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Romanian and Moldovan Artists Go Virtual

Madalin Necsutu
September 1, 2020

An art exhibition using Virtual Reality technology went live this month in a first for Romanian and Moldovan artists.
The opening this month of an online Virtual Reality art exhibition, a collaboration between Moldova and Romania, is the latest to showcase a novel solution to the challenges posed to artists by the COVID-19 pandemic.

An online platform, theopen-art.com went live on August 21 as part of a drive by the Arbor Institute for Culture in Moldova and the Arbor Association for Culture & Arts in Romania, both non-governmental organisations, to help artists in both countries navigate the restrictions imposed to fight the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The initiative already has some big-name backers, notably the Berlin-based Russian artist Dmitri Vrubel, best known for his 1990 graffiti on the Berlin Wall depicting former Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev locked in a kiss with East German leader Erich Honecker.

With 300 virtual square metres of exhibition space, the Virtual Reality gallery was created in collaboration with the VRTIM web-site of Vrubel, Victoria Timofeyeva and Artemiy Vrubel and with the support of the Swiss Cooperation Office in Moldova.

“The initial idea came from the fact that I was in the process of opening a small art gallery in Bucharest,” said Victoria Nagy-Vajda, president of the Arbor Association in Bucharest and an art curator. “It is an art gallery of the Association, so it is a non-commercial exhibition space.”

“Immediately after the pandemic installed itself, I thought of a virtual gallery, where artists could exhibit when a physical gallery could not be used,” Nagy-Vajda told BIRN. “This would be a very good solution, in addition to the fact that there are not many galleries, but a large number of artists.”

“It is also an alternative even outside a pandemic, in good times. We go in parallel with a real exhibition and one in the virtual reality.”

Digital ‘a strong point’ for the future

The platform opened its virtual doors with the contemporary art exhibition INSIDE by Diana Tudose, featuring 21 works. The exhibition runs until December 31.

Tudose told BIRN such an exhibition was a first for Moldova and Romania.

“People are still not used to this virtual part of exhibitions,” she said. “Even among colleagues in the art world, this is more unusual, unfortunately. But I hope that in the future there will be a much more encouraging reaction.”

Tudose, 32, was born in Moldova but attended higher education in Romania.

“I believe that both the real and the virtual exhibition part must be supported in parallel,” Tudose said. “Everything about digital is a strong point in the future.”

The gallery will also feature work by the Romanian artist Ramona Iacob and Irina Greciuhina from Moldova.

Romanian and Moldovan Artists Go Virtual

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