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29 Jan 2009

Pavilion Unicredit - new art center in Bucharest

Lia Perjovschi, Statement, mixed media research, 2009.



February 19th – April 19th 2009

February 19th - The Day's Agenda:

11.00 - 12.00: Press conference, followed by a presentation tour of the centre and the exhibition.

12.00 - 13.00: Q&A Session (Questions & Answers – open discussion). Participants: Lia Perjovschi, Eugen R?descu, R?zvan Ion, Andrei Cr?ciun.

19.00: Official opening of the exhibition 'STATEMENT'. Curator: Lia Perjovschi.

21.00: Punch Glam Party with kitschy pop music video projection.


Şos. Nicolae Titulescu, 1 (Victoria Square),

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'STATEMENT' exhibition, curated by Lia Perjovschi
February 19th – April 19th 2009

For the first time in the last twenty years, a bank becomes an art centre. A centre in the centre of the city, not at its outskirts, as we were used so far by the logic of transition. The spaces for contemporary art, had they not been already displaced, closed or thrown at the periphery, are becoming smaller and smaller or more business-related. The history of the Romanian contemporary art is the history of the losses – a place, a market, a man, a few ideas. And, as always, an exaggeration is surpassed by an other, and the lack of the assorted art units is politically concealed by the ever too big and too dependent Central Unit: the museum.

An art magazine created a BIennale and now opens ONE permanent centre for the contemporary art.

The midpoint of PAVILION UNICREDIT is not 'the show', as some may think, but 'the archive/ information'. The main focus here is the 'the knowledge', the resource.

Any new place and any new project starts with a STATEMENT. In Romanian: declararaţie de credinţ?. What the place want to be, and what it might be.

STATEMENT is an expositional plan. A route. A process. The storyboard of a contemporary art centre nowadays. A conceptual expression for the lines of force structuring the intellectual life and the life in general. A multidisciplinary programme created with modesty (books, newspapers, quotations). A data bank and a possibilities bank. Art is not alone. Art is positioned in a cultural, political and scientific framework. Works of art admired and then given away as gifts, replicas more interesting than the original, hundreds of artists in texts, images, postcards. Institutional history in bags. A map of ideas that may go wild or may structure itself peacefully. A laboratory where the spectators become researchers.

STATEMENT breaks the vicious circle built up out of financial humiliation, bureaucratic imbecility, cultural ignorance and lack of understanding, institutional autism, the reduction to the state of always asking and always being rejected without any explanations, and the state of 'everything against you'. STATEMENT uses the 'Do-It-Yourself' resources that the curator-researcher has coalesced for the last twenty years.

What do we define as an artistic object? Where should the artistic research start and how far can it go? How free is our thinking?

We have become conservative without even knowing it. We wish to be avant-gardists, to overthrow things, but we do everything within the same logic frame. We complain about the same things. We reiterate the same mistakes. Culturally, we are in the tunnel effect.

What can be done?

What if we change the perspective? What if we watch through the both ends of the telescope? Here in Universe. Here on Earth. Here in Romania. Here in Pavilion.

The resource in STATEMENT is not only the art theorist or the cultural philosopher, but also the artist, the astronaut, the string theory specialist, the astronomer and the inventor.

Are the artists also inventors? How does the world look when seen from outside the world?

Is a T-shirt art? Is a postcard a work of art? What do some images tell us when they are downloaded from the Internet and then xerocopied? What does the democratic access to information imply? For how long can we count on the popular anthology? Why does Second Life imitate life?

We know what we are made from (our genome), we know where we are (in the Universe), but do we know why?

(Lia Perjovschi translated for media by Dan Perjovschi).


Most of the 140 million inhabitants from Russia are living in Communist block of flats, in apartments they call hruschiovi ('khrushchevs'), after the name of the former Communist leader of the '60s, the period when they were built. But the initiator of the project was actually Stalin. He imagined them and he also turned the project into reality. As a country dominated by Russia for 45 years, Romania may pride itself on the same type of habitat. Hruschiovi have some small kitchenettes, and this was a big step forward, as compared to the so-called kommunalki (they had common kitchens, common bathrooms and, sometimes, even common bedrooms. The idea of the New Man, who has nothing to hide, went into the background. Today the comfort becomes the main propagandistic tool.

PAVILION UNICREDIT is located in Victoria Square, at the ground floor of such an apartment building. The aforementioned space became a banking center in 1993 and it has stayed like this for the last 15 years. The actual building of the edifice started in the years of the communist regime and it was concluded five years after the fall of the communism. The hruschiovi from the center of Bucharest have witnessed the changes of a Stalinist society into a capitalist society, with strong social and political marks. PAVILION UNICREDIT uses this space for its messages, for its location (right across the center of the executive power – the Romanian Government building) and, moreover, for its hastily forgotten history. It is a space without an extraordinary history, a space of the broken up history, of the revolutionary delays. A space for the knowledge and interest in society, city and community.

PAVILION UNICREDIT is a work-in-progress independent space, a space for the production and research in the fields of visual, discursive and performative. It is a space of the critical thinking, and it promotes a certain artistic perspective on art and cultural institutions, one that implies a socio-political involvement. Still, the basic function of the space will remain the concretisation.

PAVILION UNICREDIT will set up every year three-four exhibitions, discursive events, a film projection schedule and an informal educational program entitled The Free Academy.

The centre will shelter one of the most important areas of information in the entire country, which is constituted of the CONTEMPORARY ART ARCHIVE (archive created by Lia and Dan Perjovschi) and the PAVILION RESOURCE ROOM (a non-archive created by R?zvan Ion and Eugen R?descu).

The structural design, the architecture of the space was created by Adriana Mereuţ?, one of the most remarkable Romanian architects. The space is an unusual one for a centre of contemporary art and it was designed in such a way so as to preserve the elements of the original space, of the Communist building. Simultaneously, the architectural project added functionality and conception to is utility, while maintaining as centre of gravity, in its core, the archives/informations.


Director: R?zvan Ion
Research Curator: Lia Perjovschi
Coordinator: Andrei Cr?ciun
Project manager: Raluca Pop
Assistant Director: Ioana Niţu
Website/ Software design: Alexandru En?chioaie
Space Design/ Architecture: Adriana Mereuţ?
Intern: Silvia Vasilescu


Dan Perjovschi
Eugen R?descu (president)
Ioana Paun
Felix Vogel

PAVILION UNICREDIT is the first centre for contemporary art and culture from Romania and it is the result of an extended cooperation between PAVILION magazine, BUCHAREST BIENNALE and UNICREDIT ŢIRIAC BANK.

The projects PAVILION, BUCHAREST BIENNALE, PAVILION UNICREDIT are devised and founded by R?zvan Ion and Eugen R?descu.

Visiting address: Şos. Nicolae Titulescu, 1 (Victoria Square), Bucharest
Telephone: 031-103-4131

Opening hours:
Tuesday-Friday: 12.00 – 19.00 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: 14.00 – 21.00 p.m.
Closed on Mondays

Partner: Pilsner Urquell
Media partners: Hotnews, 24Fun,,