Participant Profile

Oberliht

Moldova
Chisinau

Founded in 2000 and based on rather long working experience as an independent cultural actor, Oberliht aims to interconnect dispersed artistic scenes and build an artistic community making use of public spaces. The Association aims to provide support to young artists and contribute to their professional development. It develops and maintains interdisciplinary platforms and projects aiming to connect the local and international contemporary art and culture initiatives, and advocates for a strong and independent cultural sector in Moldova and in the region. Its activities include: cultural action (supporting artistic production); research of public space transformations; advocacy actions; non-formal education; community building and organizing; editorial and publishing activity (translation and dissemination).

Art Prospect Network Residency at Oberliht: KIOSK AIR

Unlike finished exhibition projects that circulate through a worldwide network of galleries and museums, the KIOSK AIR program (http://chiosc.oberliht.org/air/) encourages the creation of new work in relation to local contexts and realities. It offers the opportunity to explore various issues that relate to Moldova’s situation in general and to analyze the processes that shape Chisinau’s public space today. The program is structured in a collaborative manner in which the Oberliht association plays the role of local host for invited artists, curators, architects and other professionals, while the city as a whole, substituting for the studio, serves as place of research, for producing and exhibiting. Besides Flat Space (http://chiosc.oberliht.org/apartament/), which remains at the disposal of new residents, inviting them to ‘finish’ its unfinished form, the residents use a series of other locations during their stay, ranging from market places, stadiums and parks through universities and other public institutions and places.

The research phase of KIOSK AIR includes walking tours, visits to different organizations and initiatives in Chisinau, discussions and documentation, while the production phase usually leads to the creation of new works. Depending on the type of work carried out by the participants the program also includes such modules as workshops, seminars, public presentations and screenings.  Since the opening of the program in 2009 many artists, curators, architects and other cultural practitioners from Romania, Italy, Ukraine, Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Poland, the UK, the USA, Sweden and Slovakia have participated in the short-term residency program.

The KIOSK AIR program invites proposals for art and research projects for the following options:

1) Open Studios Day at “Zpace” Culture Center in Chisinau

Dates: May 15 – June 15, 2022

Zpace Cultural Center appeared in 2013 on the Chisinau culture map (https://zpatiu.wordpress.com/), aiming to build a community and secure open spaces for the independent culture initiatives from Moldova. It is one of only a few alternative spaces that provide open and accessible space for the local culture & art scene (a community of users of around 20 independent culture initiatives, represented by culture and civic activists).  It houses artists’ studios, spaces for rehearsal, workshop area, co-working space, a small cafe and a garden, and a larger space for public events (exhibitions, conferences, screenings, etc.) – all together about 200 m2.  Its facilities and public programs are provided to the public free of charge.

Zpace is regularly used by local and international artists working with contemporary art, socially engaged & political art, experimental photography, video, installations, graphic art, design and DIY publishing methods. Theater collectives, music bands and other performing artists used to rehearse and perform here regularly. There is a workshop area equipped for repairing bikes and other equipment and there are plans to arrange a co-working space for cultural workers and activists, who have been forced to work at home due to the pandemic.

Every year, Zpace offers a diverse public program (20-30 events. Twice a year it hosts Open Studios Days (https://zpatiu.wordpress.com/2021/06/20/ateliere-deschise/). The next edition is planned for June 3-5, 2022.

2) Flat Space for the community

Dates: May 15 – June 15, 2022 / September 15 – October 15, 2022

Please submit a project proposal for an intervention at Flat Space.

Flat Space is a functional replica of a socialist apartment designed by Stefan RUSU commissioned to represent the identity of KIOSK project (http://chiosc.oberliht.org/chiosc/). The point of departure for the design of the Flat Space was to publicly display the private space of a flat limited by the standards of the socialist society. The transparency and the openness of the flat give the exposure to an architectural model extracted from the flat building that is composed from few basic elements characteristic to societies in transitions: the main façade with a balcony covered with plastic windows, dining room, kitchen and bathroom: http://chiosc.oberliht.org/apartament/

video: https://vimeo.com/16523660 (2009)

video: https://vimeo.com/81801968 (2013)

Artists are invited to submit a proposal for a project that can be realized at Flat Space or the adjoining square used for parking: https://vimeo.com/82029031. Artists can also use the walls, floors, windows, storage, ground or the square where Flat Space is situated. Also there is a light-box and postcards support installed, like the ones used for advertisements in the street, which is closed and can be illuminated during the night. 

Curators are invited to submit exhibition project proposals for the Flat Space, which involve artists from Moldova.

3) Public Facades

Dates: September 15 – October 15, 2022

Goals and Structure:

The idea of the project is to restart a discussion about common space (facades, green areas, playgrounds) in and between the blocks of apartment buildings in Chisinau (micro-districts).  In the context of this project, the term “facade” is used as a metaphor to signify all the visible spaces on, in and between the blocks. All these facades are part of the “commons” of the blocks – spaces/places that people share and use in common for socialization, cooperation, entertainment, subsistence or identity expression.

The Public Facades project aims to uncover and develop the creative potential of inhabitants of apartment buildings in Chisinau and help them collaborate with each other in finding solutions to various problems they encounter (degradation of the neighborhood, etc.), but also to resist the densification of their areas and the reduction of common space (playgrounds, green areas) as a result of privatization and commercialization.

Artists, curators, and collectives of architects and researchers interested in the study of social life in residential areas are invited to apply for this residence. The residents can contribute to:
– establishing an interface to communicate with the residents of the micro-district (micro-rayon) area
– research on the history of the area (oral history, local legends and mythologies, local places of memory).
– research on the social life (communication, economy, informal architecture, etc).
– establishing ways and frameworks of collaborating with formal and informal institutions and initiatives in the area (schools, cultural centers, public libraries, NGOs, groups of activists, etc).

The results of the residency will be integrated in an open atlas (https://resurseculturale.ushahidi.io/views/map) publication that will try to make visible the history of the neighborhoods built in socialism by way of tracing personal stories, topical transformations, informal economies of the area, the interaction with various institutions, the positive presence of communal history in people’s contemporary daily life and the people’s perception of the actual forces of dissolution and demolition.

Previous editions:

Botanica (2017): https://chisineu.wordpress.com/proiecte/fatade-publice/

Ciocana (2019): https://chisineu.wordpress.com/proiecte/siv-2019/

http://oberliht.org/