ZONA & - performance program, exhibition


8-20 December, 2023

The Zona Festival, held between 1993-2004 în Timișoara, marks a peak moment in Romania's performance festival scene, alongside the AnnArt Festival near Lake Sfânta Ana and Periferic Festival in Iași (later transformed into the Periferic Biennial). The Zona Festival, conceived and organized by curator and art historian Ileana Pintilie, gained momentum during the years of freedom following the political regime change in 1989. It also revealed the disillusionments brought by the new democracy forming in a social and political space marked by numerous conflicts and a rapid reconfiguration of the categories of winners and losers in the early days of "transition." Despite often relying on a deficient infrastructure, the festival energetically mobilized artists from diverse generations, activating various unconventional spaces (including public spaces). The Zona Festival made Timișoara a dynamic center of contemporary art, gaining recognition beyond Romania's borders.

The exhibition includes a comprehensive presentation of a set of materials - videos, documents, photographs, artworks - which provide a representation of the Zona Festival archive, highlighting each edition individually. The exhibition design forms an architectural landscape that performs a long line connecting all the editions of Zona Festival and permeates areas of performance for contemporary alliances and the agora space for discussion around performance art. 

Artists: Alexandru Antik, József Bartha, Sándor Bartha, Ștefan Bertalan, Rudolf Bone, Geta Brătescu, Nenad Dančuo, Oskar Dawicki, Biljana Klarić Klara & Nataša Teofilović, Suzana Fântânariu, Ion Grigorescu, Karen Kipphoff, André Stitt & Roddy Hunter, Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Eugenia Pop, Ütö Gusztáv & Kónya Réka, Artur Tajber, Sorin Vreme

The exhibition is extended through an intensive performance program on 8-9th December 2023. Revisiting key moments in the festival's history, reinterpreted in a performative context by the original participants,  are accompanied by contributions from contemporary artists interested in bodily expression, including artists from the choreographic field. These issues will be visible through performances by SERAFINE1369, ILYICH, Elvisey Pisică, QUARTO and Manuel Pelmuș in collaboration with Anton Skaaning Thomsen.

Dan Perjovschi, Lia Perjovschi, Teodor Graur, Ion Grigorescu revisit their contributions to the Zona Festival following consultations with art historian and curator Ileana Pintilie, proposing new interpretations and even new works, recontextualizing their own practice and their relationship with performance as an art form today. 

Curators: Corina Oprea and Magda Radu 

Event designed in collaboration with curator and art historian Ileana Pintilie 

Space Design: Atelier Ad-hoc 

Production: Radu Leșevschi (Solitude Project)

Special thanks: Galeria Plan B, Ștefania Ferchedău (Institute of the Present), Florin Arhire, Alin Rotariu (Simultan)

This event is part of the programme "Neverending Timisoara 2023", funded by the Municipality of Timișoara and organised by the Center for Projects Timișoara.

Part of

Neverending Timisoara 2023

Neverending Timisoara 2023