Soft Cover, Thread Stitching, 184 Pages, 2020, P+4 Publications
24 Arguments. Early Encounters in Romanian Neo-Avant-Garde 1969–1971
The exhibition-dossier is conceived as a methodological dispositif—a mediation space drawn on the narratives of art and artists—, used to explore the spiritual, theoretical and poetical undertakings in art and art practices grounded in the local terrain, in order to complement the existing research and to expand the circle of inquiries.
The concept of exhibition-dossier enhances a meticulous and extensive focus on particular themes or situations historically circumscribed and conditioned; it does so by limiting exclusively to artistic phenomena and cultural events in a multi-layered research that intends to deepen the surviving records, allowing a more comprehensive glimpse of the reality in which the artist worked.
24 Arguments. Early Encounters in Romanian Neo-Avant-Garde 1969–1971 was the first event in this cycle conceived by the Institute of the Present. The exhibition was dedicated to the visual and performing arts of the 1960s and 1970s in Romania and was hosted by the National Museum of Art of Romania between November 7, 2019–February 2, 2020. It emerged from a research conducted around the participation of Romanian artists in a series of international events of that time, such as, among others, the Lausanne Tapestry Biennale (starting from 1967), the Nuremberg Biennale of Constructive Art (1969), the Venice Biennale (1966, 1968, 1970), the exhibition 4 Romanian Artists at Bauzentrum Hamburg (1969), and the series of exhibitions organised from 1969 in Edinburgh by Scottish promoter Richard Demarco, which culminated in the Romanian Art Today event taking place in the framework of the Edinburgh International Festival (1971).
Based on the previous research conducted for this exhibition, the publication gathers a variety of primary sources in the form of artists’ texts, statements, and interviews, together with an accompanying visual material that allows to fill some gaps in the current writings on Romanian art and to map the artists’ individual trajectories as well as the range of media they approached; a non-exhaustive chronology focusing on the artists’ trips and their participation in international events and exhibitions, as well as on the relevant episodes taking place in Romania; a selection of secondary sources connected to the international presence of Romanian art, written by foreign art critics and professionals; and a chapter including the photographic documentation of the exhibition.