Cetate Arts Danube
The 19th century residence with its granaries, mill, stables and administrative buildings is situated just a few kilometres off the Danube forming the natural boarder between Romania and Bulgaria and some 70 kilometres from Serbia.
The time it takes to get there is the exact time your mind needs to de-clutter from everyday life. The artist residence, CetateArtsDanube, founded by Dr. Joana Grevers on her family’s old property in Cetate (once it was restored to the family after the end of Communism) is an extraordinarily rich experience, visually, aesthetically, intellectually, culturally and even gastronomically. Grevers’ sensitivity for the place is all-encompassing: bit by bit always new parts of the property are caringly restored or rebuild, she has a knowledge of what food, what rhythm, what characters are beneficial and constructive for the atmosphere of the place. The isolation and simultaneous abundance of the place (created by nature and the Fundatia Joana Grevers) is a fertile ground for great results.
Simon Iurino | o.T., 2015
Wood, concrete, 400x400x400 cm
The first day on the property starts with introductions and an extended walk on the vast premise. Stefan Radu Crețu and Albert Kaan are returning residents and show works from the past years installed around Castel Cetate. Also the Vienna based artist Simon Iurino, shown by Joana Grevers’ 418gallery at this year’s ZONE1 of viennacontemporary is present in the enchanted, romantic garden. He installed a fragile structure with beams on a platform resonating with the concrete espalier partly in ruins that used to be flanked by roses all along the allées of the park.
Albert Kaan | Untitled, 2018
Square pipe, wood, el-wire and mesh, 400x2000x84 cm
The talented Caterina Guardino comes out of retirement from Sciacca, Sicily every summer to cook at Cetate. The food of a real Italian mamma – nothing compares. In the afternoon we visit the studios of Stefan Radu Crețu, Albert Kaan and Stefan Petrica in the old granary and their new onsite works. Albert Kaan has an exhibition with fluorescent cables installed in the dark attic of the granary – a spectacular effect.
Petrica Stefan | Crossbreed series, 2018
Square pipe, coton rope, 60×800150 cm, copyright photo Iosif Kiraly
Mihail Cosuletu | Site, 2018
Concrete, 80x500x680 cm, copyright photo Iosif Kiraly
Between the administrative building looking like an old Louisiana farm house with porch and all and the 19th century stables for a whole cavalry Mihail Cosuletu installed a miniature sky scrapers city in concrete on a platform. The sun will set on it in the evening and make it look like a gloomy post-apocalyptic sci-fi skyline of an abandoned city.
On the second day we get a tour of the castle, all it’s 19th century fireplaces in perfect condition and the roof top terrace with Art Deco arcades. Constantin Luser, another Vienna based artist hung to big metal wire earrings in his typical style in the place were big light bulbs used to be. There is lots of time for conversation with all of the artists and before we walk out to Miki Velciov’s installation the new work by Stefan Radu Cretu can be inaugurated.
Miki Velciov | Turgidum, 2018
Concrete, inox mirrors, 1.7 x 36.2 m x 3.5 m
Miki Velciov chose the field extending on the left side of the drive way to the castle’s gates in conversation with Joana Grevers for his first work on the premise. Fourteen cylinders with tilted mirrors bring reflections of the sky down to the ground. They are meticulously calculated to appear being all of the same size form a certain perspective although stretching over a distance of several meters so that the farthest away needs to be many times the size of the closest to the viewer.
Adina Mocanu | Fullmoon Performance 24.07, 2018
In the evening of our last day, Adina Mocanu makes a performance for the moon in the lavender field between the granary and the old stables. It starts at 11 pm when the last bit of daylight has subsided and ends at 2 am when the moon is aligned with the fluorescent moons she installed in the field of lavender. Spending time with the moon and the grass and the people and everything around you is a big part of the magic of Cetate.
Every invited artist in this 11th edition of the residence that takes place every year in the summer months has added a sensitive and valuable contribution to this place of great energy and inspiration. The works of a variety of media insert themselves without force into nature and architecture just like nature has inserted itself into the architecture all around. If only humans could create more places of such harmony and mutual respect between animate and inanimate elements…
Victoria Dejaco is an Italian writer and curator, currently full time manager of the Stefan Stolitzka Collection (AT). From 2014 until 2017 she was external program advisor for Galleria Doris Ghetta (IT) and co-editor for Petunia magazine (FR). She produced exhibitions in Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Poland and Bulgaria since 2012 while running an offspace called Hallway Gallery in Vienna (2011-2013), working as gallery assistant at Galerie Emanuel Layr (2012-2013) and being a curatorial assistant at Grazer Kunstverein (2014-2016).
Save the Date
27 – 30 September 2018
Marx Halle Vienna