press release

Art Encounters Biennial 2019
20.09.2019 - 27.10.2019

Opening: Friday, 20.09.2019

For the third edition of The Art Encounters Biennial in Timișoara, a series of context-sensitive commissions will reflect on contemporary art as a form of understanding which, along with science, politics, literature, and philosophy, helps us tackle the complexity of life today. Curators Maria Lind and Anca Rujoiu will match artworks and practices with situations, locations, and questions, placing them alongside existing works embedded in the landscape and history of Timișoara. The Biennial’s name, Art Encounters, acts as further inspiration for discussion and reflection. Each artwork will be the product of encounters, and aims to stimulate debate between groups and individuals, both about and around the art.

Over the course of this edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, different thoughts and ideas will flow through artworks and practices, influencing this part of the project. Similar to the winds in Herta Müller’s novels, which take place in and around Timișoara, the winds of the Biennial will bring different temperatures, atmospheres and even substances. Winds blow through borders and translations, something well known in Timișoara’s Banat region. Another wind drives an attentiveness to craft and the work of the hand. A third wind stimulates independent publishing, private collections, and forms of self-organisation.

A number of partnerships and other forms of collaboration are facilitating the Art Encounters Biennial 2019, which started in January and will continue until October 27. The Biennial exhibition will open on September 20, 2019. Leading up to this, a series of talks, workshops, and courses will take place as an integral part of the Biennial. The Biennial’s third edition continues the mission of engaging a wide audience in social debate, creating a vibrant platform for cultural exchange between the art scenes in Romania and those abroad, and exploring contact and conflict zones around individuals, groups, and contemporary art.

Maria Lind is a curator, writer, and educator based in Stockholm and Berlin. She was the director of Tensta konsthall, Stockholm (2011–18), the director of the graduate program at the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2008–10), and of Iaspis in Stockholm (2005–07). From 2002 to 2004 she was the director of Kunstverein München; in 2016 she was the artistic director of the 11th Gwangju Biennale. Maria Lind is also the 2009 recipient of the Walter Hopps Award for Curatorial Achievement.

Anca Rujoiu is a curator and editor based in Singapore and Romania. As curator of exhibitions and later head of publications (2013–18), she was a member of the founding team of the NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore. She was co-curator of Collective Fictions, one of the selected projects in Nouvelles Vagues (2013), a program by Palais de Tokyo dedicated to young curators.

The Art Encounters Biennial is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial. It focuses on extensive curatorial research that engages in meaningful dialogues with the historical and the socio-cultural contexts of Timișoara. The mission of the Biennial is to become a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas.

Founded in 2015, the Art Encounters Foundation is an independent art initiative aimed at enriching and supporting the development of the contemporary art scene in Romania. The foundation’s activities are carried out in three main directions: the Art Encounters Biennial and the program of exhibitions; the artistic and curatorial residencies; and a continuous education and mediation program.

Organizer: Art Encounters Foundation

Co-organizers: Timișoara City Hall, The Directorate for Culture, Cults and National Patrimony of the Timiș County and The Interart Triade Foundation