Romania hosts a unique artistic project competition:) It is addressed to undergraduate students and masters students enrolled at the University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca, which is also the organizer. However the one who designed this project dedicated to students is Assoc. prof. Anamaria Tomiuc PhD, currently head of the ITA department (History and theory of art) of the University of Art and Design Cluj-Napoca. Why is this contest unique in Romania? Because other art universities do not have anything similar, and also because it involves in its course several factors pertaining to a very beneficial exercise for competitors, namely the preparation of an artistic project that must be unique, have a message, present complex works supported both technically and theoretically. In other words, the competitors make a first step towards their own assertion in a context similar to any curatorial project anywhere else. The selected competitor not only receive prizes, but s/he also benefits from everything that a public exhibition entails: from the confrontation with the jury, to the interview about the future exhibition, to media promotion, technical team, sponsors, budget, protocol, awards gala and a diverse offer of awards. But most importantly, the meeting with the electorate, as this contest involves a kind of battle between two art projects exhibited simultaneously in two independent spaces, the public being invited to vote for their favorite project in 3 categories: exhibition setup, quality of the work and quality of the exhibition concept.
This year the competition took place between the 7th May and the 31st May, with over 50 participants from which 16 were selected to exhibit their individual project: Students selected to participate in the contest “Expo Marathon” stood out by the manner in which they designed the projects and mixed the technique specific to the section where they study the new trends in contemporary art. (associate professor Anamaria Tomiuc PhD, organizer)
The favorites of this edition are…
Ureczki-Lázár Melinda with the project Exi (s) t obtains the Audience Award based on the total number of votes – Documentary visit to the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Prize of the Polish Institute in Bucharest.
‘In a state of loneliness, we are responsible for our own decisions, and in this state of consciousness, we can manifest ourselves in the most personal way, as the subject of our own activity.’ (Ureczki-Lázár Melinda, graphics, senior student)
Cătălin Tăvală with the project Overturned wins the Audience Award based on the general average score, which consists of a documentary visit to the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art and the Prize of the French Institute from Cluj-Napoca – Personal exhibition at La Cave, Gallery of the French Institute in Cluj-Napoca.
‘By creating sensitive images, we also try to understand the contemporary side of the accident seen as a common narrative event that also reveals a certain social or cultural nature.’(Cătălin Tăvală, graphics, first year master’s degree student)
Costel Chițimuș with the project 361,068 ha obtains the Jury Prize – Documentary visit to the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art.
‘In Romania no one knows how much wood is cut down and sold illegally. Officially there is a felling quota, but unofficially the quotas are much exceeded. What I want to catch is what is left behind: large deserted areas, possible landslides, stumps, rotten branches and leaves, a disaster that we see and feel. My intention is to raise the viewers’ awareness, make them a direct witness of a known reality, interpreted in a subjective way, and sieved through the filter of a pictorial vision.‘ (Chițimuș Costel, painting, senior student)
Alexandra Vasilescu with Ephemeridae wins the Prize for the setup of the exhibition, worth RON 1700.
‘Ephemeridae. These passing moments resembling admiration. And which, however, shape and reshape us in imprecise but sublime structures, the structures of hopes, where variables are more important than constants, in spaces that the imagination controls better than the image, endlessly constructing illusions as between parallel mirrors.’ (Alexandra Vasilescu, graphics, junior student)
Marius Fodor for Cluj 24/7 wins the Award for quality of works – RON 1700, Bazis Contemporary Art Platform Award – Personal exhibition at Bazis Project Space, Cluj-Napoca, MATCA Award – Group exhibition at MATCA, Cluj-Napoca and Zorzini Gallery Award – Group exhibition at Zorzini Gallery, Bucharest.
‘Inspired by the films of the New Wave of Romanian cinema, I tried to capture on canvas fragments specific to the contemporary Romanian landscape, which is in a period of transition from a totalitarian state to a European democratic state.’ (Marius Fodor, painting, second year master’s degree student)
Sevan Szekely with the project What do London window blinds see? wins the Prize for the best exhibition concept, worth RON 1700, and the Prize of the Origo Association – Voucher worth RON 500 – Insomnia Visual Space.
