MAKING CONVERSATION PIECES – Autumn School of Curating

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The Autumn School of Curating, first edition, Cluj&Timișoara (20-27 October)

Course leader: Joanna Warsza

Guests and conversation partners (Cluj and Timișoara): Apparatus 22, Răzvan Anton, Horea Avram, Boris Buden, Fiona Geuß, Mihai Iepure-Gòrski, Maria Lind, Diana Marincu, Alex Mirutziu, Andrea Phillips, Alexandru Polgár, Mara Rațiu, Anca Rujoiu and many others.

The Cluj Cultural Centre, through the ECCA project – European Centre for Contemporary Art and the Art Encounters Foundation Timișoara, joined forces to organise the first edition of the Autumn School of Curating, which takes place in Cluj and Timișoara in 20 – 27 October 2019, marking the last week of the Art Encounters 2019 Biennale. The partnership developed by the two organisations dedicated to contemporary art proposes a collaborative model meant to develop and consolidate a professional active network in the sphere of contemporary culture in Cluj and Timișoara.

The theme of the Autumn School of Curating is conversation. “Conversation pieces” were traditionally historical landscape paintings depicting people engaged in a dialogue. The expression later started to denominate objects which would spark a verbal exchange, as well as artworks that use talking and chatting as a medium. The Autumn School of Curating focuses on the notion of conversation in art, to stimulate dialogue and facilitate the exchange of knowledge, thus becoming a learning tool. Over the course of a week, 25 international participants will discover the artistic context of the two cities and take part in activities related to the theory and practice of speech and dialogue.

The school of curating debuts in Cluj with “Magpies to the echoes exchange,” a performative dinner to which the participants of the school are invited by the group of artists APPARATUS 22 (Erika Olea, Maria Farcas, Dragoș Olea) on Sunday, 20 October. During the next two days, they will take part in numerous seminars, workshops, visits to artist workshops, guided tours and meetings/discussions with artists, curators and theoreticians. Among the conversation partners that the participants will have in Cluj we mention: Răzvan Anton, Horea Avram, Fiona Geuß, Mihai Iepure-Gòrski, Maria Lind, Diana Marincu, Alex Mirutziu, Alexandru Polgár and Mara Rațiu.

Monday, October 21, the event Making Conversation Pieces. Fiona Geuß in dialogue with Joanna Warsza marks the opening of the Autumn School of Curating for the public. The dialogue will take place at Casa Tranzit, starting at 18:00 (free admission) and will concentrate on the notion of conversation around, for and against art starting in 1968, both in visual and performing arts. Details and registration

In Timișoara, the participants of the Autumn School of Curating are invited to the events within the Independent Publications Platform, which will be held between 23-26 October: sessions of collective readings, publishing house presentations and an exhibition of artist books. They will also take part in the symposium Dialogues of the Biennale on 26 October, which include presentations by Boris Buden, Maria Lind, Andrea Phillips and Anca Rujoiu. On the same day, they will be invited to a film screening followed by discussions with artist Anton Vidokle. During their stay, there will be numerous workshops and guided tours with artists and curators in the exhibition spaces of the Art Encounters Biennale.


The Cluj Cultural Centre is a non-governmental organisation of culture and urban development, whose mission is to mobilise culture in partnership with other sectors to contribute to social transformation and local and regional development. The 95 members of the Cluj Cultural Centre are local cultural organisations and institutions, Cluj universities, business clubs, civil society associations, local and regional administration.

ECCA – The European Centre for Contemporary Art, a project developed by the Cluj Cultural Centre, contributes to the research of Eastern-European art, to establishing a significant relationship between contemporary art and the public, and tests new models of curating, cultural programming and assuming an active role of art in society. Identified as a priority project of the city, both in the candidacy for the title of European Capital of Culture and in the Cultural Strategy of Cluj-Napoca 2014-2020, the ECCA project is coordinated in collaboration with the University of Art and Design, Fabrica de Pensule, Centrul de Interes, the Union of Plastic Artists and the Faculty of Theatre and Television of Babeş-Bolyai University.

Art Encounters Foundation is an independent cultural initiative founded in 2015, oriented towards supporting the contemporary art scene in Romania. The Foundation’s activities follow three main directions: organising the Art Encounters Biennale and the program of permanent exhibitions, fostering education and development of audiences through these public programs, and developing a solid repertory of artistic and curatorial residencies. The Art Encounters Biennale is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennale. It focuses on a curatorial research program which encourages the dialogue between the local historical inheritance and the socio-cultural environment of the city of Timișoara. The mission of the Biennale is to become a meeting point for artists, communities, institutions and ideas.

The third edition of the Art Encounters Biennale, curated by Maria Lind and Anca Rujoiu, takes place from September 20 to October 27 and offers to the public over 30 exhibition spaces, of which 10 in the public space, over 60 artists, 22 new works specially designed in connection with the city of Timișoara, film screenings, in partnership with the “Mihai Eminescu” National Theatre in Timișoara and the Ceau Festival, Cinema!, artist talks, the Autumn School of Curating in partnership with the Cluj Cultural Centre, a platform of independent publications, guided tours and a complex mediation program created together with the Contrasens Cultural Association. Website:

#Autumn School of Curating


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