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‘Between East and West’ photography exhibition at Peasant Museum

The works on display are part of the archives compiled by leading museographer Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcas.

On Thursday, January 13, 2011, starting 5 pm, the Romanian Peasant’s Museum will host the opening of the exhibition “arhi-VE/RO. Between East and West. The Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcas image archive”.

The exhibition was coordinated by professor-architect Anca Bratuleanu and reader-architect Sergiu Nistor, with a view to being displayed at the Romanian Cultural Institute in Venice, between November 3 and 21, 2010. The exhibition relied on the shots’ capacity to act, at one and the same time, as autonomous images and subjects chosen according to the author’s agenda. 20 pairs of images were chosen – juxtaposing shots representing Romanian subjects and shots taken in Italy.

The juxtapositions – often striking – are meant to challenge the beholder to ask questions and to find answers, in a process aiming at identifying both the common elements and the differences between the two images making up a pair.

Besides the 20 pairs of images, the exhibition includes an installation made up of approximately 80 slides, presenting to the public the physical medium on which these images were preserved in over 100 years’ existence.

The “Alexandru Tzigara-Samurcas” image archive, in the possession of the Department of Architecture History and Theory and Heritage Conservation (DITACP), within the “Ion Mincu” University of Architec­ture and Urbanism, was transferred from the “Nicolae Grigorescu” Fine Arts Institute, most likely by the professor Grigore Ionescu, after their author’s death. The slides in the archive served as teaching aids in the lectures of aesthetics and art history that Samurcas used to teach at the Fine Arts School, as of February 1899. A portion of the archive remained in the patrimony of the present National University of Arts and was donated, after 2000, to the Romanian Peasant’s Museum.

The image archive in the possession of DITACP contains 2,383 slides. They represent, in varying ratios, architectural works, plans and maps, art objects – sculptures, paintings, engravings, drawings, popular art – and landscapes. Most slides represent architectural objects (approximately 75 per cent), out of which about 90 per cent come from Europe. Out of this latter category, more than half depict subjects in Romania.

The exhibition is open until January 30, 2011, Tuesday to Sunday, 9 am to 5 pm, in the Irina Nicolau Hall. Entrance is free.

Address: 3, Kiseleff Ave.

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