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Artistic Enquiries Into Plants

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Picture Gallery/

Cercetări artistice asupra plantelor/ Artistic Enquiries into Plants
10-29 October 2019ști, Str. Gazelei 44, sector 4
Exhibition opening: Thursday, 10 October 2019, 7 p.m.

Participating artists: Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Athena Dumitriu, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Iulia Toma, Dana Andrei & Sorin Popescu, Daniela Pălimariu, Kiki Mihuță, Olivia Mihălțianu, Stoyan Dechev, Raluca Popa, Simona Dumitriu & Ramona Dima, V. Leac, Vilmos Koter, Vlad Basalici

Curators: Raluca Voinea and Iuliana Dumitru

Graphic design: Eduard Constantin

Bucharest, the most poluted capital in Europe and the city where daily trees are cut to be replaced with concrete is at the same time the city where in the recent years a phenomenon such as Văcărești Delta appeared (a natural ecosystem saved from the real-estate battles by civic effort and promised to become a protected reservation), and where more and more organisations and communities fight for the right to nature. Tranzit Garden, an urban permaculture garden initiated as a project in 2014 and maintained since through the efforts of an organic and fluid group of participants positioned itself in the middle of the debates around topics such as climate changes, modalities of generating stable communities in the big urban agglomerations, the almost inexistent possibilities to counter gentrification processes or difficulties of tracing food source in societies submitted to global market. At the same time, with the particularity of being situated in the proximity of a contemporary art space, the Garden added to this agenda the art’s potential to function as social aggregator and to bring less conventional perspectives upon such urgent topics.

Presently, the Garden counts among its members and collaborators mainly artists, from different generations but with common interests for the study of nature understood in its more profound connections with contemporary society. Alongside these common interests, the artists are tied to the space of tranzit Bucharest through a history of collaboration or dialogue, and some of them had common projects and/or stable friendship relationships. Henceforth, a group exhibition with these artists comes as a natural continuation of these collaborations and as an opening to the public of discussions carried mostly within the Garden.
In the context of the recent proliferation of vegetable urban gardens, of the interest for permaculture and of the activist organisations which try to save parks and green spaces, Tranzit Garden is unique not only through its longevity but especially given its mode of opening multi-disciplinary debates through contemporary art. So far, there have been other events organised in the space ofști that have involved or resonated with the Garden, yet, this exhibition is the first realised exclusively with works by artists who are part of the Tranzit Garden group.

“Artistic Enquiries Into Plants” is at the same time a curatorial experiment and reflects upon questions such as: how can a thematic exhibition respond equally to the artists’ practice and to a long-term institutional interest; how can it include materialisations of individual research projects and still preserve the coherence of a group project; or how much of the organic character of the way in which this group was constituted and the long-term investment into it by the artists can be channelled into an self-sufficient product, a temporary exhibition addressing as well a new public.

The project’s title is a paraphrase to “Historia plantarul” – the work of Teofrast, Aristoteles’ disciple, translated into Romanian as „Cercetarea asupra plantelor” and in English „Enquiry into Plants”, considered as a first systematisation of the botanic world. At the same time, this title indicates the necessity of legitimating artistic research as a clear direction of contemporary art.

The exhibition presents new works, produced by the artists for this occasion and presented in the entire space ofști (the art gallery, the Garden, the Orangery, the Secret Garden). The Tranzit Garden was initiated as an autonomous project but gradually it infiltrated allști programme, to the point where it defines its identity. After 6 years of existence it is time for this project to end. The exhibition “Artistic Enquiries into Plants” is the one to end it, or to open it to other modes of functioning.

Cultural project co-financed by The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. This project does not necessarily represent the position of The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how project results can be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.

exhibition leaflet (pdf, 3.2 mb)


Administratia Fondului Cultural National