‘The project started in 2016, in Notting Hill, when the first roller blind arrived in my workshop. I liked its surface, it offered total freedom. I thought it would be an isolated case, instead people started bringing me blinds to paint. Soon I began to find them everywhere. When I finished painting one, I found the next one, thrown in the trash or in abandoned houses or institutions. I began to think about as many realities as these blinds would have captured if they had been huge photographic papers, exposed to years and years of images. I wondered, what happens after we draw the blinds?’ (Sevan Székely, painting, first year master’s degree student)
Vanessa Sîngenzia with Stage Playground obtains the Triade Foundation Award, Timișoara – Personal exhibition within the Triade Foundation, Timișoara, Lateral ArtSpace Award – Collaboration to organize a group exhibition within Lateral ArtSpace and Rembrandt Graphic Center Award – Products worth RON 300.
‘Stage Playground wants to create a sedative environment through which to bring the public in the main role, giving them the opportunity to observe and focus their attention on details that are mentioned above, and thus allow them to transpose into the world just mentioned. ” (Vanessa Sîngenzia, glass-ceramics, senior student)
Călin Dumitrașcu for Aether wins the Rembrandt Graphic Center Award – Products worth RON 300.
‘The memory of an image becomes so vague and the impetuousness of its representation so necessary that the figuration disappears almost completely. Only a few gestural elements remain behind, as well as the illusion of reconstructing an atmosphere once contemplated. Thus, the figurative landmark is uncertain or only vaguely suggested. Works born under these conditions are constituted as an essentialization.’ (Călin Dumitrașcu, painting, senior student)
Andrei Hîngan with Un-predictable obtains the Prize of the German Cultural Center Cluj-Napoca – a German language course, specialized books + collaboration proposal for Clujotronic Electro-Arts Festival.
‘Reality, as we perceive it, can become tiring, a kind of routine, the same thing every day, we can anticipate, everything is predictable… What if we changed things a little. If our own passage through a certain space would generate different perceptions, which we naturally could not have, a kind of inadequacy; Our passage through this space generates sounds, generates geometries, generates colors.’ (Andrei Hîngan, photo-video, junior student)
Andacs Robert for Where did all the people go? obtains the Atelier Patru Award – Exhibition within Atelier Patru.
‘The chair is the proof of human presence in its absence. Wherever we encounter a chair we know that someone has made a conscious and motivated choice to include it in the landscape and to use it at some point in time. The chair is such a “humanized” object that it often denotes characteristics of the occupant. But what if there were no more people? What else would the chairs talk about? In the absence of human presence, to whom do the chairs bear witness? ’ (Robert Andacs, painting, second year master’s degree student)
Heidi-Stefania Tradnik with States of Mind wins the NANO Gallery Award – Personal Exhibition at the Nano Gallery.
‘The central idea in “Moods” is the materialization of personal reflections related to the influence of thoughts on myself, their plastic expression, their transformation from psychological reality to physical reality. In these works, I experimented on the materiality of the sponge and its ability to create structure in relation to other materials, I explored different ways of construction and their limits, trying to visually shape thoughts related to psychological issues such as: indecision, negative thoughts, coercion , principles, shyness, etc.’”(Heidi-Ștefania Tradnik, sculpture, second year master’s degree student)
Ionela Blaj for Harlequin wins the Zorzini Gallery Award – Group exhibition at Zorzini Gallery, Bucharest.
‘Beyond the comic appearances, the masquerade embodies a kind of ironic consciousness. It is a parody of the person, of the ego, which betrays the multiplicity, the instability of the being, expresses the other side of reality, the one we usually try to hide behind a personalized screen of dignity.’ (Ionela Blaj, painting, second year master’s degree student)
During the same competition, the exhibitors collaborated with teams of students from the photo-video department, to make the “trailer” of each project together. The public also voted for their favorites this time, too, but now in the online environment; the winner videos had the most appreciations and distribution on social networks. The winners are…
Andrei-Eugen Itt / One Minute Artist Statement Jury Prize – Value: RON 1000 and Boglarka Lorincz & Evelin Lorincz / One Minute Artist Statement Audience Award – Value: RON 1000
Be alert for Expo Marathon 20-20 🙂
Check it Out!