Giants of Pantelimon
Permanent Street Art Exhibition
– an art and life project striving for new heights –
Three years after the Pantelimon water tower was converted into an art tower, Make a Point will put forward for the first time in Romania an international art and life project which will take the neighbourhood at new heights. The idea is simple: the people of Pantelimon borough will tell their stories while artists will interact with the people and incorporate their stories into “street art on the roofs”. The public, looking from the tower, will be able to once again interact with their stories, seen through the eyes of artists, photograph them, post them on social media, comment and share them. The life of the neighbourhood, which cannot be found in any history book, will thus be placed between sky and earth for anyone interested in the past and present of Pantelimon, Bucharest.
The first electric tram in Bucharest, the demolition of many small houses in the 1970s to make way for the new blocks, the thermo-insulating works of the present, the life of the working class which built the socialist city and the life of the youth who learns about it now – all of these stories belong not only to Pantelimon but to most of the Eastern European neighbourhoods. The project “Giants of Pantelimon” has started in the autumn of 2016, and is supported by ARCUB, the cultural centre of the city of Bucharest. A pilot was part of the projects developed for Bucharest’s candidacy as European Cultural Capital 2021. It continues with the support of the National Cultural Fund Administration. Currently, Make a Point collects stories from the residents of Pantelimon, stories which will be re-imagined by Romanian and international artists. Some of the most renowned urban artists will illustrate these stories on the former industrial halls still standing in this part of Bucharest. The vernissage for the permanent open-air exhibition, the first of its kind in Romania, will take place in the autumn of 2017 within the first edition of the “Giants of Pantelimon” Street Art Days. The event aims to deliver a serious take on contemporary street art and urban culture and the role they can play in the transformation of city spaces. By bringing together inhabitants and artists we aspire to create a laboratory for grassroots urban development. Events will take place within the buildings which will lend their roofs and facades as the canvas for the artworks. During the three days of the festival (October 13th-15th) conferences and round tables will bring together artists and representatives of local authorities, researchers and inhabitants of Pantelimon, as well as members of the civil society and private donors, to advance a better understanding for street art and urban culture and the ways in which a transforming city can benefit by opening up to this urban creativity.
• Calligraphy and urban art workshops opened to the public, for children as well as adults
• Live drawing shows
• Documentary film projections followed by Q&As with experts and artists
• Live commented projections of videos showing important works of urban art from
around the world
• VR tours of neighborhoods transformed by art from the great cities of the world
• Reverse graffiti and ecological graffiti sessions will prove the versatility and importance
of this very contemporary form of artistic expression
The best point from which to experience the permanent street art exhibition “Giants of Pantelimon” will be the top platform of the Art Tower of Pantelimon. Additionally, inhabitants will be able to see large parts of it daily, from their windows in the blocks surrounding the lower roofs of the former factories. The spaces envisaged for the first stage are the former Cotton Mill, the former Wool Central, and Postavaria Romana. The simple fact that these factory halls still exist – unlike many other former industrial spaces, which were demolished to make room for malls or new apartment buildings – makes them in themselves a showpiece for the history of the neighbourhood. With Postavaria Romana, for example, dating back to the 1920s.
The first artwork of the “Giants of Panterlimon” was already painted on a roof in 2016 by the artist duo BoeMona from Constanța. The artists, in the spirit of the project, came to Bucharest and worked with the stories of the locals. The artwork is focused on a dressmaker, a young woman who in the 1970s, at the age of 17, was brought from a southern Romanian village to work in three shifts in the textile factory. It was at the time when the demolition of the small houses of the old neighbourhood around the existing factories made space for apartment buildings built for the factory workers and their families. It is this kind of story, both intimate and representative for the time, brought to light again by BoeMona in their artwork, that lies at the core of the project. By using them as canvas the project aims to bring history and future together, bringing art to the periphery and giving prominence to the neighbourhood in and across the boundaries of the city. More than 50 painters, architects, urban planners and designers will be invited to meet the community and to work with it’s stories, people and places. The concept of urban art as a tool for reactivating the formerly industrialised outskirts of cities is today used all over the world and it’s time that we start exploring its potential for Bucharest.
Without the past, there is no future. There is a real need to get in touch with our recent history, a need to try and understand the big transformations behind us, in order to be able to understand and shape the transformations lying ahead. Our aim is to contribute to this necessary process, to bring to life the often overlooked local dimension of history, the unexplored little stories which deserve to be heard because only they can bring the past of a neighbourhood into the light. By looking only from the centre, without exploring the neighbourhoods of the former socialist workers, where the majority of the city’s inhabitants still live, the Eastern European cityscape cannot be understood. With “Giants of Pantelimon” we aim at improving the quality of life in the neighbourhood and to make a quantifiable difference for Pantelimon. Every building has its story and once people start to know these stories, their affection to the place will inevitably grow, leading to an increase in identification with the neighbourhood. And only identification can enable people to start being an active part in the development of their neighbourhood. Do you want to link your brand to the first permanent street art exhibition in Romania, where some of the most renowned contemporary urban artists, with distinguished styles, from countries like Germany, Spain, Tunisia, Mexico and Romania will work hand in hand with the local community?
