Who Cares?

Wimo Ambala Bayang, Cristina Bogdan, Irina Gheorghe, V. Leac, Adelina Luft, Elia Nurvista, Ștefan Tiron

15/03/2018 - 15/11/2018

The project is an artistic and cultural exchange between two cities of the South-East, Bucharest and Yogyakarta. Both are important regional artistic centers with a cultural and political impact at a regional and international level. East Europe and Southeast Asia are cultural and political constructs which along the years have shown a capacity to coagulate and become significant. Now is a proper moment for the cultural agents active in these regions to create an exchange of knowledge, instruments and values, as well circuits where the West ceases to be a point of reference or a mediator. The project is the first step in building a network of inter-regional collaboration, on one hand rooted in solid personal and professional relationships between the agents involved, and on the other hand on the desire to collaboratively develop tools, strategies and novel artistic theories that can respond to the specific cultural needs of the two regions involved.

For the conception of this project we start from the need of an original and different evaluation of curatorial practices, no just from the perspective of originality and creativity – criteria that are very contestable as artwork evaluations – but from the perspective of the nature of the artists needs. Following Yeung Yang’s essay for Who Cares? 16 Essays on Curating in Asia published by ParaSite in 2010, this exchange residency departs from a rhetoric question. Who Cares? tests bottom-up curatorial processes (curating understood as a gesture of taking care of) and alternatively pointing to the lack of artistic exchange between the two regions for which this project comes in as a novel initiative.

Uncommon constellations, unmediated territories, common oddities. From Bucharest to Jogja and back again, the exchange residency connects grassroots artistic organizations – ODD in Bucharest with KUNCI Cultural Center, MES 56 and Lifepatch in Yogyakarta – in order to trace new real and imagined lines of decolonization.

Initiated by Cristina Bogdan and Adelina Luft.

Reading Material


Wimo Ambala Bayang

Wimo Ambala Bayang (b. 1976, Magelang, Indonesia) is an artist who works with photography and video, based in Yogyakarta. His works reflect unique perspectives on culture that are not made under a pretense to criticize, but to make us rethink the habits that seem ‘to have always been there’. History and facts, minor and major, are important aspects which always must be considered in his creative process. In 2002, Wimo founded Ruang MES 56 with friends from ISI and continues to be an active member of the collective. In the past 5 years, Wimo participated in international artist exchanges, such as in China, Australia, Netherlands, and Denmark. There he explored new ideas, approaches and different contexts related to the development of contemporary photography, which influenced his decision to juxtapose photography with other disciplines in art.

Cristina Bogdan

Cristina Bogdan is a researcher, curator, editor and lecturer. Born 1985, Bucharest, where she lives and works. In 2014, she founded ODD and is director and main curator of the initiative. She is also the founder and online editor of Revista ARTA, concerned with mapping Romanian contemporary art, as well as the editor of two printed issues of the magazine (2012, on British Art; 2017, on Hybrids).

Irina Gheorghe

Irina Gheorghe studied painting and photography at the University of Arts Bucharest and is currently doing a PhD at GradCAM, DIT, Dublin. Her current work explores the notion of deviation as a technique of estranging the everyday. As tools for this estrangement, she is interested in how the language of modernism can become a platform for interstellar communication and how the absurd structures our relationship to a world beyond perception. Irina Gheorghe also works as part of the artist duo The Bureau of Melodramatic Research to investigate how passions shape contemporary society, as well as our affective relationship to an unhuman universe. Selected performances include Preliminary Remarks on the Study of What Is Not There, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane (2017), Foreign Language for Beginners, Research Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2017), rhiz Vienna (2016), Atelier 35 Bucharest and tete Berlin (2015), The Way to Go, eXplore dance Festival, WASP Bucharest (2016), Protect Your Heart at Work (with BMR), Times Museum Guangzhou (2016), Above the Weather (with BMR), Wing Hong Kong and MNAC Bucharest, (2016). Selected solo shows include Alien Passions (with BMR), Skolska 28, Prague (2014), The Bureau of Melodramatic Research (with BMR), Galeria Posibilă, Bucharest (2009). Selected group shows include The Return of Memory (with BMR), HOME Manchester, (2017), Feminism is Politics! (with BMR), Pratt Manhattan Gallery, New York (2016), The House Is Looking For An Admiral To Rent (with BMR), MNAC Bucharest (2016), Heroism Rises in a Warehouse, Salonul de Proiecte, Bucharest (2015), The Heart Is Deceitful Above all Things, HOME Manchester (2015), Parasite and Mimicry, CAC Vilnius (2015), To the Reader (with BMR), bak Utrecht (2013), etc.

