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Bucharest AIR Project

Bucharest Artists-in-Residence Project

Collaboration with Alice Gancevici, Remus Puscariu, Ioana Gheorghiu.

Contemporary Romania seems to be defined by a prolonged and seemingly permanent state of anxious and irrational transition between Nicolae Ceausescu's oppressive socialist regime and an imported, aggressive market Capitalism, which often appears to lack any moral guidelines or defined rules. This ongoing state of transition confronts politics, society, and citizenry with challenges at every step, rendering Romania a place of discovery proper, in which nothing is that which it seemed to be at a first glance.

Romania's social, demographic, and economic divisions would place the country in between second and third world countries: large gaps between a relatively small, but financially powerful ruling class and the common citizen, huge differences in living standards between industry and commerce orientated cities and the rural, agriculture based countryside, as well as deeply rooted corruption and a lack of a practicable direct democracy, are only a few examples to name. Romania's adherence to the European Union contradicts the above, generating a specific kind of visualized internal conflict, between that which 'is' and that which is 'hoped for', rendering the country in this way a battlefield of contradictory actions, definitions, and directions.
Due to its history and geographic location, Romania could be perceived as a melting pot of different European cultures and identities: with over 45 local dialects based on a mixture of Latin and Slavonic languages and minorities ranging from Russian speaking Lipoveni to a strong Hungarian, Turkish, German and Gypsy community, Romania is a strong example of the historical development of a truly multicultural society in an ongoing struggle for a viable identity.

The context which Romania provides is both dynamic and generative. As such, the fields of the visual arts as well as those of performance, theatre, filmmaking and literature, are thriving as never before, being deeply embedded in, and actively engaged with, the social and political contexts. Numerous small project spaces usually managed by artists or curators, as well as a variety of artists' initiatives, curatorial or research based experiments, and collaborative projects, define the strong and generous pulse of the Romanian contemporary art scene.

Since 2009 Bucharest Air functions as non-profit artists residency platform, hosting up to 8 artist per calendar year. Alumni include Bertien van Manen (NL), Zachary Formwalt (USA), Nicoline van Harskamp (NL), Omer Krieger (ISR), Bojan Faijfric (SRB), Informal Strategies (NL), Anu Ramdas (DK), Keira Greene (UK), Emilia Ukkonen (FI), Kristine Hymoller (DK), Stefan Glettler (AT), among others. Bucharest Air is managed by Tudor Bratu, Ioana Gheorghiu, Alice Gancevici, and Remus Puscariu, and collaborates with The Mondriaan Fund, Amsterdam, Der Amt Der Steiermarkischen Landesregierung, Graz, Transartists, Amsterdam, and Fondazione Fotografia, Modena. For more information and deadlines for applications, please visit: www.bucharestair.com