A team of artists, theorists, anthropologists and biologists began searching for the Black Sea to create a museum of the Romanian coast

Ivory Sud, 2022, aerial view

The Visual Arts Forum Society, together with a multidisciplinary group of artists and theorists, in collaboration with international specialists in the field of digitization, preservation and artistic promotion of archives, has initiated an extensive research project in the Black Sea, with the aim of creating a virtual museum of the Romanian coast. Anthropologists, biologists, and philosophers, along with representatives of the Higher Schools of Arts or Humanities from Bucharest, Cluj, Iai, join their efforts in a research aimed at knowing and promoting the Romanian coast. The project is implemented with the support of the local artifact collecting community and regional cultural organizations. In the longer term, the team aims for this virtual museum to have a physical body, and to rework initiatives such as the Museum of Interwar History created by Dr. Horia Slobosino in Eforie Sud, in his home.

The Litoral Archives project builds, layer by layer, in images and narration, the so-called “Litoral” city (Constantin Cioroiu, Emotional guide)And the The area along the seashore includes the life of seasonal residents as well as permanent residents. In the postcards, the city of Littoral is usually seen from the seashore, a sandy expanse with buildings and people equipped according to the style of their time to ventilate or sunbathe: with blankets, lace umbrellas, suits Sailor, Chio Chio San kimonos or communist briefs made of rubber. In the bowels of everyday life, intimate, behind postcards and Loisir-“Waterfront”, we enter with the help of family photos and personal history of residents who happily tell about the brilliance of the casino on the water in Eforie Sud, unique in Romania, and its dissolution after the harsh winter, in 1928, turning the sea into an ice sculpture, about the scarcity of water that Carried by tankers on rail, the cold wine plentiful in the old days was consumed by net or barrel, around the mornings of the children of the sixties. and 70’s carry the luggage of German, Polish or Danish tourists, and spend afternoons at the beach searching for Russian concrete bunkers or playing Pig And the crawling.

In Eforie Sud, the oldest resort, intertwined layers add up to more than 100 years of life, beginning with the first holiday chapter, written by Ioan Movilă, a lawyer and businessman who left Moldova with his family and friends, at the end of the century. From the nineteenth century, to invest in what became, on September 20, 1899, the Movilă – Techirghiol and climatic resort (warm mud baths, cool lake and sea baths). Under the new name Carmen Sylva, in the interwar period, the resort was with a hotel-inn and gardens where jazz and dance were listened to until late (Camil Petrescu, Procrustus bed), with a music pavilion on the cliff, a theater, a history museum and even a small airport, it becomes a “beautiful dream of art and daring” (Ion Adam), a destination “favored by big resorts in countries with such traditions as France, Italy, Czechoslovakia and Switzerland” (Victor Nikolai). Then, summer greetings to relatives and friends bearing the stamp of Vasily Rweta, Ivory Sud, the name under which the local has breathed in communism and post-communism, will leave with a new look and urban changes that have turned it into a popular resort for working people. Today it preserves something from all the previous layers of housing, heritage buildings, certificates and marks from different historical periods.

International tourist offer of the resort

The collaborative and interdisciplinary research Arhivele Litoralului was launched in mid-July in Eforie Sud, and will expand over the next two years to Constanta and 2 May with the aim of identifying and digitizing a large number of collections of photographs, postcards, objects and documentary materials related to sunbathing, air and mud. Background information on the customs and stories of the ancient resorts will be added to it, resulting in a living archive of photos, audio and video recordings and objects, which will serve to map the development of the Roman coast from the end of the nineteenth century to the nineteenth century. The communist and post-communist period. Proceeding from these documents, invited artists will produce works that have an alternative role to the official history. The Archives of the Coast will serve as a cultural and educational tool for professionals and the general public, but also as a focal point for the local community with national and international professionals.

