BITZAN. Book as object ’79-’97
September 15 – October 15, 2017
Curator: Mihai Zgondoiu
Opening: Friday, September 15, 2017, 6 pm
Central University Library “Carol I” (Boema Wing, 2-4, C.A. Rosetti, Bucharest)
Visiting hours: Mo-Fr 11.00 – 19.00
www.bcub.ro / www.bitzan.net
Central Univerity Library “Carol I” together with “Ion Bitzan” Foundation and cultural festival “Strada de C’Arte” are organizing an event exhibition with 45 of the most relevant books as objects created by the artist Ion Bitzan between 1979 and 1997. From hand-made paper, engraving, calligraphy notes, drawing, collage and papier-mache, the installations and objects created by Bitzan were (and still are) a living source of inspiration for the many generations of artists that followed.
The “Biblion” exhibited in the Biennial of Venice – Romanian Pavilion 1997, the “Tristan Tzara” book exhibited at the Centenary Tristan Tzara – Maison de l’UNESCO Paris 1996, or the UNITER – 1992 award trophy are just a few of the artist’s successful visual testimonials that you can see displayed in Central University Library “Carol I” in Bucharest between September 15 and October 15, 2017. The opening marks 21 years since his last personal exhibition in Bucharest (Romanian National Art Museum – 1996) and 20 years since his passing away.
“It’s hard to state that I have said everything in art. I still feel the need to work and I lack the time to give life to ideas, and what I do belongs to my existence, is tied to the path I have chosen.
An artist always has something to continue in his workshop and every work is an experience from which others are born, more varied, more complex, better defined.”
Ion Bitzan, Bucharest, May 1977
“Beyond the wall Bitzan is working!
Ion Bitzan is our colleague. Many times, during the day or in the evening, I hear him beyond the wall, thumping: Bitzan is working! Because we are workshop neighbors, an aiding and abetting relationship has emerged between us. And he can hear us! Many times, in the evening, he knocks on our door and regretfully says: “you happy people, you stay to work, I have to go home”.
When we meet in the hallway we exchange a few words, not many. How’s it going, professor?
Well… don’t you know? Have you got some glue?
We also exchange catalogues. He shows us the Biennial of Venice, where he has just exhibited; we show him the catalogue of Dokumenta. We like the same artists, are interested in the same exhibitions, we have the same problems.
Beyond the wall Bitzan is working.
Foreign or Romanian art critics who visit him are also looking for us. In Kristina Stiles’ text from Duke University we find ourselves together in the same “trauma culture”. We also exhibited together in Timisoara, Bucharest, Bistrita or places in the world. Every single time, curious about what Bitzan did. What sort of miraculous object, what sort of book has the old man invented? Like the world of a genius conjurer, Bitzan’s world exists and doesn’t. The prowess of the hand and the agility of the mind are creating beautiful, yet crude objects. Invaluable bookcases… of cardboard and bitumen.
Beyond the wall Bitzan is working.
Slender, tall, proud, well-informed and humorous, Bitzan is one of ours. Though by calendar almost 40 years separate us, we can never feel his age. Hearing him thumping, we must work, even though we, “the young ones”, are sometimes sad and without energy.
Since yesterday, you can tell he is tired. I can’t hear him anymore.”
Dan Perjovschi (article “Revista 22”, September 23-29, 1997)
“In my father’s memory, in 2016 we created the “Ion Bitzan” Foundation, a cultural institution to engage in the realization of the inventory and documentation of the works of Ion Bitzan. The foundation provides important archives of the artist’s life and work, digitalized materials that are stored on the new website launched in March 2017: www.bitzan.net
“We have faith that the metamorphosis of books in art objects will fascinate the readers of our library. In addition, this exhibition will bring again light on an avant-garde artist’s scene too little valued in our country.”
Mireille Rădoi – General Director of the Central University Library “Carol I”
BITZAN Exhibition. Book as object ’79-’97, is selected in the Strada de C’Arte festival, 6th edition (September 20-24, 2017) and The White Night of the Galleries, the 21st edition (August 6, 2017)
Central University Library “Carol I” in partnership with University Foundation “Carol I” are launching the 6th edition of the outdoor cultural festival Strada de C’Arte, which will begin Wednesday, September 20 and will end Sunday, September 24, 2017.
Strada de C’Arte is a multicultural, innovative and unconventional space of interactive cultural education. We are waiting for you with books, painting, drawing, jazz and blues concerts, live music, spaces for relaxing, reading and poetry sessions, debates, art and philately exhibitions, to welcome you in the seductive atmosphere that the cultural show offers.
Organizer: Central University Library “Carol I”
Partners: “Ion Bitzan” Foundation, “Carol I” Foundation, UNITER
Media Partners: Agentiadecarte.ro, Radio România Cultural, ArtClue, ARTA Magazine,
Modernism.ro, Zeppelin Magazine, ArtWall, Feeder.ro