the project as well as the participating artists, and a realistic budget. The candidates precisely define the object of this project, and articulate its relevance within the field of art. The proposal must clearly convey the concerns and the nature of the project.

NB : The proposal is for admission purposes only and is not intended for consideration during the session.

Application must be sent between 1st February and no later then 30 April 2012. Only complete dossiers will be considered.

2. An interview with a jury in Grenoble. Pre-selected candidates will be informed by letter of the date of the interview (scheduled in June). Interviews via Internet can be arranged on a case-by-case basis.

joi, 29 martie 2012

Sfânta Înţelepciune / Holy Wisdom

Hagia Sofia, muzeu din Istanbul, 20 lire turceşti intrarea (aproximativ 8 euro), comoară a lumii. După cum ne spune draga de Wikipedia (scuzaţi lenea, nu mai traduc):

Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: γία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

The Church was dedicated to the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its dedication feast taking place on 25 December, the anniversary of the Birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although it is sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Saint Sophia), sophia is the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom – the full name in Greek being Ναός τς γίας το Θεο Σοφίας, "Church of the Holy Wisdom of God".

Clarificare/remarcă importantă: din 360 până în 1054 (Marea Schismă), Sofia a fost, pur şi simplu, Catedrala Creştinătăţii. Şi acum…da, muzeu. Este greu să faci o asociere mentală între interiorul acela şi cuvântul muzeu. Poate că imaginea mea despre un „muzeu” era, până acum, cea a unui spaţiu aseptic, neutru, în care importante erau exponatele şi felul în care erau puse în valoare, şi nu „pereţii”.

În Sophia m-am simţit strivită, dar strivită în mod plăcut, dacă mi se permite formularea, de Istorie, nici mai mult nici mai puţin decât de o mare bucată din istoria umanităţii. Nu m-a apucat zelul religios, nu m-am simţit nici mai ortodoxă nici mai atee ca de obicei. Dar am simţit „uimire şi cutremur” uitându-mă la fecioara Maria (care stă acolo, privind vrute şi nevrute cu un calm...divin, din 867) şi la îngerii ieşiţi parcă dintr-un text apocrif, doar aripi şi război.

Din punctul meu de vedere Hagia Sofia (Sfânta Înţelepciune, să nu uităm) a devenit unul dintre cele mai convingătoare şi valoroase muzee de istorie din lume. Când vezi sfinţi palizi lângă împăraţi bizantini lângă citate într-o minunată caligrafie arabă te apucă un fior al vechimii, indiferent de ce ai nimerit acolo şi cu ce aşteptări.

Bineînţeles, în acest caz este vorba de mai mult decât un muzeu, oricât de minunat ar fi acesta. Dar una din calităţile sale trebuie să reprezinte o caracteristică esenţială a oricărui muzeu care merită acest nume: un muzeu trebuie să te mişte, intr-un fel sau altul. Din muzeu trebuie să ieşi cu mintea mai deschisă şi spiritul mai înălţat decât înainte să păşeşti acolo.

Am aruncat o privire pe lista Patrimoniului Mondial UNESCO, cât şi pe cea a criteriilor de selecţie ( Hagia Sofia nu se află, momentan, pe lista permanentă, deşi ar cam trebui să fie. Aşa că aştept...

Hagia Sophia, Istanbul museum, 20 Turkish lira entrance fee (approximately 8 euros), treasure of the world. As our dear Wikipedia informs us:

Hagia Sophia (from the Greek: γία Σοφία, "Holy Wisdom"; Latin: Sancta Sophia or Sancta Sapientia; Turkish: Ayasofya) is a former Orthodox patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, and now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. From the date of its dedication in 360 until 1453, it served as the Greek Patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople, except between 1204 and 1261, when it was converted to a Roman Catholic cathedral under the Latin Patriarch of Constantinople of the Western Crusader established Latin Empire. The building was a mosque from 29 May 1453 until 1931, when it was secularized. It was opened as a museum on 1 February 1935.

The Church was dedicated to the Logos, the second person of the Holy Trinity, its dedication feast taking place on 25 December, the anniversary of the Birth of the incarnation of the Logos in Christ. Although it is sometimes referred to as Sancta Sophia (as though it were named after Saint Sophia), sophia is the phonetic spelling in Latin of the Greek word for wisdom – the full name in Greek being Ναός τς γίας το Θεο Σοφίας, "Church of the Holy Wisdom of God".

Important remark/clarification: from 360 to 1054 (year of the Great Schism), the Sophia was, simple as that, the Cathedral of Christendom. And now…yes, museum. It’s difficult to mentally associate this building with the word “museum”. Maybe that’s because my mental image of a museum has been that of a rather “aseptic” space, somewhat neutral, where the important part was always played by the exhibits and their positioning, and not by “the walls”.

In the Sophia I felt crushed, but in a very pleasant way if I may say so, by History, a large chunk of humanity’s history. Religious zeal did not grab me, nor did I feel more orthodox or more atheistic than usually. But I felt “fear and trembling” while looking at the Virgin Mary (standing on the wall, watching a little bit of everything with…divine calm, since 867) and the angels brought out of an apocryphal text, all wings and war.

From my point of view the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom, let’s not forget that) has become one of the most convincing and valuable history museums of the world. When you see pale saints next to Byzantine emperors next to quotes written in a wonderful Arabic calligraphy, you experience a thrill of the ancientness, no matter why you ended up there and what you had been expecting.

Obviously, in this case we are referring to a space that is much more than just a museum, but one of its qualities must represent a characteristic essential to any space worth being named as such: a museum must touch you, even more so, a museum must shake you. You need to walk out with a mind that’s more open and a spirit that’s more enlightened than before.

I had a look at the UNESCO World Heritage list and at the selection criteria ( Currently the Hagia Sophia is not on the permanent list, though it should be. So, I am waiting…