During August 16 – September 16, ARCUB – The Cultural Centre of Bucharest Municipality has prepared the Bucharest 2021 NOW project – a series of interventions and reinterpretations of the public space for the residents of the city, as thought by artists in Bucharest and beyond, a project created to transform several spaces in the city according to the Bucharest 2021 bidbook themes. The events taking place within the Bucharest 2021 NOW series are meant to show a preview of the way the city could change in six years, should it win the European Capital of Culture title.
The cultural life of Bucharest is a rich mélange between traditional culture, mass culture taking the form of an ever growing series of open air events, and between a fast-developing contemporary art scene. Although all are equally important for the city, they function as separate parts of urban culture. Given this fragmentation of Bucharest cultural life, the NOW series of events transform the city in an open space for various forms of artistic expression. Independent artists conquer the city with installations destined to change the way people in Bucharest relate to the city. Under the Together We Make Bucharest Visible slogan, the NOW project invites citizens to express themselves, thus transforming the city, while interacting with the installations ARCUB has spread throughout the districts of Bucharest.
Organic Conspirations – Roma Square
August 18 – September 16
Artist: Nicolas Triboi
The artistic installation in the Roma Square bears the signature of Romanian-French artist Nicolas Triboi, who proposes a comeback to nature by landscaping the street into an urban garden of a controlled wilderness that emerges from underground passages, from history, from small alleyways. A garden arises above our heads, towards the mysterious zenith. The area will be decorated with resting points for the passers-by, a library and a Bucharest 2021 info kiosk, where everyone can read and browse for info on the candidacy of the city to the European Capital of Culture title.
“Nature in the urban space has become vital and Bucharest metamorphoses daily through new transformations. Stepping back from various “conspirations” that fill newspapers, we’re looking forward to organic conspirations, so that nature can express itself freely. We want a wilder nature, not pansy parcels and lawn rolls, but enduring and sustainable green habitats. Bucharest is a dynamic and energetic city, but also a city where both construction and residents’ behaviour are often wild. We need to focus these energies and transform them into positive green energies. Culture can transform nature into art and gives us green landscaped aesthetics.” – Nicolas Triboi, landscape artist.
Gabroveni NOW, ARCUB
August 11 – September 16
Artist: Saint Machine
Printre artiștii invitați se numără: Vasile Leac, Svetlana Cârstean, Dan Sociu, Sorina Vazelina, Mitoș Micleușanu, Suzana Dan, Matei Branea.
A transparent cube completes the Gabroveni Inn passage. Through it the image of the city is enriched and broadened, as passersby leave their marks on the translucent surface. NOW is an interactive space that invites you to express your subjective Bucharest, your own idea about the city and its spirit. Starting August 11, we invite artists and passersby alike to mark, through words or drawings, their own Bucharest. Connecting all visions of the city, we can catch a glimpse into the future.
NOW Peripheries, Ferentari Neighbourhood, Old City Centre
Artist: Sergiu Negulici
An important part of the cultural dynamic of our society is the effervescence of contemporary art and its spontaneous manifestation. At the same time, any urban agglomeration produces marginal neighbourhoods, where life is reduced to a basic fight for survival. The residents of these neighbourhoods, although under the same administrative umbrella, do not participate in cultural happenings taking place only a few kilometres away, as it is not on the list of “what I’m going to eat today”. The NOW Peripheries project of Sergiu Negulici is a juxtaposition of an abstract intimate image repertoire of the artist with the desolate spaces of Ferentari. The project is meant to provoke dialogue, wonder and even sympathy for the people living in the area. The abstract forms will be suspended on one single wire between blocks, floating above this space as a superposition of realities: one of them abstract and intimate, the other one existentialist and material.
High Hopes, 22 Teheran St.
Artist: Andreea Blaj
The artist transforms the house she lives in into an installation by moving the objects inside onto the façade of the building. Thus, personal space is integrated into the universal space with an intention to recompose, reevaluate and re-imagine. Intimacy becomes responsibility, thoughtfulness for the natural and the human, while the durable becomes decisive and ephemeral in human existence. Personal/inner space becomes public space to talk about history, about the past, about intimacy. In essence, to talk about life. – Andreea Blaj, artist, curator.
Meleagris Ocellata, itinerand installation
August 18 – September 16
Artist: Ștefan Radu Crețu
Sculptor Ștefan Radu Crețu proposes Meleagris Ocellata, a species of metallic bird coming from the futures, that takes on a symbolic journey on the streets of Bucharest, gathering its residents’ yet unlived memories, their personal projections of the future. Equipped with a metaphorical brush, the kinetic sculpture brings to our attention places and historical monuments covered by the dust of oblivion, while, as it transits the physical space of the city, it also invites people to write on its translucent skin their memories from the future.
Kinetic art meets the monumental art of the city during the Meleagris Ocellata peregrinations, while making passers-by discover the various characters populating our city without being part of any kind of statistics, though being an integrated part in the urban story – the statues of Bucharest.
The route across Bucharest happens on Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 19:00-22:00 in different areas of the city.
The events included in the Bucharest 2021 NOW series mark the end of the acts supporting the city’s candidacy to the European Capital of Culture title – over 500 events and projects in the two years of competition. A part of the projects resulted in the candidacy (as part of the Ideas Accelerator and Community Project Generator) will continue after the jury’s September announcement.
On September 14, Bucharest will receive the European jury’s visit, who will be evaluating the four shortlisted Romanian cities in the European Capital of Culture competition. On September 15, the Bucharest 2021 team will present the final bid book at the Ministry of Culture. On September 16, the final results will be announced officially.