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19 Jun 2012

Curators' Network/ Sibiu Meeting June 18 - 24, 2012

Here, curatorial office, The Contemporary Art Gallery, 2010
Photo credit Alexandru Olanescu. Courtesy the gallery

POWERLESS OR POWERFUL. A curatorial discussion around the display of contemporary art in a classical museum
The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum


CURATORS' NETWORK MEETING in SIBIU (RO) between the 18th and the 24th of June, 2012 at The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum

Anca Mihulet

The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum
6 Tribunei Street
550176 Sibiu

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A curatorial discussion around the display of contemporary art in a classical museum
June 18 – 24, 2012
The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum
6 Tribunei Street, Sibiu, Romania

Curators’ Network is a curatorial network initiated in 2011 by five non-profit organizations in Europe: The Hablar en Arte Association in Madrid (ES), The Foundation for Visual Arts in Krakow (PL), Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna (AT), The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum in Sibiu (RO), and The Studio of Young Artists’ Association in Budapest (HU).
The second Curators’ Network meeting after the one that took place in Madrid last year will be held in Sibiu, a city in central Romania with a conservative approach to organizing culture in museums ever since the late 18th century, when the Brukenthal art collection took shape.
Further meetings are scheduled to take place in Krakow (September 2012), Budapest (October 2012), and Vienna (January 2013).
The Contemporary Art Gallery of the Brukenthal National Museum was officially opened in 2007; the main focus of the gallery is the debate around different topics, such as museum and institution critique, the new theories of landscape or the interpretation of arts history, often connecting the contemporary art exhibitions to the Brukenthal Collection (Samuel von Brukenthal, the founder of the collection, having himself collected contemporary art in the 18th century), with emphasis on drawing, video and installation.
The Curators’ Network meeting in Sibiu will try to debate upon the fine lines between administrative decisions, institutional pressure, and curatorial perspectives with regard to the display of contemporary art in a classical museum. There are some questions that need to be asked – should there be a negotiation between the museum, the curators and the special setting that contemporary art requires? To what extent is it ethical to constantly question the limits of the institution and how exactly can one trace the limits of an institution?
It would be important if institutions, networks or powerful strategies sustained most curators. Transformations are not always radical, therefore a few simple rules should be taken into consideration. Curators and critics conceive the identity cards and the strategies for a generation, a moment, a structure, an artist and establish a report of conceptual dependence based on a formula – I manage to control everything or I embrace a festive attitude or I accept a pinkish isolation or I become radical.
The invited curators and cultural managers for this Curators’ Network session are: Corina Bucea, cultural manager, Paintbrush Factory, Cluj (RO); Hilde de Bruijn, curator, COBRA MUSEUM, Amstelveen (NL); Luigi Fassi, artistic director, ar/ge kunst, Bolzano (IT); Nathalie Hartjes, curator, de Appel, Amsterdam (NL); Karol Hordziej, curator and president, Foundation for Visual Arts, Krakow (PL); Lara Khaldi, independent curator, Jerusalem (IL) and Beirut (LB); Hyun Jeung Kim, curator, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea (KR); Andrea Loebel, director, Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna (AT); Soeren Meschede, manager cultural, Hablar en Arte Association, Madrid (ES); Borbala Szalai, curator, Studio of Young Artists’ Association (SYAA), Budapest (HU); Juergen Tabor, curator and deputy director, Galerie im Taxispalais, Innsbruck (AT); Raluca Voinea, curator and co-director, Association, Bucharest (RO).
Apart from the discussions around the suggested topic, a Portfolio Review will be organized for twenty emerging Romanian artists; in the Portfolio, each of them will present their works to the invited curators. A special guests among the reviewers is visual artist Dan Perjovschi (RO).
The artists participating in this section of the Curators’ Network meeting are: Maria-Luiza Alecsandru; Apparatus 22; Dragos Badita; Zoltan Bela; Alexandra Bodea; Irina Botea; Stefan Botez; Simion Cernica; Radu  Cioca; Coate-Goale; Cristina Curcan; Carmen Dobre; Mirela Ivanciu; Olivia Mihaltianu; Sebastian Moldovan; Sorin Oncu; Daniela Palimariu; Lea Rasovszky; Arnold Schlachter; Mircea Stanescu.     
Another focus of the curators’ gathering in Sibiu are the discursive interventions of the invited artists, curators, and cultural managers:
Lia Perjovschi (visual artist, representing Sibiu, RO) will prepare a studio - brainstorming session with the title brainstorming nr.  1/ the responsible cultural agent (on art institutions, curators, artist’s role in time of changes) recomposing the principles of recognition, selection and presentation in contemporary arts, starting with the re-reading of information, and aiming for a better everyday life in the context of her latest project – The Knowledge Museum.
Corina Bucea will introduce the audience to her managerial programme at the Paintbrush Factory (, an emerging alternative space located in Cluj, and branching out into many creative directions – contemporary art, dance, performance, theatre, fashion.
Hilde de Bruijn will centre her discussion on the concept she constructed for the Young Artists’ Biennial in Bucharest this year - The Emperor´s New Clothes (after a short fairy tale dating from 1837 by Hans Christian Andersen). The phrase “emperor's new clothes” has become a standard metaphor for anything that smacks of pretentiousness, social hypocrisy, or collective denial. However, the value of the tale lies as much in the creation of the wonderful fabric in the reader's imagination, as in the closing message of challenging authority.
Luigi Fassi’s curatorial focus on the relevance and profoundness of the art work in connection to space and the translation and interpretation of social tensions opens an introspective perspective upon the curatorial act.
With a critical view upon institutions, and the transformations generated by a succint and articulated discourse, Nathalie Hartjes will offer an over-view of her curatorial projects in de Appel, theoretizing the formulas of exhibition making.   
Lara Khaldi will talk about the Arabic Art Term glossary, an online glossary that discusses translations (from Arabic into English) of contemporary art terms. The project focuses on relationships and practice rather than on linguistics. More information about this initiative by accessing the following link can be accessed at:
Hyun Jeung Kim’s presentation will focus on her projects in the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in Korea, concerned with marginal artistic discourses such as site-specific interventions and working with communities in New Zealand and Australia, displaying art from the United Arab Emirates or working with artists with disabilities.
In the context of her latter curatorial projects, Raluca Voinea proposes a karaoke session with songs selected from the native countries of the participants, but also from the international repertoire.

For more information on the structure of CURATORS’ NETWORK you can consult the international homepage/

The project brainstorming nr.  1/ the responsible cultural agent (on art institutions, curators, artist’s role in time of changes) was organized in collaboration with

CURATORS’ NETWORK meeting in Sibiu has been funded with support from the European Commission.