tranzit.org is a network of independent contemporary art initiatives operating since 2002 in Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Romania. The primary financial supporter is ERSTE Stiftung (ERSTE Foundation), an Austrian organization and main shareholder of ERSTE Group, one of the largest financial services provider in Central and Eastern Europe. Its mission is to develop social infrastructures that encourage people and help them take charge of their lives, which is particularly relevant since the countries tranzit.org activates in are part of what is referred to as the former Eastern Bloc. Financing artistic and cultural projects in post-communist/new capitalist economies toward the aforementioned development of social infrastructures demonstrates a particular (old) mixture of arts, culture, financing and politics.
tranzit.ro was founded in 2012 at the initiative of ERSTE Foundation, becoming thus the fifth member of tranzit.org. Founded by a collective of curators and artists from Romania (Matei Bejenaru, Livia Pancu, Lia Perjovschi, Attila Tordai-S, Raluca Voinea), tranzit.ro aims at encouraging contemporary art practices developed in Romania within different local socio-cultural contexts, through a wide range of activities. Raluca Voinea is the director of tranzit.ro Bucharest.
Address: Str. Gazelei nr. 44, 040514, sector 4, București
Contact: Raluca Voinea
Phone: 0040 733 011425
Address: Str. Sámuel Brassai nr. 5, 400104, Cluj-Napoca
Contact: Attila Tordai
Address: Str. Al. Lăpușneanu 7–9, 700057, Iași
Contact: Livia Pancu
How is the project operated?
tranzit.ro is an independent institution, an Association founded in Romania, operating as a network in four cities (Bucharest, Iași, Sibiu, Cluj), with three permanent spaces, and one administrative headquarters. It is part of a larger network, tranzit.org, initiated in 2002 and functioning with the main support of ERSTE Foundation.
How long has it been in existence?
tranzit.ro was founded and joined the tranzit network in 2012. The space of tranzit.ro/ Bucuresti opened at the end of November 2012.
What was your motivation?
The opportunity to create a new type of institution, based on shared resources, collaboration, trust, instead of competition and individualism.
Number of organizers/responsible persons of the project.
We were 5 founding members, from which the people who are now operating the project are Livia Pancu, Attila Tordai, Raluca Voinea and Lia Perjovschi (the first three being also the co-directors of the institution).
How are programs funded?
Most of the funding is due to the constant support of the ERSTE Foundation – the main partner of the institution. We are also applying, like any other non-profit from Romania, to different funds, offered by the Romanian State, foreign institutions such as Goethe-Institut or the EU programs. Besides our own programs, we are also involved in different collaborations or just hosting other projects.
Who is responsible for the programming?
Each of the co-director is coordinating the programme in one city where there is a permanent space: Livia Pancu in Iasi, Attila Tordai in Cluj and Raluca Voinea in Bucharest. In addition, Lia Perjovschi organizes one project called brainstorming, an informal meeting that takes place once a year in Sibiu.
Number and average duration of exhibitions/events per year.
What kind of events are usually organized?
How is your programming determined?
It varies a lot, now I will speak only for tranzit.ro/ Bucuresti. We have a number of core projects, including exhibitions, but each year their number varies. Due to the different collaborations, we have a few events every month. Exhibitions, lectures, workshops, screenings, debates, a community garden project, artistic production, meetings and exchanges. The programme has a curated component and a hosting one, being open for different projects and collaborations, and looking at the local specificities and needs. Both current issues and more historic approaches are discussed and pluri-disciplinarity is privileged.
Do you accept proposals/submissions?
Sometimes, if they fit the profile of the institution.
What is your artistic/curatorial approach?
Working with artists to develop new projects and productions; paying attention to the complex context, both local and international; looking at conceptual practices but also at embedded social practices; not disregarding the complex economic entanglements of art; looking at art in the most expanded sense.
What’s working? What’s not working?
Following organic processes, learning from doing, recycling and adapting from one project to the next, developing long-term relationships, learning to be patient and to appreciate long durations, seeing a space grow in time, together with a community, enlarging this community by expanding the fields of knowledge rather than forcing everyone to embrace the same models – these are things that are working. It’s not working that the local art scene is constantly menaced by underfunding, that artists are precarious, that there is no security for medium-term at least, that whatever you’re planning can be blown up the next day, that art is still regarded as a luxury commodity and not as an essential component of any human society.
What kind of role do you hope to play in your local art scene or community?
We are all working a lot rather than playing. I am hoping to produce something that is more than spectacle.
What idea are you most excited about for the future?
That there will be also some positive aspects of global warming, such as transforming Bucharest into a Mediterranean capital. There’s not much to be excited about for the future, that’s why we are living very much in the present right now, enjoying every idea we are exchanging, every new plant that grows in the garden, every common meal and every party we’re doing together.
Image courtesy of tranzit.ro.