V. Leac

V. Leac is an artist and poet who lives and works between Arad and Bucharest. He has published poetry books, most of them in several revised editions, a few of them renegade;  he is a founding member of the literary group Celebrul Animal and of the Ca și Cum magazine. In 2012, together with Bianca Baila, he set up in Timișoara the MOI/Museum of Interior Order. He took part in the Awaiting Spaces 2013 platform with the project Sugar Factory Oven. Curator of the W.A.D. (The Dependent Artist’s Weekend) event in Arad in 2014. Directed the films The Village Drones l, 2014; The Village Drones ll, 2015; Trasee descriptive cu intrus [Descriptive Trajectories with Intruder], for Expanded Space, 2016; Chat la Moinești [Chat at Moinești], 2017.
“I have always wanted to write poems for two or three slightly offbeat astronauts, barely having a pulse; drifting through space, without a certain destination. I want you to imagine the smile of that astronaut, sitting there, at a table by the porthole; sipping his drink – what might that be? After reading you feel like the poem rises on tiptoes; kisses your cheek; then runs away; it stops at a distance; turns around and laughs in your face, like a cunning child whom you feel knows the secret of happiness.”

Adelina Luft

Adelina Luft (b. 1989, Romania) is an independent curator based in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. After finishing a bachelor’s degree in Public Relations at SNSPA Bucharest, she left for Indonesia where she finished a MA degree in Visual Art Studies. Surrounded by collectives, communities, and bottom-up practices of curating and collaborating for over 4 years, Adelina experiments with open-ended, multi-disciplinary curatorial propositions involving young and emerging Indonesian artists. Her academic research on South biennials and the long involvement in Jogja Biennale Equator is at the basis of her continual effort to develop horizontal, decolonized, international curatorial ideas and exchanges.

Elia Nurvista

Elia Nurvista was born in Yogyakarta. She obtained her BFA from Indonesia Institute of Fine-Art (2010). She’s interested in exploring a wide range of art mediums with an interdisciplinary approach and focus on the discourse of food. Through food, she intends to scrutinize about power, social and economic inequality in this world. She has participated in several residencies including Koganecho Bazaar Artist in Residence, Yokohama (2012), “Politics of Food” program in Delfina Foundation, London (2014), Taipei Artist Village, Taipei (2014) and Choreographer’s LAB in Künstlerhaus Mousonturm, Frankfurt am Main (2016) and one year residency in kunstlerhaus Bethanien (2018-2019). In 2015 she initiated Bakudapan food study group with colleagues and students from Department of Anthropology Gadjah Mada University. With Bakudapan she has conducted research on food within the socio-political and cultural context. She lives and works in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Ștefan Tiron

Ștefan Tiron (Batu) was born in 1976 and has a degree in the History and Theory of Art at the Art University Bucharest. He had scholarships and residencies at Academia di Romania in Rome, Akademie Solitude Stuttgart, Chez Bushwick Brooklyn New York, PAF in France, Q21 Vienna, Utopiana Geneva.
Since 2000 he has been writing about necrosophy, cultural hacking/open-resource /rip-off dynamics in Bucharest (for Springerin), the Bucharest megastructure (for Archis), a study of Steampunk lifestyles (Idea Art+Society), space tourism for Monochrom and The Beastly Revolution for Critic Atac.
Between 2006-2017 he founded and co-curated the sleep-over & alternative education programme celebrating the legacy of Science Fiction, DIY Space Exploration and Cosmology, Cozmonautica.
As an information dealer from the East, he facilitated the selling of Surveillance Technology from the East to the West at Sigint 2009 in Koln, Germany.
2014-2015 organized a post-invasive HYPERDENSITY & Swarm frotteurism horrorshop in Utopiana residency, Geneva.
2017 he published Cosmic Drift & Temporal Divergence, a book reuniting a collection of essays about speculative fiction and SF published by tranzit.ro Sibiu as part of the DADA 100 series, Editura Global Media Sibiu. The book contains a series of essays written between 2013-2016 “about exiting inter-dimensional portals and sacred caves, falling through interstellar gates, or conversely catching up, syncing and mismatching after a long time.” (Goodreads description)