Why get involved?
About MAKE A POINT
Make a Point has ten years of experience in projects which have at their core the regenerating and reconverting of industrial spaces. But our focus has always been with cultural intervention and art projects in a place, where access to culture, as result of absent public infrastructure, is limited. Make a Point commenced by rehabilitating an industrial space and reconverting it into cultural centre. The organisation transformed the former sewing section of the Postavaria Romana, a former wool factory, into a modern gallery, screening room, library and mediatheque. In the reconverted space, Make a Point proposes a concept in the fashion of the American Kitchen: a fully functional platform, open to local and international artists wanting to bring their ideas and creativity come to life.
On Bucharest’s map of alternative cultural venues, Make a Point is a point of reference. For six years on a row now, Make a Point participates in the circuit of The Night of the Galleries and it was one of the five locations hosting the Contemporary Art Biennale of Bucharest in 2012. In 2013 Make a Point was part of the first edition of “The Night of Photography” with the exhibition “Syria, a New Face, a New Art”, involving a long list of Syrian artists from the conflict zone, who participated with works under the protection of anonymity. With the daring art installation “Crypto” in 2015 Make a Point was the art location of Bucharest Pride and in 2016, with exhibitions like “Safe Borders”, “(dis) obeying concrete forces” and “Seconds in value//Catharsis”, gave space to some of the freshest voices in local visual arts. In the meantime, the issues for which Make a Point was founded shifted, making room for novel ones. Most of the big factories, inherited from a time of rapid industrialisation, were demolished making room for malls, literally speaking. The lack of alternative for spending free time in the neighbourhood found an answer in the mushrooming gambling parlors, 87 percent of them being slot machines, a fourfold increase in 8 years.
A social study commissioned by Make a Point for the project „My Name is Neighborhood” (made possible with the support of the National Cultural Administration Fund, AFCN and awarded the second price at the Civil Society Gala 2012) revealed that a growing number of visitors coming to Make a Point were not the inhabitants of the neighbourhood, but rather the same crowd of people who also attend cultural events in the center of Bucharest.
This is why, in the following years, one of Make a Point’s pivotal projects was restoring the most visible peripheral point, the water tower, making it the Art Tower of Pantelimon by involving the locals. Through an architectural insertion, the water tower within the space of Postavaria Romana, was thus reconverted from an industrial relic into a cultural and touristic landmark. The Tower is a constant host for art exhibitions and installations which benefit from a vertical exposure due to the many points of view made possible by the circular stairs. The Art Tower’s design was chosen by public vote, with ballots as well as online. The project was awarded the third prize for Art and Culture within the Civil Society Gala and was nominated for one of Europe’s most prestigious architecture prizes, the 2015 Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture, despite the fact that it had one of the lowest budgets ever registered by any nominee to the award (under 100,000 euros).
Come join us for the Giants of Pantelimon Street Art Days, 13th to 15th of October 2017 at Make a Point and discover the urban art by Romanian and international artists on the roofs of Pantelimon, or register for our free workshops and take part in the public art events! Find out more on our Facebook page.
About Make a Point
Make a Point looks back on 10 years of experience in reconverting and reinventing industrial spaces, cultural intervention, as well as starting art projects in a place where the access to culture is limited by the lack of public infrastructure. At the begginings of Make a Point association stand the rehabilitation and transformation of a former industrial space into a cultural center. A former section of a textile factory became a modern exhibition space as well as projection space, and community library. In one of our last big projects, we transformed the old water tower of the factory into an unique art installation, at the same time keeping its utility and functionality.
About Giants of Pantelimon
Giants of Pantelimon is a community art project by Madalina Rosca and Paul Arne Wagner, starting in 2016 with a pilot featuring the first painting on a factory roof in Bucharest. In the spring of 2017, the project continued with Andreea Dragan’s neighborhood story hunt followed by the international call for artists. Giants of Pantelimon Street Art Days will be the climax of the first (2017) edition of the project.
Giants of Pantelimon is a Make a Point project
The project is financed within the cultural program “Bucharest, participative city” by the Bucharest City Hall, through the Cultural Center of Bucharest ARCUB and co-financed by the Administration of the National Fund for Culture (AFCN).
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