Scientific report regarding the implementation of the project PN-II-RU-TE-2014-4-0243 – From the state artist to the artist dependent on the state the Union of Visual Artists of Romania (1950-2010) the Bucharest branch. Contract 206/2015.
Stage 2 of the project (1.01-31.12.2016)
Activities of the project
- organization and administrative activities
In the second stage of the project the composition of the research team has been changed. Ioana Ciocan chose to end the collaboration with the research team for personal reasons and was replaced by the post-doctoral researcher Dan Drăghia for whom I organized a competition for his employment in accordance with the existing norms, the announcements being published on the websites euraxess.com and Ancs.ro. I have also hired instead of Diana Matei, Cristina Stoenescu as a specialist documentation of studies that deals with Atelier 35 and the transformation of UAP after 1990 and the same procedure for her employment was followed. Thus, the current composition of the research team is: Caterina Preda, Alina Popescu, Dumitru Lăcătușu, Dan Drăghia, Cristina Stoenescu.
- Scientific activities
The research of the archives about the Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici – the Bucharest branch
After having signed agreements of collaboration with the Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici (UAP) of Romania, the National Archives of Romania, we could explore the archives that include documents about the UAP. With the help of the president of the National Council for the Study of the Archives of the Secret Police (CNSAS), Dragoș Petrescu, we benefitted from the support of this institution to research the files organized by the Securitate about visual artists.
Thus, we studied over 2.500 archive files by the members of the team in several archival funds only partially exploited until now: the fund Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici for the period 1950-1973 and the fund Comitetului Central al Partidului Comunist Român, the propaganda and agitation section, both at the National Central Historical Archives (ANIC) for the period 1950-1973, the archive of the Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici of Romania which is kept at the Combinatul Fondului Plastic (ACFP) for the period 1950-2010, the fund Problem 240/1944-1969 from the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMAE) and that of the National Council for the Study of the Archives of the Secret Police (CNSAS). Unfortunately the Ministry of Culture does not allow the access to its archive despite our repeated attempts requiring access.
Research of the scientific literature on the topic of research
We have explored the scientific literature that exists on the topic of research in the libraries of Bucharest: the Central Unviersity Library, the National Library, the Library of the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest, the Libary of the Institute of Art History G. Oprescu, the Library of the National University of Art, the Library of the Academy. We have also bought books dedicated to other national cases, such as the Soviet Union or East Germany.
We have organized periodical meetings, every two weeks with the members of the research team to coordinate the research and solve eventual problems that came about during the research.
Planned results in the second stage of the research project
The exploration of the archives of the UAP at the National Archives, the Combinatul Fondului Plastic, CNSAS, Ministry of Culture and the constitution of a list of the documents explored. Organizing interviews with members of the UAP. The participation of the members of the team to international conferences. Organize an international conference and prepare a volume that would include a selection of the papers presented.
Results obtained in the second stage of the project
- The exploration of over 2500 archive files which were photographed and archived to be used by researchers and prepare the monography of UAP by the director of the research team, Caterina Preda.
- The publication of a volume of archive documents that include 144 unpublished documents and which was published by the University of Bucharest publishing house in November 2016: Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici din România în documente de arhivă edited by the members of the research team, Caterina Preda, Dan Drăghia, Dumitru Lăcătușu, Cristina Stoenescu, Alina Popescu. The selected documents come from four archival funds: the fund Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici for the period 1950-1973 and the fund Comitetului Central al Partidului Comunist Român, the propaganda and agitation section, both at the National Central Historical Archives (ANIC) for the period 1950-1973, the archive of the Uniunea Artiștilor Plastici of Romania which is kept at the Combinatul Fondului Plastic (ACFP) for the period 1950-2010, the fund Problem 240/1944-1969 from the Archive of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (AMAE) and that of the National Council for the Study of the Archives of the Secret Police (CNSAS). The volume is structured in chapters on the basis of the main research topics identified for the study of the Union. The volume can be read online and downloaded from the website of the project https://artistuldestatuap.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/uniunea-artistilor-plastici-din-romania-in-documente-de-arhiva-ed-universitatii-din-bucuresti-2016/
- Organization of the international conference The state artist in Romania and Eastern Europe 5 November 2016 at the Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest with 25 presenters from Romania and Europe. The members of the research team presented the intermediary results of their research. Preparing the volume with the presentations that will be published by the Publishing House of the University of Bucharest in 2017. Photographs and the program of the conference can be seen on the website of the project https://artistuldestatuap.wordpress.com/2016/10/08/the-international-conference-state-artist-in-romania-and-eastern-europe/
- Organize interview with members of the UAP, the Bucharest branch.
Participation to international conferences by the members of the research team
- Caterina Preda, Dumitru Lăcătușu, Dan Drăghia, Alina Popescu, Cristina Stoenescu organized a panel, ”The Romanian state artist: hypostases of the relation between visual artists and the political power” at the international conference Scope – Contemporary Challenges of Political Research, at the Faculty of Political Science,University of Bucharest (28 May 2016)
- Caterina Preda participated to the 50th Congress of the Latin American Study Association in New York (30 May 2016)
- Caterina Preda participated to the international conference Performative Commemoration of Painful pasts at the University of Stockholm (14-17 June 2016)
- Alina Popescu participated to the international conference Art and politics in Europe and the modern world (29 June – 2 July 2016)
- Caterina Preda participated to the Congress of the International Association of Political Science in Poznan (23-28 July 2016)
- Caterina Preda, Alina Popescu participated to the international conference ”La place du grand frère. Les échanges culturels entre l’Union Soviétique et les démocraties populaires à l’époque communiste” (Cerefrea, Bucharest, 16 Sept. 2016)
- Caterina Preda, Dumitru Lăcătușu, Dan Drăghia, Alina Popescu, Cristina Stoenescu organized a panel ”The Romanian state artist: an overview of the Union of Visual Artists and its role in society” at the international conference Artist and Society, at the Institute of History and Theory of Art, University of Tblisi (18-19 Nov. 2016).
We have updated the website of the project
https://artistuldestatuap.wordpress.com/results/ with the evolution of the project and we have created a Facebook page Artistul de stat Uap https://www.facebook.com/artistuldestatuap/ where we posted photos and documents during the exploration of the archives.
- The publication of two studies by the director of the research team, Caterina Preda:
- ”Art of memorialization in Romania : ‘Project 1990’ as an anti-monument”, Südosteuropa 3/2016, 307-324.
- ”The Role of Art in Dealing with the Communist Past” in Justice, Memory and Redress: New Insights from Romania edited by Lavinia Stan and Lucian Turcescu, Cambridge Scholars Publishing (în curs de apariție).
- Caterina Preda participated to the International Academia on Human Dignity, Israel Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS, 6-18 March 2016).
- Caterina Preda presented the research project at the workshop ”Romanians in Diaspora and Diaspora in Romania. Similarities and Differences in Academic Careers” organized by the College New Europe at the Conference Diaspora în Cercetare Științifică și Învățământul Superior din România, organized with the support of UEFISCDI in Timișoara (26-28 April 2016)
Lector Dr. Caterina Preda