New Bucharest Market @ London Festival of Architecture
Curator Mihnea Mircan
Opening: Friday 20 June, 7 - 9 pm, in the presence of architects and artists
Romanian artists & architects come to London to take part in the London Festival of Architecture 2008, a celebration and exploration of the city's buildings, streets and spaces across five major Hubs of activity. Each Hub will see major public events, exhibitions, talks, installations, tours, walks and cycle rides.
Called New Bucharest Market, the Romanian project will introduce LFA visitors to the project Transcentral Urban Bucharest (TUB), a collaboration between 14 architecture studios in Bucharest, which seeks to redefine the identity of the city by fostering social, cultural and environmental initiatives.
The exhibition organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute in 1 Belgrave Square will include a film by acclaimed director Cristi Puiu, author of the award-winning Death of Mr. Lazarescu. The film An Attempt to Rediscover Bucharest documents a walk that architects take through the map described by TUB with a vehicle that leaves an almost poetic, evaporating trace. Architects attempt to engage passers-by on issues of alternative transportation, organic urban farming, pedestrian routes and environmental concerns, the interplay of conflicting views functioning as a scale model for urban consensus.
The exhibition also includes works by some of the best young Romanian artists, who respond to the TUB concerns.
Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor present the Infobox project, a model of a typical Bucharest apartment transformed into an outdoor exhibition gallery fusing art and urban anthropology;
Vlad Nanca shows one of Bucharest's famous covered cars turned into a gigantic beanbag, as well as a set of architectural designs inspired by the game 'The Leaf', in which children compete over bits of territory, reproducing the grown-up game of ownership and dislocation;
Daniel Gontz's video 'Puzzle' reflects on the continuous interchangeability of communist housing structures;
Ciprian Muresan proposes an ironic reinterpretation of the 'Communist Manifesto', suggesting the emergence of another, marginal collectivity.
Artists' biographies (Microsoft Word document)
New Bucharest Market will also host a series of debates that brings together Romanian and English arhitects and theorists in a disscusion on social and public space in post-totalitarian cities.
Tuesday 24th June, 7-9 pm:
What Makes a Better City chaired by architect Teodor Frolu (TUB).
Speakers: Peter Bishop, Di Hague, Fred Manson, Ken Dytor, Steve McAdam, Marc Dorfman, Chris Horne.
Flocking over Bucharest by architects Dorin Stefan (TUB), Oana Nituica and Claudiu Barsan-Pipu (University of Architecture, Bucharest);
Tuesday 15th July, 7-9 pm:
Occupying the Totalitarian Imagination by Dr. Malcom Quinn (Reader in Critical Practice and Research Co-Ordinator at Wimbledon College of Art, University of the Arts London)
Architecture and Politics at the Foundation of Foundation by Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield (Reader in Theory & Philosophy of Art at the University of Reading)
Evicting the Ghost by architects Alex Axinte and Cristi Borcan (studio basar, Bucharest)
Speakers' biographies (Microsoft Word document)The event is organised by the Romanian Cultural Institute in London, with the support of the Embassy of Romania. New Bucharest Market is part of the Embassies Project including over twenty-five international institutes and embassies which bring exhibitions from around the world in association with The British Council.