OPEN CALL for interdisciplinary artists from/based in Serbia or the Republic of Moldova

MATCA artspace in Cluj-Napoca has launched an open call for interdisciplinary artists from/based in Serbia or the Republic of Moldova whose work is focused on research or in-situ exploration related to Eastern Europe.
The first edition of Twisted Lullabies aims to produce a collective exhibition that will take place in two locations: MATCA artspace in Cluj-Napoca and Maatka Phi in Bucharest.

The project will connect three countries – Romania, Moldova, and Serbia – along an itinerary both physically and imaginatively – designed to provide research opportunities or make visible artworks based on research in a context inspired by transitions, mutations, and the “continuous past” of Eastern European culture.

There are two ways of including the artistic contributions in the exhibition: 5 artists will travel for research purposes through areas in Romania, Moldova, and near the border with Serbia. At the same time, the group exhibition will be completed by the contributions of 10 artists from Moldova and Serbia who will be selected through this open call.

The open call is addressed to artists who work in various mediums, from video, text, photography, archives, traditional visual mediums, sound, (…), or artists whose approaches are interdisciplinary and can be related to anthropology, sociology, political studies, activism, architecture, etc.

***info: the five artists who will travel for research purposes are already selected, so this open call is addressed only to ten artists who propose for this call already existing works related to the theme of the project.

The resulting exhibition will focus on traditions, beliefs, customs, emotions, communities, places, and politics of Eastern European culture under a concept called Twisted Lullabies.

Lullaby (etymology – lull + bye-bye) is a metaphor for the familiar atmosphere shared by all three countries, imagined as a ghostly soundtrack played for the things we are preparing to say goodbye to. Each of the three countries (RO, SRB, MD) shares a communist past and retains reminders of this regime in one way or another. One of the project’s stakes is to investigate places (rural and urban spaces), intangible heritage (local legends, history), and relics of the communist regime or early post-communist atmosphere, which in the conceptual vision of the project are present materializations of the past. Once we say goodbye to something, it does not mean that it is gone.

The curatorial objective of the project is to explore the nostalgia of the inconsistency, irrelevance, and absurdity of the present-in-continuous change of these three countries or the Eastern European area. Like a sickly (twisted) song heard in the distance, the project is motivated by investigating the degrading landscape of shared memories/history and the similarities we share from this starting point, from where the invitation for artistic contributions emerges.

Some guiding keywords: a dialogue between the past and the present, collective dreams and hopes, expectations vs. reality, archaic society, and traditional beliefs, ruins, childhood vs. adulthood in the East European culture, collective habits, (in)equality, relation with technology, political conflicts, working contexts, labor, exploitation, freedom, alimentation, joint resources, traditions, beliefs, illusions, riot, truth, etc. (…)

By email at by the 1st of September – 23.59 EET; UTC+02:00// subject: Twisted Lullabies
Only already produced works from artists residing or born in Serbia or the Republic of Moldova will be accepted for this call.

Submissions should include a pdf. portfolio including recent works – or website/portfolio link, and a short argumentation of the proposed work, including the work you want to offer + a short BIO of the artist or collective who is applying.

You can submit more than one work for the call if you want. Please do not send us your proposals via transfer platforms requiring downloading the content, as we might not get to your work before the transfer expires.

There, selected artists will receive an honorarium; no application fee is required.

The context in which this project is initiated is the Cultural Management Academy Bucharest and Belgrade- 2021-2022, based on a microgrant offered by the Goethe Institute through the support of EUNIC.
Cultural project co-financed by the National Cultural Fund Administration. The project does not necessarily represent the position of the National Cultural Fund Administration. AFCN is not responsible for the content of the project or how the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.

Twisted Lullabies
is a project initiated and curated by Alexandra Mocan in partnership with Gordana Vukov and Constanța Dohotaru.

Partners: Asociația Maatka Phi, ASUAD Cluj, Artcrawl Cluj, Empower Artists, Klara i Rosa, Asociația Laolaltă, Asociația La Pătrat
Project powered by MATCA Artspace.

MATCA artspace is an artist-run space managed by three local artists (Alexandru Muraru, Matei Toșa, and Alexandra Mocan) that emerged in Cluj-Napoca at the beginning of 2017. Since then, it has been following a mindset of shaping its know-how and collaborations, most of them being presented as group shows. Underlying the necessity of being in touch with the conscious form of artistic practice and research, the space is coagulating its purposes by drawing a thin border between aesthetics and content, usually choosing to bring out raw forms of expression.
The space is meant as a tool for research into local (or nearby) contemporary art to establish connections with minds with something relevant to say about the world. Wishing to step more off the walls, MATCA prioritizes alternative forms of expression which mix mediums outside the canvas/frame, not as a form of denying traditional practices, but as a form of getting out of the comfort zone and being open to experimentation and various ways of shaping meaning.
Set up to be a welcoming environment, MATCA aims to fuse what could be meant under the terms of emergent and established into parallel, non-hierarchical dialogues, where the artist’s position and societal role could be debated. As a former garage/leather crafts workspace, it maintains its undisguised atmosphere and rough vibe, inviting artists and thinkers to relate to it in their
projects. (video presentation)

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