The Pluralization of the Public Sphere

Research Programs

The Pluralization of the Public Sphere. Art Exhibitions in Romania between 1968 and 1989

The Pluralization of the Public Sphere. Art Exhibitions in Romania between 1968 and 1989

Grantee of the Young Research Teams Program launched by UEFISCDI, the project aimed at supporting early scholars in the field of the humanities who were consolidating their own research teams.

Grant: PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-2194
Contract: 1/1.10.2015

1 October 2015 – 30 September 2016


Project Leader:
Cristian NAE, PhD, Associate Professor, George Enescu National University of Arts, Iași

Daria GHIU, Post-doctoral Researcher

Veda POPOVICI, PhD Candidate, National University of Arts, Bucharest

Mădălina BRAȘOVEANU, PhD Candidate, National University of Arts, Bucharest

The project analyzes unofficial, alternative, subversive or, generically, experimental art in Romania during the Ceaușescu regime, from the vantage point of the institutional frameworks, representation politics and micro-communities of artistic production. These practices concur to constitute what has been recently labeled as ”the second public sphere”. We are dealing with those artistic practices taking place in informal spaces or subversively introduced within the existing art systems, being exhibited for or understood only by a narrow circle of friends.

The main goal of the project is to document and analyze in a contextual and comparative manner the most significant artistic events that were influential in shaping experimental art practices in Romania between 1968 and 1989, and to undermine the rigid distinction between official and unofficial art, in order to construct a selective history of art exhibitions in communist Romania. Particularly, by employing deconstruction theory, discourse analysis and micro-history, in the framework of spatial art history, the project aims to further clarify the relation between informal and official institutional artistic systems, focusing on the ideological mechanisms that are materialized or countered, on transnational relations, as well as on the concrete ways in which these exhibitions and the multiple actors engaged in their production contribute to the social construction of a pluralistic public sphere during late socialism.

Events within the Project:

Practici expoziționale în România în perioada 1968 – 1989
UNAGaleria, Bucharest, 22 September 2016

Call for Papers (Deadline 1 April 2016)

The team disseminated the results of the research during two international conferences:

Cinquième Congrès EAM – Réseau européen de recherche sur l’avant-garde et le modernisme
XXXVIème Congrès – Le Beau