Bella Rune

Art Encounters Biennial 2019

20.9–27.10 2019

From press release:

The Art Encounters Foundation is pleased to announce Maria Lind and Anca Rujoiu as the curators for the third edition of Art Encounters Biennial which will take place in Timișoara, Romania from September 20 to October 27, 2019.

The Art Encounters Biennial is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial. It focuses on extensive curatorial research which engages in meaningful dialogues with the historical and the socio-cultural contexts of the city of Timișoara. The mission of the biennial is to become a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas. The third edition of the biennial continues the mission of engaging a wide audience in a debate on the main topics of today’s society, creating a vibrant platform for cultural exchange between the art scenes in Romania and those abroad.

Founded in 2015, the Art Encounters Foundation is a private art initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the development of the contemporary art scene in Romania. Its core mission is driven by the aspiration to foster dialogue, education, research, and experimentation. The Art Encounters Foundation intends to deliver an institutional model tailored to the needs of the local context. The foundation’s activities are carried out in three main directions: organizing the Art Encounters biennial in Timișoara and the program of permanent exhibitions; fostering education and development for audiences by way of public programs, and; developing a solid repertory of artistic and curatorial residencies.

Ovidiu Șandor, the President of the Art Encounters Foundation, has expressed his enthusiasm for the curatorial team: “We are delighted to have such outstanding curators for the third edition of the biennial. We are looking forward to organizing this edition based on the concept proposed by Maria Lind and Anca Rujoiu and to explore together the unexpected connections with the cultural, the institutional, and the urban identity of Timișoara.”

Further developing the biennial’s ambitions, this edition will expand the format of the art exhibitions through a series of transdisciplinary events taking place over a more extended period of time, starting from January and leading up to the event, itself, in September. The choice of these curators reflects one of the main goals of this biennial: exploring as many layers of the city as possible with a close connection to today’s most relevant artists and works of art.

Timișoara lies in the center of Banat, Romania, a region in Southern-Europe rich in diverse traditions. Over several centuries, the city has been a melting pot for various cultures and religions. Furthermore, in the 1960s and 1970s, the city was an important and vibrant creative center for Romanian contemporary art. In December 1989, the revolution against the Ceaușescu dictatorship started in Timișoara. In the 1990s, the city provided a platform for a series of influential festivals which gave artists the opportunity to test their newly-won freedom. In 2016, Timisoara earned the title of 2021 European Capital of Culture.

Maria Lind is a curator, writer, and educator based in Stockholm and Berlin. She was the director of Tensta konsthall, Stockholm (2011-2018). She was director of the graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2008-2010), and of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005-2007). From 2002 to 2004 she was the director of Kunstverein München; from 1997-2001 she was curator at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, responsible for Moderna Museet Projects; in 1998, she was co-curator of Manifesta 2, and in 2016 she was the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale. She has taught widely since the early 1990s at the Art Academy in Munich, the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm, among others. She has published Selected Maria Lind Writing (Sternberg Press, 2010) and has co-edited many books. She was the editor of Abstraction in 2013 as part of MIT’s and Whitechapel Gallery’s series “Documents on Contemporary Art”. Maria Lind is also the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement.

Anca Rujoiu is a curator and editor based in Singapore and Romania. As curator of exhibitions and later head of publications (2013-2018), she was a member of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore, contributing to the center’s numerous exhibitions, public programs and publishing projects. In Singapore, she also taught at LASALLE College of the Arts. She is the co-editor of several books including Place. Labour. Capital (NTU CCA Singapore and Mousse Publishing, 2018) and others. Since 2010, she joined the curatorial initiative FormContent. Between 2012 and 2013, she was coordinator of the Visual Cultures lecture series at the School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art in London. She was co-curator of Collective Fictions, one of the selected projects in Nouvelles Vagues (2013), a program by Palais de Tokyo dedicated to young curators.

Art Encounters Biennial 2019 Timișoara, Romania

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