National Museum of Contemporary Art (MNAC), Bucharest
2-4, Str. Izvor
artist / participant
Between September 2005 and May 2007 Călin Dan has been involved in a collaboration with the inmates from the Colibaşi Penitentiary (Romania), in the frame of a project commissioned to him by the Office of the Chief Government Architect of the Netherlands (Atelier Rijksbouwmeester). The first outcome of this process was a theatre performance reflecting on the human condition of the criminals in modern Romania. Written and directed by the artist, the play Carne / Cane was performed in May 2007 by a group of inmates for an enthusiastic audience, on the stage of the theatre Odeon, in Bucharest. The second outcome isWings for Dogs (2009), a video-essay about the contemporary perception of timeless themes such as responsibility, crime, destiny and punishment. MNAC presents the third step of the project in form of a video installation concentrating the content of about 60 hours of conversations with the inmates. The exhibition brings in the rooms of the former Palace of Ceausescu the stories of the victims of his regime; the videos are actually dynamic books where text and images compose a time-based puzzle. Props from the theatre performance and beds from the overcrowded dormitories of the penitentiary are set in dialogue with the luxurious decoration of the walls and floors.
As an opening event, a round table discussion about how public art commissions can handle sensitive social topics was organized. The invited guests were: Jean Boumans (Huis voor de Kunsten Limburg; ex-curator of Atelier Rijsbouwmeester and coordinator of the project); Mariana Celac (architect and essayist); Dana Cenuşă (The National Administration of the Penitentiaries); Arno van Roosmalen (Director, Stroom, Den Haag); Bruno Ştefan (sociologist, author of the reference book "The Romanian Penitentiary Environment").
The publication Emotional Architecture 3 will be launched in the exhibition space on January 27 2011. The book (in English version) will have 250 pages with texts and photographs documenting the research in the penitentiary, the collaborative work with the inmates (including the preliminary interviews), the script for the theatre play, and the final outcome of the process.
(1955, Arad, Romania) The visual language Călin Dan uses in his experimental films is constantly under a stylistic pressure, which emphasizes the subject—usually inspired by borderline cases of modernist architecture. The author participated in important visual events, such as the Biennials in Venice, Sao Paolo, Istanbul, Berlin, Sydney, as well as in experimental film festivals (Osnabrück, Oberhausen, Rotterdam, La Rochelle). He is a guest artist, teacher and researcher of the art universities in Utrecht, Budapest, Melbourne and Bucharest. Călin Dan is a senior fellow of the New Europe College, and a consultant of the national committee for visual arts in the Netherlands. He lives and works in Amsterdam.
Project realised with the support of: Mondriaan Foundation, The Royal Embassy of the Netherlands, The Netherlands Foundation for Visual Arts, Design and Architecture, Artexpo Foundation, Colibasi Penitenciary. MNAC partener: BRD Societe Generale; Sponsor: Murfatlar; Media partners: Igloo, Arhitectura, 24FUN, Radio France International, Feeder.ro, Cocor media channel
Anturaju' & Other Stories
Kurator: Raluca Velisar