Plan B Gallery, Berlin: Opening Electroputere

Opening: Friday October 26, 18 – 22 h 

October 26 – December 15, 2012 

Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 18 h 

Potsdamer Strasse 77 – 87. 10785 Berlin 

Galeria Plan B is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition of Club Electroputere Craiova, centre for Romanian contemporary art founded in 2009 by Adrian Bojenoiu and Alexandru Niculescu. 

The exhibition presents a documentation about the place and activities of Electroputere and introduces to the Berlin public the publication Romanian Cultural Resolution, a research into the post-1990 Romanian contemporary art.

Club Electroputere operates in the „outskirts” of the arts stage – Craiova – a Romanian city perceived as peripheric on the cultural map of contemporary culture. In spite of the lack of material resources Club Electroputere opens up new artistic grounds and generates a powerful creative message. This situation reminds us of the effervescent years when Berlin was animated by the ideas of creating a type of Do it yourself context, of engendering a spirit of desinhibation and dynamism that enjoyed the immense support of the local public. From this perspective, differences between the „centre” Berlin and the „peripheral” Craiova are insignificant; the exhibition suprisingly brings back Berlin as a point of reference through analogy with a remote geographical space, different in terms of mentalities, with a different history, animated by an authentic spirit of initiative. 

What is currently happening at Club Electroputere in Craiova confirms the fact that the real generator of the artistic discourse and of the nuanced research into local ingredients are not the cultural politics of the states, but the deep confidence in the self-generating interior force of the communities.

Electroputere was originally the name of a Romanian factory that used to produce heavy duty power transformers and locomotives. Founded in Craiova in 1949, the factory was considered one of the greatest achievements of the industrialization process only to become, during the communist regime, an ideological emblem symbolizing the social evolution wrought by industrial power.

The activity of the centre for contemporary art is carried on in a building meant to function as the cultural club of the independent trade union of the Electroputere factory. The building was raised in the 70s as a place destined to house cultural activities for the employees of the factory, at the same time functioning as a propaganda platform for the Communist Party until 1989. After the Revolution, the number of activities organized at the centre dramatically went down until the complete cessation of these artistic events. Starting with 2000 the space was successively used as a pub, a nightclub and a fitness centre, being afterwards closed until 2009 when the building became a centre for contemporary art.

The artistic practices of Club Electroputere combine problems specific to the local context with issues pertaining to the contemporary artistic and critical thought, and place themselves at the intersection of artistic production, research and publications. Urged by the lack of an institutional infrastructure and of an active critical environment that would censor contemporary reality and resist the pressures of the present, Electroputere currently develops new formulas of adaptability that mainly address the local context. Consequently, the programmes initiated by the CEP have a predominantly experimental nature and research related dimension, short-circuiting the boundaries between criticism, curatorial activity and artistic practice. With no pretension to proposing artistic events that exclusively promote newness and innovation, Electroputere aims at adjusting subjectivity to the temporal dimension of real experimentations.

Club Electroputere organized the project entitled Romanian Cultural Resolution (a research into the post-1990 Romanian contemporary art), presented in Werkschau Spinnerei Leipzig, in 2010 and in Craiova between 2010 and 2011, followed by the ensuing launch of an exhibition catalogue published by Hatje Cantz. In 2011 it represented Romania at the Venice Art Biennale and in 2012 it opened a new branch in Bucharest.

Adrian Bojenoiu (born in 1976 in Craiova) studied philosophy at “Babes-Bolyai” University in Cluj and at Charles de Gaulle University, Lille 3.

Alexandru Niculescu (born in 1979 in Craiova) studied art at the University of Arts, Bucharest and at HGB Leipzig (“Theodor Aman” Postgraduate grant)

For more information, please contact the gallery at contact@plan-b.ro.

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