Call for participants to the workshop Artistic Practices & Public



The workshop Artistic Practices & Public Space will take place between the 19th and 23rd of October at National Museum of Contemporary Art Bucharest (MNAC).

Workshop tutors are: Jeroen Boomgaard (NL), Hans van Houwelingen (NL), and Tudor Bratu (RO/NL), with lectures and presentations by Bogdan Ghiu (RO), Matei Bejenaru (RO), Studio Basar (RO) Hester Oerlemans (NL).

The workshop is free of charge, and will be hosted with the kind support of MNAC. For guidelines on how to apply, please continue reading below.

Deadline for applications: 30 September 2015

The public space represents a research subject which is full of challenges, and the changes which Bucharest undergoes are a starting point for the artists who are interested in developing temporary or permanent interventions in the public space. The rising interest of the artists (and not only) to engage in the shaping of the public space has brought forth the need to explore in a more profound manner the artistic practices in the public space. The development and presentation of a work of art outside of the established spaces (galleries and museums) raises a series of pertinent questions concerning both art work or artistic intervention, as well as concerning public space itself: what are its roles and its functions, to whom and how does it address, how is public space constructed, organized, or shaped, could be a few examples of such questions.

Starting with the question “how would one define the term public when used in the phrase public art?” as well as with the observation made by art historian Hilde Heine, who highlighted the fact that, strictly speaking, no art is private, because each work of art is created with the intention of being publicly exposed, through this workshop we aim to explore several perspectives of understanding public art and delve into possible means of exploring the notion within the specific context of Bucharest.

Within the fifth edition of the Expanded Space program, we deem it important that, alongside the public space interventions, with which the public and the artists have become accustomed, we should also find other means to discuss about the subject we bring into focus. Therefore, the 2015 project is made out of three components which complete each other: four temporary interventions in the public space, an exhibition and a workshop.

The workshop which we hereby announce aims to open a discussion about the existing situations and to share working methods when the object of the analysis and of the intervention is the public space. Each artist has their own themes, approaches, means of exploring and relating to the urban space. The workshop moderators will be theoretician Jeroen Boomgaard (NL), artist Hans van Houwelingen (NL) and artist Tudor Bratu (RO/NL). They will be supported by through short presentations by Bogdan Ghiu (RO), Matei Bejenaru (RO), Studio Basar (RO) Hester Oerlemans (NL) who will approach the proposed subject from a variety of perspectives.

Jeroen Boomgaard (born in 1953) is an art historian and an art critic. He is currently a Professor of Art in public space at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and head of the MA in Artistic Research at the University of Amsterdam. Boomgaard also leads the Art & Public Space research group (Lectoraat Kunst en Publieke Ruimte), a partnership between the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, the Sandberg Instituut, the University of Amsterdam and the Virtueel Museum Zuidas (or VMZ) which stimulates theoretical and research-based reflection on the purpose of art and design in the public domain. He regularly writes articles about art and the public space for publications such as Open.

Cahier on Art and the Public Domain. His latest book, Wild Park-Commissioning the Unexpected, was published in 2012 and is made up of several essays that explore the pitfalls of public art. In 2008, he edited an anthology of essays on public art,High Rise – Common Ground, Art and the Amsterdam Zuidas Area. Boomgaard lives and works in Amsterdam.

Hans van Houwelingen (born in 1957) finished his studies at the Minerva Art Academy in Groningen (The Netherlands) and at Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, in Amsterdam. His works are internationally manifested as interventions in public space, as well as exhibitions, lectures and publications in which he investigates the relationship between art, politics and ideology. He created several exhibitions and permanent projects in the public space. The STIFF monography Hans van Houwelingen vs. Public Art (Artimo, 2004) brings forth an overview of his projects and texts and an extensive reflection on his work. The Update publication describes the permanent renewal of the Lorentzmonument in Arnhem (The Netherlands) during Sonsbeek 2008. He recently published Undone (Jap Sam Books 2011), which brings forth nine critical reflections about three of his recent works. Van Houwelingen lives and works in Amsterdam.

Tudor Bratu (born in 1977) lives and works in Amsterdam and Bucharest. He pursued studies in philosophy and art history at the University van Amsterdam and has graduated the photography department of the Gerrit Rietveld Academy as well as the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten. His artistic practice includes projects accomplished with the aid of photography, video, installations and critical writing.

Alongside his artistic activity, he teaches and is the director of the residency program Bucharest Air.

The profile of the workshop participants:

– Students (BA, MA or PhD), artists (no grade, technique or means of expression

restrictions) or architects interested in artistic research, urban exploration and the public


– Mid-level English knowledge required. The workshop will be held in English.


In order to sign up for the workshop, send an E-mail, containing:

1. a CV outlining your activities which you consider relevant for this project;

2. a one-page letter of motivation, in which you need to briefly describe your interest towards the research of the problems which the notion and the reality of the “public space” involve.

3. If possible, a pdf portfolio of recent projects and works.

The number of places is limited to 20 participants.

There is no admission fee or charge. Lectures which are open to a larger audience will be announced.

The deadline for receiving the participation requests: Wednesday, September 30th, 2015, at 00:00.

After the analysis of your requests, we will announce the participants admitted to the workshop as late as Friday, the 2nd of October, 2015.

The main objective of the workshop is to discover new patterns of seeing the public space, means of observation and approach of the chosen location and of the site- specific intervention, starting with the personal preoccupations of the participants but also adjusting them to fit the site. Special attention will be paid to the process of collecting data about the space for which the project is thought out (geographical orientation, lighting, surroundings, relevance to the community etc.) and to the structure of the project.

Workshop schedule

The workshop will be held between the 19th and the 23rd of October at the MNAC, aided

through the alternative interventions of the moderators. The participants will also take

advantage of the presentations of guest lecturers.

Location: MNAC, 2-4 Izvor Street, access through Calea 13 Septembrie, E4 wing.

The fifth edition of Expanded Space is financed by Centrul de Proiecte Culturale al Municipiului Bucureşti – ARCUB, through the programme “You Are Bucharest”, Administraţia Fondului Cultural Naţional and the Embassy of the Netherlands in Romania.

Partner: MNAC, Bucharest AiR

Media partners: Radio GoldFM, the Zeppelin magazine, WebCultura, VeiozaArte, ArtClue, Modernism, Vernisaje

Team: Judit Balko, project manager, Aurora Király and Mihai Balko, coordinators.


Expanded Space is a public art program which brings the public space to life through temporary interventions that includes a whole range of artistic practices, from sculpture or installation to performance. Grounded in the conviction that art is not only made public by its location, that its public dimension bears social and political connotations and rests on the choice of issues it investigates or debates, the program encourages the development of a new vision of Romanian public art, becoming a platform for critical thinking and dialogue.