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Art project representing Romania at Venice Biennale to open in two venues on May 9 and 10

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The exhibition "Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence" will open on May 9 at Romania's pavilion in the Venice Giardini della Biennale; on May 10 it will be also unveiled at the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research in the same Italian city, the Ministry of Culture and National Identity (MCIN) said in a Friday release.

Romania's participation in the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia is organized by MCIN, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Romanian Cultural Institute, in two distinct exhibition venues - the National Pavilion and the New Gallery of the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice.

The exhibition curated by Cristian Nae and having Attila Kim as commissioner presents the works of Romanian artists Belu-Simion Fainaru, Dan Mihaltianu and Miklos Onucsan and is open to the public between May 11 and November 24.

"The exhibition includes contemporary versions of significant post-conceptual art projects by artists whose trajectories span over forty years of activity, and extend the geography of contemporary art built according to national categories. Including the Romanian diaspora, the exhibition reveals the cultural mobility of these artworks in space and time," says curator Cristian Nae.

MCIN hosted on January 15 and 16 the jury assessment of the second round of the National Contest for the selection of the project that was to represent Romania at the 58th Venice Art Biennale, and "Unfinished Conversations on the Weight of Absence" by Belu-Simion Fainaru, Dan Mihaltianu and Miklos Onucsan and curated by Cristian Nae was declared winner.

In the view of the selection committee, the artists belong to a generation that hasn't enjoyed enough recognition in the context of the Venice Biennial, despite national and international appreciation.

According to MCIN, the curatorial concept proposes a poetic contextualization of key works and moments in the trajectories of these artists, modulating the retrospective approach from the perspective of the present. As the title also suggests, the project proposes a dialogue that has the potential to expand beyond the space-time limits of the exhibition.

In addition to the subtle and meditative display proposed for Romania's pavilion at the Venice Biennale, the project branches out at the Gallery of the Romanian Institute of Culture and Humanistic Research in Venice through a discursive, interactive and dynamic program that offers, through new technologies, an excellent support for conveying the project's ideas, the organizers say.

Romania made its debut at the Venice Biennial in 1907, when it was represented by sculptor Fritz Stork with "The portrait of composer Alfons Castaldi" and "Pensive".

Starting with 1938, Romania has its own pavilion in the Giardini della Biennale, designed under the supervision and coordination of Nicolae Iorga. It has the appearance of an art parlor that incorporates a tall showroom, flanked by two smaller rooms. In 1962, the separation walls were demolished, and the pavilion was reconfigured as a single spacious room. Following the initiative and the plans of architect Attila Kim, in 2015 the pavilion returned to its initial layout; back then it hosted the project titled 'Darwin's Room', by painter Adrian Ghenie.

Among the Romanian artists who went on display over the years at the Venice Art Biennale were Ion Andreescu, Nicolae Grigorescu, Nicolae Tonitza, Camil Ressu, Theodor Pallady, George Petrascu, Constantin Brancusi, Oscar Han, Ion Jalea, Cornel Medrea, D.D. Mirea, Dimitrie Paciurea, Henri Catargi, Dumitru Ghiata, George Apostu, Horia Bernea, Octav Grigorescu, Constantin Lucaci, Ovidiu Maitec, Mihai Buculei, Ion Bitan, Ion Gheorghiu, Ion Pacea, Boris Caragea, Ion Gheorghiu, Mircea Spataru, Napoleon Tiron, Ion Salisteanu, Marcel Chirnoaga, Ion Jalea, Gheza Vida, Dan Perjovschi, Geta Bratescu, Adrian Ghenie.

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