BB5: Fifth Biennale of Arth in Bucharest

The Biennale of Art of Bucharest is open in its fifth edition from the last 25th May. National and international art works are located over different points of the city: galleries of art, emblematic historical points like Casa Presei Libere, Institute for Political Research, cinemas and so on.

Tactics for the here and Now is the main concepts around this edition, leaded by Anne Barlow and  dedicated to the memory of Ioana Nemes (1979-2011) one of the youngest prominent Romanian artist, who died suddenly (april 2011) due to a heart attack. This edition, the Biennale proposes a view based on how current patterns influence and modify Contemporary art. If the Industrial stage (s. XIX) provided us a new vision of art related with reproduction of images and texts and developing of press and radio, the XX century and arrival of computing  is changing the way we understand the art as a material conception. Furthermore, not only the computing, but also the new costumes and lifestyles brought by new capitalism affects the artistic works.

One of the most interesting parts of the BB5 are pieces located at Casa Presei Libere. Abbas Akhavan, Untitled garden, 2009 (photo Jesse Brich) is a work composed by row of trees located in a big room totally empty, surrounded by the communist architecture  which reminds the power and  use of control over the population. This work is a reflection on human intentions as a beneficial or harmful purpose.

Vesna Pavlovic, Search for Landscapes, 2011 develops around a set of vintage slides projected over several panels which depict a family’s travel around the world in the 60’s, where this kind of technology was booming. In the meanwhile, this kind of image system was created by American companies , that represents the economic power of American industry and supremacy over the world. Thus, “the tourist with camera was considered a consumer of places and producer of images”. Furthermore, this set of slides represents the technological change and the influence of industry, which affects continuously our life and conception with respect to the material worlds. Even where technology arrives later, finally arrives and anyone can scape from its influence.

The curatorial team has collected an acceptable set of art works. Maybe the non efficient communication with the communication press department of the Biennal, the continuous raining during the first week of opening and problems finding some locations are the worst point to take consider. Most of the spaces are controlled by volunteers, art students who are widely prepared to speak over the pieces to the interested visitor. They are working free, probably expecting an acceptable future as curators, especially when organizing and financing a Biennals of art is becoming more and more difficult. However, they still believe that modern art is powerful, doesn’t it?


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