The Artist, The Work And Everyone Who Comes To It
Art in the public space


The Library for Public Games. An Institute of Play project,
Maria Mandea

Full of Merit, yet Poetic / Self-destructive Traces
Roberta Curcă

Lose A Step
Delia A. Prodan & Andrei Arion


Full of Merit, yet Poetic / Self-destructive Traces,
Ana Maria Szöllösi


On the Same Line,
Lucia Ghegu


Full of Merit, yer Poetical / Self destructive Traces,
Lucia Ghegu


Treads of Solitude,
Alina Ion

The title of the project comes directly from a quote by the American artist Allan Kaprow, an instrumental figure in establishing performance and action concepts in the 1950s and 1960s. His idea of blurring the boundaries between art and life led to conceptually precise, site-specific and timed works, obviously random but very carefully choreographed activities that required the participation of both the audience and the performers in order to complete the work of art. This specific historical reference is probably the most appropriate and relevant for the introduction of the conceptual framework of the third and last stage of Accelerator, which addresses the question of art in the public space through sharing, discussions and collaborations between participants and communities.

The exhibition Back to Where It All Began introduced the idea of how companionship bonds or joint agency for an objective can create innovative formations within the program. The project The Artist, the Work and Everyone Who Comes to it serves as an “umbrella” structure which shows how a complex dynamic between those involved can result in individual or collective projects that go beyond the idea of “traditional”exhibition in a white cube space and rather address the relationship between artist – artwork – public – public space. This relationship is also something that structurally “grounds” the project, while the conceptual ideas and its formal realization remain faithful to the artists’ individual or collective preoccupations. Additionally, there is another important layer of the project that needs to be emphasized. Since we are talking about the idea of public space, the six projects conceptualized by the participating artists are not merely projecting the tendencies related to individual or collective artistic approaches, but they firstly address, comment, and engage with different communities and their specifics in various cities in Romania.


A very direct participatory idea is present in The Library for Public Games, conceptualized and realized by Maria Mandea in Bucharest. The work consists of a designated physical space available for the public where games can be experimented and created, while the parallel digital space of the website will serve as an archive where all the games and attempts will be accumulated. The library is open, and tangible, so it will also be used as a pedagogical tool to engage people in creating and understanding games in public space.

One of the two collaborative projects created within this stage of Accelerator is Lose a Step. Initiated by Delia A. Prodan and Andrei Arion, it deals with various areas in Bucharest where road repairs are taking place. These types of spots often nurture high levels of discomfort and they are frequently encountered in all parts of the city, hindering both movement and connection. The artists’ intervention with customized objects in the public space can be understood as a poetic, yet bitter commentary on the failing infrastructures of the cities and their impact on citizens.

Fundamentally different to objects we can easily perceive is Alina Ion’s Treads of Solitude, an ephemeral sound work that is placed in Oltenița, the artist’s hometown. The spectator’s trip, which starts from the artist’s house and ends at the intercity bus station, is full of overlapping sounds, noises, and views, creating a state of confusion where reality and fiction melt into one. The project can be understood as an attempt to make us reconsider a particular time and space in our personal history and to reveal poignant moments in our everyday life.

Probably the most telling proof that Accelerator managed to form a group of people with joint interests is the project Full of Merit, Yet Poetical / Auto-Destructive Traces, which will will take place in Timișoara, Cluj, Bucharest, and Pitești as a direct collaboration between Roberta Curcă, Lucia Ghegu, Maria Mandea and Ana Maria Szöllösi. The durational performance consists of a ball made of chalk that will be rolled around the cities by one or more artists until it disintegrates. The trace of the performance remains as an ephemeral artwork that was influenced by the context and conditions of the path and serves as a silent witness of the ways in which we inhabit public spaces.

Last but not least is Lucia Ghegu’s project, informed by a previous gesture that the artist made. During the 2020 lockdown, she flew a kite from the window of her apartment in an attempt to reach out to her neighbors. A poetic and striking gesture that serves as a symbolic reminder of freedom and of our tenuous relationships with one another across physical distance. For the project On the Same Line, Lucia Ghegu appropriates her own gesture and replicates it in Constanța by placing handmade kites in squares and streets and inviting passers-by to fly them. This transition from private to public is a crucial element of the project since it is not just reflecting the period of time that heavily affected emotional and physical exchange between people, but directly brings people together again.

If history taught us anything it is that art can do many things and it is often stretched between two opposite poles, and this is what gives it a real potential. It can bring pleasure but in the same breath it can also cause pain. It can be figurative or it can be abstract. It can occupy or empty our minds. And because of that it has undergone many conceptual and formal transformations, and this testifies to the fact that art invariably responds to the challenges of our everyday lives even before the transformative effect on society becomes clear. For this very reason, art is indispensable when it comes to shaping and understanding life and things that surround us, and that is why the project The Artist, The Work And Everyone Who Comes To It is probably the most sincere evidence of that. The possibility of seeing the world through four individual and two collective projects developed by artists in collaboration with various communities can be seen as corrective to the indifference in which we, as individuals, are often pushed by the established mechanisms of power. The transition from the safe environment of the gallery space into public space invites us to see the bigger picture and the interconnectedness of things that somehow feel hidden or maybe even lost in the context of contemporary art. That is why this project does not try to be a hermetic thematic structure but rather a living organism that connects individual artistic positions with various communities, which together reflect shifts within society and challenge the participant to contemplate the moment when change becomes possible again.