12/04/2007 reSourcing. critical platform
  Starting with January 2007, a collective of artists, initiatives active in the fields of contemporary arts and cultural management are developing the pilot project reSourcing. critical platform, a multidisciplinary modular research on the recent cultural history in Romania, aimed at documenting and recuperating a variety of movements that had an impact on the present developments of the cultural, artistic and intellectual scene.

A view from the present to the recent past, focused on different time layers inside the period between the '60s and present in Romania. A series of subjective radiographies, in the context of a ever more acute need to articulate and provide innovative frameworks of research, analysis, presentation and critical debate, designed to recuperate past developments, update knowledge, as well as secure a 'continuity' with what is happening nowadays on the international scene. Not last, a search in order to identify tools for writing an otherwise silent history, together with the clear need to propose discourses addressing that history.

Four personal readings of the context in different fields are currently under development, as it follows below. The documentation of the research will consist in written, audio, photo and video materials, which will provide a ground for debate, as well as for the presentations taking place in the framework of the project. An event putting into discussion the results of this research phase is planned to take place in Bucharest by the end of June 2007.

- Shortcut - Lia Perjovschi, visual artist
Shortcut is a project aimed at recuperating specialists from different fields, their experience, as well as their strategies and way to create opportunities in order to be able to go on with their profession and life. A collection of possible models, visible or not, different, responsible, successful stories. A capsule of basic information which may help the young copy and paste generation in Romania to find its way. Based on a research undertaken for many years already, the project will put together the opinions of various specialists from fields such as history, political sciences, anthropology, sociology, journalism, philosophy, visual arts, dance, theatre, literature, etc.

Debate: 15 May 2007, 11.00, National Centre for Dance in Bucharest

- Subcultural Scuba Divers - moving down the cultural food chain -
Stefan Tiron, independent curator, information trafficant and (anti-)pop theoretician, & Sebastian Big, mini dasein analyst
Maybe there was an 'alternative' culture growing during the communist times, just prior to 1989. There are dispersed, contradictory bits of information, legends, sightings, manipulated clues and real eyewitness records, but no sustained research into it or any historical account of what was going on. It certainly looks like a crypto-zoological issue of the cultural domain. This crypto-cultural research focusing on the period 1985-1995 is aimed at finding all kinds of anthropological evidence about hidden or open networks, artefacts, media samples, and media re-appropriations, while reconstructing a living record of something that everybody likes to reminisce and regard as the start of something entirely different from a cultural point of view.

On a long term the Scuba Divers aim to enhance and search for the availability of so-called alternative interpretations and to show if these remain or not entrenched and fixed inside the boundaries of sub-cultural groups, popular science, fringe culture or if they have a larger critical relevance within a larger context of alternative strategies, with the final aim of documenting these evolving strategies. The project will also chart the distribution of such alternative knowledge and hunt down the various case studies and preferential themes, subjects, icons, meeting-places, and other specialized areas where these 'cultural alternatives' took place.

Presentations in this frame:
- 17 April 2007, 20.00, Faculty of Arts, Timisoara, in the frame of Studentfest
- 16 May 2007, 18.00, National Centre for Dance in Bucharest
- 8/15 June 2007, 18.00, Binar Centre for Digital Culture, Cluj-Napoca, in partnership with AltArt Foundation (tbc)

- Choreography and memory - Manuel Pelmus, in collaboration with Andreea Novac, dancer & choreographer
Most artists would agree that contemporary dance in Romania has a very fragile past and almost no tradition. Meaning not that contemporary dance did not exist at all during the communist period but that its presence was so reduced and limited that it was impossible for dance to leave a clear trace and to develop a strong discourse or to shape a tradition. The most important is that even for that which existed there is almost no information at all. There are several names and dates and also some descriptive information, but no reference to the context, the history and the forces that informed the dance of the past.

The aim of this research project having as focus the period comprised between the '60s and the '90s is to take a closer look and document some performances of the past and to try and understand/present the historical context in which those performances were created. It wants to identify witnesses and to try to reconstruct some aspects related to these performances. It wants to ask questions about that period and offer some possible interpretation. It wants to look at the political context that informed those performances.

- Who still needs theatre after '89? - Andreea Dumitru, theatre critic
Starting from this question, which is essential to all important artists after '89, both young or already established, this project is focused on the mid-90s, the period of affirmation of the (young) independent theatre in Romania, in order to analyse its roots, its consistency, as well its influences on the "2000 generation", at first sight a much more articulated, received and promoted one. The research mainly follows the individual parcourses of several theatre directors, actors and playwrights who refused to work inside the 'system' (inside the institutionalized system perpetuated after '89, with all its advantages and disadvantages). To what extent have they succeeded in creating functional independent structures, real aesthetical alternatives, or in having an impact and contaminating the traditional theatre scene? Beyond the subjective statements, beyond the story of those important private companies, foundations or festivals, the project tries to reconstruct the context in which a real debate on the underground/experimental/alternative theatre started in Romania.

In parallel, the research explores the present content of several concepts which were excessively trafficated in the theatre field: the myth of value and, inherently, of the superiority of the Romanian theatre, the idea of compromise, with all its mechanisms, in ante- and post- communist times, the conflict between generations, the need for models, the concept of audience, the notions of scandal, manifest, tradition, team.

Debate: 19 May 2007, 11.30, KF Club, Arad, in the frame of the Underground Theatre Festival

Project initiators
Stefania Ferchedau, cultural manager/ director, ECUMEST
Mihai Mihalcea, dancer and choreographer/director of the National Centre for Dance in Bucharest
Manuel Pelmus, independent dancer and choreographer
Dan Perjovschi, visual artist
Lia Perjovschi, visual artist, Contemporary Art Analysis
Oana Radu, cultural policy expert/ deputy director, Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
Corina Suteu, consultant in the fields of European cultural policies and cultural management, international cultural cooperation, trainer/ director, Romanian Cultural Institute in New York
Stefan Tiron, independent curator, information trafficant and (anti-)pop theoretician

Project coordinators
Stefania Ferchedau
Manuel Pelmus

Mihaela Donisa

Coordination and institutional support
ECUMEST Association

National Centre for Dance in Bucharest

reSourcing. critical platform is a project supported by ERSTE Foundation

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