The contemporary art scene is trying to impose on a national market where the art isn’t as supported as it should be. BR has talked with Alex Radu from Aiurart Contemporary Art Space to find out what are the main challenges for an atypical art gallery.
By Oana Vasiliu
Which are the most important projects of the gallery this year?
Three projects were already presented at Aiurart this year: group exhibition Mooon, with artists Timon Botez, Mihail Cosuletu, Adina Mocanu, Sybille Neumeyer (recently awarded with Aesthetica Magazine Art Prize 2014), Iulia Nistor (finalist at Strabag Art Award International), Philipp Schweiger and curator Simona Vilau, Anca Muresan and Ion Grigorescu: nimic op.2 exhibition and Momentum 2, with artists Irina Botea, Michele Bressan, Irina Broboană, Cătălin Burcea, Mario Ionescu, Flavia Lupu, Delia Popa, Marilena Preda Sânc, Valeriu Șchiau, Roxana Trestioreanu, Mihai Zgondoiu and curator Olivia Nitis.
Another four important exhibitions are booked until the end of the year: Daniel Balanescu: Crossing. I am the system (opened until June 21) and the personal exhibition of the artists Ciprian Ciuclea, Iulia Nistor and Suzana Dan.
How developed is cultural management in Romania?
It is a very relevant question in the Romanian contemporary art scene context. After more than 20 years from the revolution, in which most cultural management initiatives were born from growing effervescence of this scene, the initiatives and efforts of curators or artists who turned into managers, Aiurart is the first contemporary art space in Bucharest which operates on a different model than a commercial gallery, run by managers coming from a different environment who are still seeking for a more sustainable model.
But the real problem of the cultural management in Romania is the lack of resources, particularly funding sources. While government are very small and are almost exclusively given to the cultural infrastructure, the cultural consumer doesn’t have the necessary conditions to pay the right price for what he/she consumes and this is why the cultural operators should find sources of funding in the private sector. But in Romania private companies understand vaguely the opportunity given by cultural association.
Our message to companies is simple: culture and art contribute to raising the level of civilization and thus indirectly to the emergence of a surplus; some of this surplus created should be redirected to the artistic communities and in the support of arts and cultural operators who so desperately need it. Targeting this surplus becomes the key to continuity of cultural and artistic development.
Which was the most expensive sold exhibit of the gallery and who made it?
The most expensive works of art were those presented in the exhibition of the artist Valeriu Schiau, named “The Dream”, which took place in 2013, as well as a piece exhibited by the artist Julia Nistor , from the “Mooon”, an exhibition that took place in January-March 2014.
Are Romanians interested in buying art?
It’s still on low level the interest, while it barely begins to appear. The opening for values, solutions and an adequate aesthetics of the present being, their understanding, familiarity and the willingness to go to the museums, including those of contemporary art should be formed as early as possible, and their presence in our lives should be constant. Art has the power to develop our capabilities beyond our natural behavior. Contemporary art and, more generally, contemporary aesthetics are an optimal environment for personal development, stimulating creativity and our ability to find innovative solutions to current challenges. In addition, art has proven to be a valuable investment even in the financial crisis.
How many artists have the gallery in the portofolio? Who are they?
Aiurart is a space opened for curatorial project. We also propose private and public collections the works of arts created by Iulia Nistor, Valeriu Schiau, Mihai Zgondoiu, Ciprian Ciuclea, Daniel Balanescu, Patricia Teodorescu, Vlad Berte, Denisa Curte, Marius Purice.
The gallery is opened from Monday to Saturday, 15:00-19:00, and it is located on 21 Lirei St.
Photos courtesy of Aiurart