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CultMin Romascanu: Art is an extremely liberal profession, which should be supported by state

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Lucian Romașcanu

Art is "an extremely liberal profession" and should be supported, and not puzzled, by the state, said on Wednesday the Minister of Culture, Lucian Romascanu, at the inauguration of the art gallery "The H Gallery," a space dedicated to contemporary art.

"I would like to send a message on this occasion. I will only be Minister of Culture for a short amount of time and I know that, because ministers have short terms-in-office, but my person shouldn't count that much, only the fact that, at this point, this citizen who is holding the office of Culture minister is giving a signal that he appreciates and encourages the artistic phenomenon in the private sector, or especially in the private sector, because, after all, art is an extremely liberal profession, and it should only receive support from the state, instead of being puzzled," Romascanu said.

He voiced satisfaction that, after the pandemic, people were "moving" to organize various cultural events.

"I see a lot of things that I enjoy after the pandemic, a lot of festivals, in addition to those of the Ministry of Culture and its subordinate institutions. There are private festivals, there are a lot of events that the Ministry of Culture supports by funding priority programmes, but there are also private initiatives. And this is a wonderful initiative - "The H Gallery." I look around and I like what I see, and what's important is that we see increasingly more initiatives, which brings the public in 21st century location, while seeking to cover this huge need of galleries. For we are used to see old galleries, which only a small number of people visit. And it's good that they exist, but there are a lot of people who are lifelong friends, who meet, have a drink, and then leave. No! A gallery should be more than that," said Minister Romascanu.

Lucian Romascanu announced that the Ministry of Culture is "able" to support contemporary art.

"We can support art, we have this funding programme on priority projects and this year we had quite a lot of money. It was for the first time, for instance, when Art Safari, which is already a phenomenon in the visual arts area, receives funds from the Ministry of Culture. What I want is to find together with the local authorities, a legislative formula to allow us to provide very many spaces to artists, be it unconventional ones, which are now left abandoned, for things appear to be much more simple if we look at them like this. People have paintings in their homes, art is made to bring us joy. (...) Unfortunately, we saw how art and the public have become separated in time. The large public believes that art is for the elites. No. Art is for people. Which means that, the more galleries we have, the more vivid paintings of painters we will find on the walls of houses," he said.

The Minister of Culture also stated that he will support through a law "the establishment of spaces for modern art and the acquisition of modern art by the local authorities," the first step he envisages in this regard being the beginning, in the next period, of a new programme for the acquisition of contemporary art.

The gallery's debut exhibition focuses on Lucian Hrisav (b. 1994), through the exhibition "Signal vs. Noise," a solo show by the artist in collaboration with H'art Gallery.

Gallery owner and curator Dan Popescu, owner of the H'art Gallery in Bucharest, said Lucian Hrisav was from the generation born after 1989, and that it was "absolutely spectacular" to see artists familiar with the digital, the Internet and taking advantage of "technology." "What makes him special is the fact that his works are done with spray," said the curator.

Naomi Guttman, the representative of the Cultural Department of the Israeli Embassy to Romania, was also present at the event, held on the ground floor of the H building on Victoriei 109th. "It's a very interesting exhibition. I'm fascinated by the colours I find in these paintings and the special style," Guttman said.

A graduate of the National University of Arts, Department of Painting and Mural Painting, Lucian Hrisav was the coordinator of the Multimedia Visual Arts Centre and Atelier35 in 2018-2020.

A new space, with a dynamic exhibition plan, developed through collaborations with local and international galleries, The H Gallery aims, according to the organizers, to set a precedent in the Romanian art scene, in which the ideas of innovation and creative diversity takes a leading place.



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