Since the approach to my project is practice-oriented – I’m trying to get to know the cultural scene in Bucharest and derive an understanding for policy needs from that – I need to get closer to what is actually going on. So when there is a cultural event, one way of doing that is, very obviously: I just go.
That is exactly what I did last Saturday during the Gallery Weekend in Bucharest. The concept was simple: with a map in hand, you walked around town and visited galleries for free. The first thing I observed was just how many galleries there were – the map was extensive! In the end, I was only able to cover four of them. The spaces weren’t crowded – often, there were only three or four other people with me in the mostly smaller exhibitions. But considering that there were so many offers simultaneously and that I saw several people walking on the street with the same map in their hands, the interest in these types of events seems to be big. I’ve learned that this information is important from a public policy perspective: You need to know the audience for specific cultural activities.
I was especially impressed by the exhibition Atena adjusting her sandal, shown at ODD. It was a feminist video installation. In Berlin, this wouldn’t be a big thing – the feminist scene there is fairly large and active, and also quite institutionalized, from political parties to NGOs to public foundations. Here, the feminist movement is a new phenomenon that only really started after the change in 1989, and the scene in Bucharest consists of 20-30 people, as far as I have heard. Thus, it was especially nice to see a feminist artwork represented in the event.