Ivory Sud, 2022, aerial view

Raluca Oncia, Curator of the project, declares in this sense that “the archive will constitute a self-history, an alternative to official narratives, according to the interpretations given by Michel Foucault or Hal Foster, archival philosophers and theorists, but also a way of connecting multicultural coastal communities and an opportunity to unleash the philosophy of mud, linking the element on The physical, social level and communication between Eros and Thanatos.”

The results of this research will be discussed in workshops and seminars organized in cities such as Eforie Sud and Constanța, but also in the cultural centers of Bucharest, Cluj or Iai, where important artists working in image and sound archives, archival specialists with international prestige and scholars will be invited. Anthropologists and biologists who specialize in endemic plants. Partner cultural institutes and diplomatic representations, such as the Czech Center and the Swedish Embassy in Bucharest, will begin explorations in their own archives and in their countries of origin, trying to find pictures of the citizens’ holidays Foreigner On the Romanian coast during the communist or post-communist period. The initiative aims in the long term to achieve strategic links between communities from different countries of Europe, at a time when unity is essential.

Participants: The research team brings together university professors in visual arts, aesthetics, photography, and communication from Bucharest, Cluj-Yashi, working at the National University of Arts in Bucharest (Raluca Oancia, Raluca Parachev, Yusuf Kirali, Alexandra Kruetoro), Jorge Enescu Arts University of Iai (Mati Pignaro, Christian Nye, Catelyn Georgi, Christina Moraro), from the University of Art and Design of Cluj (Rosvan Anton), together with specialists in photographic and audio archiving from the Museum of the Roman Peasant (Iris Serban, Iuliana Dumitru), anthropologists specializing in digitizing archives and Community Practices (Christina Erian, anthropologist and UNARTE physician), specialists in heritage, biology and the environment. They are joined by John Dean, British sociologist and artist, Kupach Kund, faculty at Eszterházy Károly Catholic University (UCEK), Călina Bârzucercetator at the Nederlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam, and Daguerreoase archive specialist, Christian Seo Nathan, collaborator on the Land Art Project Bulgarian. Dobini’s Art Collection.” International outreach is ensured by the academic staff (Irina Botia Buchan, PhD student at Goldsmiths College and Professor, Columbia University Christian Nye, Curator of the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, 2019) and also by Emil Gueu, former Cultural Director of the Center. The Czech in Bucharest, who set up in 2021, through the FAV Association, founded the Eforie Colorat programme.

colorful orgasm It was launched in 2021 as a complex cultural programme, intended for tourists and members of the local community, as well as the artistic community or environmental groups at a national level. Once one of the most visited resorts in Europe, Eforie Sud remains a neglected place, almost deserted in the course of consumer adventure, its summer garden, with the largest viewing screen on the coast, reduced to ruins. The park has been cleaned up by the efforts of the organizers, and is now restoring its original function as a cultural space and community meeting place. Organized by the Visual Arts Forum, in partnership with the Czech Center, Eforie City Hall and Radef Romania Film, the Eforie Colorat Program aims to revitalize cultural spaces on the shores of the Black Sea through contemporary art, organizing residencies and discussions. Eforie Colorat brings together the artistic community and decision-makers from local and central administrations, along with activist groups, in a joint effort to craft existing rehabilitation solutions, an alternative cultural offering and a new development opportunity.

Organization team:

Organizers: Emile Christian Guetta, Alexandra Domitrescu, Raluka Barachev, Yunoi Kusmin Edo, Theodore Sarbo, Andrea Sulba | Curator: Raluca Oancea | Graphics: Andrei Turenici | Contacts: Evantia Barcelona |

Coast Archives

The project was developed by the Association for the Visual Arts Forum (FAV), in partnership with Eforie City Hall, the Czech Centre, the National Heritage Institute, the Swedish Embassy in Bucharest, the Cultural Center “Teodor Burada”, Constanta, Constana South Container Terminal SRL, National Museum of the Romanian Peasant , Jorge Enescu National University of the Arts in Iai, Cluj-Napoca University of Art and Design, RADEF Romania Film, AGERPRES National Press Agency, State Association here.

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