Miranda Blennerhassett (Dundee)
The Platforma exhibition followed two trips to Bucharest earlier in 2006. Each time I met with the participating Romanian artists I was struck not by our differences but by our similarities. Whether through working practices, ranges of influences or the practicalities of managing to make work while also having to make a living. Any preconceived ideas I had about cultural differences turned out to be irrelevant. The exhibition was formed through dialogue taking place on site, followed by everyone adapting their work to the results of this group conversation. I don't really view it as intercultural dialogue, rather an exchange between artists, irrelevant of geographical or social background. I always find it encouraging that similar motivations to make work are shared wherever I go.
Louisa Preston (Dundee)
For me Platforma began on a trip to Bucharest, in June 2006 on a Go see bursary provided by NAN (Networkng Artists Networks) a branch of AN magazine. Miranda and I are on the GENERATORprojects committee and received the funding on behalf of this artist run space.
Immediately we were meeting with artists and curators from the city. Our main contact was Anca Benera, and it was through her that we met her friends and artists she had been collaborating with. On a separate project Miranda and I had also been invited to be part of the 2nd Young International Biennial in Bucharest in October, so we had the opportunity to meet with the curators involved with this project. Miranda, Anca and myself were to be collaborating on the work for the biennial so it was important for us to get to know each other better whilst there and to discuss ideas for the work. We found this experience to be very productive for the reasons that although we had differing backgrounds in culture we quickly realised we were on such a similar wavelength with regards to our ideas. We had such similar aims and objectives for our work to reach. In terms of the materials used also, we had a similar method of using cheaply obtainable materials. Our approaches however were all equally different enough for the dialogue to challenge our individual ideas and overall approach to the project. Back in Dundee for Platforma, to have Anca and Catalin over on our home turf was the perfect reciprocation to our trip earlier to Bucharest. We were able to show them what our background was and what the environment is like that we work in.
Overall the experience of working with all the artists involved was rewarding to me for the skills gained practically on the install discussing the steps involved with everyone in the structure. The period of installing my own work to adapt and fit in with the structure of the exhibition we had created and the other artists’ work was a learning curve in that it was an approach not taken by me before. Ideas from discussions during this project are indicating that future projects between Anca, Catalin, Generator projects and ourselves may take place in Bucharest next year.
„Working on the Platforma Exhibition“
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