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Secret Wing
Timisoara Art Encounters Biennial 2021 Our Other Us

Curated by Maria Rus Bojan and Bogdan Ghiu

Exhibition Opening: Friday 1st October, 17.00 hrs, Timișoara National Art Museum

Piata Unirii nr.1, Timișoara


Selected artists:

Lucas Arruda, Vlad Basarab, Ion Bitzan, Kasper Bosmans, Alin Bozbiciu, Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976), Cornel Brudașcu, James Lee Byars (1932-1997), Sophie Calle, Simion Cernica, Traian Cherecheș, Yahon Chang, René Daniëls, Marlène Dumas, Constantin Flondor, Octav Grigorescu (1933-1987), Johannes Heldén, Peter Jecza (1939-2009), Anselm Kiefer, Sigalit Landau, Gherasim Luca (1913-1994), Lucassen, Ioan Aurel Mureșan, Ioana Nemeș (1979-2011), Iulia Nistor, David Robilliard (1952-1988), Vivian Sassen, Ioan Sbârciu, Kathrin Schlegel, Mladen Stilinović (1947-2016), Nora Turato, Ulay (1943-2020).


Interart Triade Foundation in collaboration with Timișoara National Art Museum are delighted to present the international exhibition Secret Wing within the framework of “Our Other Us”, the fourth edition of Art Encounters Biennial, 2021.

This project is the result of a long-term collaboration between the renowned Romanian poet, essayist and philosopher, Bogdan Ghiu and international curator Maria Rus Bojan.


At a time of global uncertainty and crisis of meaning, this exhibition proposes an epistemological revisit of contemporary artistic practices since the 1980’s from the perspective of poetry.


Secret Wing is a metaphor, encapsulating the tensions and contradictions of a postmodern poetics permeated by an acute sense of loneliness and isolation. The exhibition takes as a starting point the idea that the 1980’s activated inner and collective resources forging prolific intersections between art and poetry. This decade is significant, because, having immediately preceded the reunification of Europe through the implosion of the communist regimes and the fall of the Berlin Wall, it led to a burst of creativity and a high concentration of artistic resources and moral resistance.


Secret Wing takes its title from the eponymous volume of poetry by Mariana Marin (1956- 2003), one of the most emblematic and uncompromising authors of the 1980s Generation in Romania. In this volume, Marin defines her own poetic example of resilience, by identifying herself with Anne Frank’s traumatic two-year isolation experience in the secret annex of a Canal house in Amsterdam. Affirming poetry as a moral resource against totalitarianism, Mariana Marin articulates an ethical mode of poetic thinking by imagining her own “secret wing”, a form of inner architecture designed to shelter dreams and ideals; a space where the self discovers profound resources of poetic expression in resonance with collective history.

Today, contemporary art is entrapped in its own vicious circle by explicitly criticizing what it continues to practice implicitly: the modernist reductionist cult of the present, acceleration, speed, and unlimited progress. Poetry is thus essential to create the opposite experience: moments of interiority and respite - “secret wings” - where only in the form of shadows and traces, things are rescued from the tyranny of individual reason and can work freely to restore the balance between us and the world.


The important private collections which made this exhibition possible, should be seen as unexpected "secret wings" of contemporary art, where now the collector acts as a catalyst stimulating new insights and aesthetical experiences.

Secret Wing includes works on loan from the following: Defares Collection (Amsterdam), Eckard Collection (Wassenaar), Matthijs Erdman Collection (Amsterdam), Paul van Esch Collection (Amsterdam), Ferri de Boer Collection (Lexmond), akmo (The Netherlands), Irina Bitzan (The Hague), Janneke and Marc Dreesmann,  Ovidiu Șandor Collection (Timișoara), Plan B Collection (Cluj/Berlin), Anca and Darius Nath Collection (Cluj), Dr. Sorin Costina, Peter Jecza Collection (Timișoara) and also incorporates a selection of historical pieces from the Ion Bitzan Foundation (The Hague), Francise Chang Collection (London/Taipei), dr. Aeneas Bastian (Berlin), Marcel Broodthaers and James Lee Byars Estates (courtesy of Michael Werner Gallery, New York) as well as pieces from the collection of the Timișoara National Art Museum.

Lastly, new artworks have been commissioned especially for this exhibition, such as the  sound pieces of Nora Turato, Traian Cherecheș and the site specific installation of Vlad Basarab, further highlighting the symbiotic relationship between poetry and contemporary art.

Events dedicated to contemporary poetry, readings, meetings and discussions will be organized in conjunction with the exhibition.

Supported by: Centre for Projects Timișoara, European ArtEast Foundation London, National Cultural Fund Administration( AFCN),  Embassy of the Kingdom of The Netherlands in Romania, Timiș County Council, LC Foundation (Bucharest), Plan B Gallery (Cluj/Berlin), grup Transilvae (Cluj/Bucharest), MB Art Agency (Amsterdam).

Special thanks to: Marlene Dumas Studio (Amsterdam), Zeno X Gallery (Antwerp), David Zwirner Gallery (New York), Michael Werner Gallery (New York), Sigalit Landau Studio (Tel Aviv), Ulay Foundation (Amsterdam/Ljubljana), Perrotin Gallery (Paris), Mendes Wood Gallery (Sao Paolo/New York /Brussels), Gladstone Gallery (New York/Brussels), LambdaLambdaLambda Gallery (Prishtina/Brussels), Jecza Gallery (Timișoara), Sector 1 Gallery (Bucharest), Suzanne Tarasieve Gallery (Paris), Frank Elbaz (Paris), Viviane Sassen Studio (Amsterdam) and Stevenson Gallery (Capetown/Johannesburg/Amsterdam).

The Art Encounters Biennial is a cross between an experimental art festival and a contemporary art biennial. It focuses on extensive curatorial research that engages in meaningful dialogues with the historical and socio-cultural contexts of Timișoara. The Biennial’s mission is to become a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas.

Interart Triade Foundation has played a key role in the cultural scene of Timișoara since 2000. It was founded by sculptor Peter Jecza, a well-known personality in Romanian recent art history. The foundation’s activities cover a wide range of cultural and artistic projects, such as the Triade Sculpture Park, aiming to re-evaluate works created between 1960 and 1989 through an impressive editorial and exhibition program, including research residencies and curatorial projects, in addition to programs dedicated to promoting Romanian emerging art internationally. The foundation has been co-organiser of the Art Encounters Biennial since 2015 and in 2017 was awarded museum status.

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