A brief history of the initiation of Romania in the international world of contemporary art

If you study art in Romania, and more importantly, if you make art in Romania or you're just curious about how things evolved here, then it is absolutely imperative to be familiar to how things happened before and after the political changes in Eastern Europe. To do this fast and right, I recommend you to read a recent collection of texts published by Cartea Romaneasca:  Dan Perjovschi - 20/22 Douazeci de ani de texte. From page 9 to 92 you will read the stories of a honest insider that made his way in the international art world, covering events that happened from 1992 to 1999.

Perjovschi writes about how he traveled to show his work, about how he dealt with the Romanian authorities that weren't ready or capable to incorporate contemporary practices in their policy and other stories that shape a clear image on the Romanian art scene of those times. You will find out how concepts like installation, happening, performance, biennial, curator have been incorporated in the artistic discourse and you'll also read about Romania's first participations with contemporary art projects at Documenta and Venice Biennial as well as alternative initiatives in some major cities of Romania.

To motivate my reason for recommending this collection of texts, I will allow myself to translate and quote a relevant paragraph:

Market, school, life 
After he graduates art school, the student who knows how to draw charcoal portraits will get employed as a salesman, educator, waiter at McDonald's or he'll do advertising. Nothing he studied will be of any use to him. [...] If you're not the assistant of X in the "Academy" or if you're not in the group of Y from UAP, you simply don't exist. There are no private galleries to support you. No magazines either. [...]
(hilariously) on page 89 

I recommend this book to be listed on all bibliographies on Romanian art all around the country. To see the complete work of Dan Perjovschi check out his official website.


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