press release

19.05.2023 - 16.07.2023

5th Art Encounters Biennial, Timisoara

Adrian Notz has been appointed curator of the fifth edition of the Art Encounters Biennial, held in Timișoara, Romania, May 19–July 16, 2023.

The Art Encounters Biennial 2023 aims to transform the city of Timișoara into a space of deliberation and testimony, where solidarity reigns supreme, and a better future becomes conceivable. The appointment of the former director of the prestigious Cabaret Voltaire, Adrian Notz, as curator of the Art Encounters Biennial 2023 echoes an old avant-garde anti-war credo, highlighting the event’s transnational and multi-cultural features.

The 5th edition of the Art Encounters Biennial takes place in a particular year for Timișoara: the European Capital of Culture 2023. Unlike its previous editions, next year’s Biennial will be a special summer edition happening over eight weeks, between May 19–July 16, 2023. Embedded in the city’s current context and exploring Timișoara’s ambition to become a hub of technological and innovative transfers, the Art Encounters Biennial will render a highly intense opening weekend (May 19–21).

The Biennial’s envisaged program outlines more clearly the role of art and culture in the context of the current war of aggression in Europe and the imbalances caused by the pandemic. As examined by curator Adrian Notz in the research stages for next year’s program, artists can at one time unsettle dominant narratives, turning this landmark event into “a place of reflection and, at the same time, a form of protest.” This exploration will take place with local, regional, and international artists in the form of exhibitions, workshops, events, a conference, and most notably, collaborations with different entities in and around Timișoara. In addition, local and international artists, thinkers, activists, and curators will join the Biennial’s program for talks, presentations, and other panel-type discussions and conversations. Next year’s edition also focuses on public space and a complementary platform dedicated to the artist-run spaces in Timișoara—a celebration of local artists who have initiatives and choose to organize themselves.

With this global and regional contemporary and historical background in mind, the 5th edition of the Art Encounters Biennial aims to unravel the often-intricate context of art and science and offer a glimpse into contemporary developments. The methodology used in preparing the event dwells on research, context, and networks, thus Adrian Notz invited upcoming young curators and art critics to join him as a curatorial board: Cristina Bută, Monica Dănilă, Edith Lazar, Ann Mbuti, Cristina Stoenescu, and Georgia Țidorescu.

Adrian Notz (b. 1977 in Zurich) is curator at the ETH AI Center, King of Elgaland-Vargaland, NSK Diplomat and Chevalier de la Tombe de Bakunin. From 2020–2022 he was curator at the Tichy Ocean Foundation and from 2012-2019 artistic director of Cabaret Voltaire in Zürich. He worked there first as a curatorial assistant (2004–2006) and as co-director (2006–2012). From 2010 to 2015 he was head of the Department for Fine Arts at the School of Design in St. Gallen. Notz has organized and curated numerous exhibitions, events, conferences, actions and interventions with international artists, activists and thinkers in Cabaret Voltaire as well as internationally around the globe.

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 socio-cultural contexts of Timișoara. The mission of the Biennial is to become a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas.