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Art Encounters 2017
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Life a User's Manual
30 September - 5 November 2017
Curated by Ami Barak & Diana Marincu Timișoara|Arad

For the 2017 edition of Art Encounters, the curators intend to prospect and compile an inventory of everyday reality fragments, as they come across in contemporary artistic projects, as well as in historical ones. The exhibitions will focus on the ways in which contemporary artists deal with an everyday reality that has become increasingly unstable. Like in George Perec's novel, La vie mode d’emploi [Life – A User's Manual], which inspired the title of the central theme, this event will present fragments, characters and situations, stories which span over a day, but also over a lifetime. The joint display of the invited artists' works and actions will not try to portray the idea of totality, but will rather follow significant details that have the potential to overturn situations. Facing the indelible incoherence of life, artists search for solutions and advance ways of understanding by means of questions, metaphors, and symbols. As the fluxus artist Robert Filliou said, this brings to mind the apprehension that “art is what makes life more interesting than art”.

Ami Barak is an independent curator and art critic based in Paris, currently a Lecturer at the Paris 1 Sorbonne University. Between 2002-2005, he was President at the IKT. Among recent projects: Art of the world (the Expo) the City of Forking Paths, World Expo Shanghai 2010, Performing History the Romanian Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. Foreigners everywhere (works from Pomeranz collection) JMW Vienna, Austria in 2012, I am also... Douglas Gordon, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, in 2013, Off to a flying start, Nuit blanche Toronto, 2013, Stuttering – Melik Ohanian Crac Sete 2014, Taryn Simon, Rear views, star forming nebula and foreign propaganda bureau Jeu de Paume Paris 2015, Tim Parchikov – Features of intuition Mmoma, Moscow 2015, Le Salon de Montrouge 61e édition 2016, Juliao Sarmento The Real thing Fondation Gulbenkian Paris , Peter Kogler Next ING Art center Bruxelles. He is an invited curator of the 15th edition of the Biennial dedicated to contemporary image, MPM Montreal, 2017.

Diana Marincu is a curator and art critic. She graduated from The Art and Design Faculty in Timișoara and she holds a Master in The History and Theory of Art at The National University of Arts in Bucharest. She is a Ph. D. student at the same university, conducting a research on curatorial discourses on identity and periphery, built around some geographical criteria in big exhibitions and biennials. Starting with 2013, she works with Plan B Foundation in Cluj and the Paintbrush Factory for the Learning and Unlearning program and the curatorial program of the foundation. Her most recent exhibitions include: M (Teodor Graur and Cristian Rusu), Plan B Cluj (2016); White dot and Black Cube curatorial project (together with Anca Verona Mihulet), National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest (2015-2017); Inventing truth. On Fiction and Reality, one of the two projects representing Romania at the 56th edition of the Venice art biennial, the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute for Culture and Humanistic Research from Venice (2015).

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