Benera and Estefan

Ars Telefonica, 2008

public art project, lectures and publication


Participants: Studio Basar (Bucuresti); Luca Frei (Malmo); Carl Michael von Hausswolff (Stockholm); Dorte Meyer (Berlin); Roland Schöny (Viena); Bernhard Schreiner (Frankfurt); son:DA (Maribor); Jiri Skala (Praga); Nasan Tur (Berlin); Joanna Warsza (Varsovia); Adnan Yildiz (Istanbul/Berlin).

Scheduled to take place with regularity in Bucharest, involving with each edition new curatorial formats, «Ars Telefonica» project is conceived as a temporary platform for exhibition display which intends to bring into discussion specific components belonging to the contemporary urban realities. In the context of the issues approached by the curators, «Ars Telefonica» is more than a punctual cultural event. It becomes an umbrella-concept where different aspects, related both to the strategies of communication of contemporary artistic gesture and to the establishment of a community of interest for this cultural sector, are translated.

The decision of the curators to appropriate on this edition a temporary space for exhibition display – the phone booth – represents an assumed selection which responds to the actual request of the local art scene to search for new contexts for dissemination of the contemporary art discourse in the absence of proper exhibition spaces, mechanisms for promotion and to create new poles of juncture between art, its venue and audience. The question dropped by the project is to which extend a temporary platform of this kind can disturb the behavior of the art public, the accidental public or of the partners participating directly to contemporary art production? Do these spaces have a potential in facilitating or in speeding up the process of social and cultural exchange?

«Ars Telefonica» consists of a series of site-specific art interventions displayed in the phone booths in the central district of Bucharest and an accompanying program of lectures, discussions and sound performances which takes place in the space of Centre for Visual Introspection, Bucharest. The artists’ proposals involve means of expression belonging to connected cognitive fields, giving to the passers-by the possibility to choose new coordinates to orientate in the city. The relationship of the artistic projects with the community life, the cultural memory of a place and as well with another model of communication, provoked by the appropriation of an unconventional venue, settles a change in the public expectations as far as the way art is exhibited and comes into dialogue with the spectator.