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PAVILLION UNICREDIT under construction, 2009

“It is important to criticise the history of a post-communist/conceptual/modern country, in both the positive and negative sense. PAVILION UNICREDIT is a space positioned in a former communist block that has become a testimony to the failure of communism. Apart from the critical expectations of PAVILION itself, we are trying to undertake another type of critical thinking: the criticism of of the individual, the criticism of everyone, by and from everyone, including self-criticism. We propose this commitment, so all of us get the opportunity to involve ourselves, even feebly or crassly, in the existence of our society.

One hundred and forty million Russians live in communist blocks of flats, hruschiovs, named after the former 1960s communist leader. The initiator of the building was actually Stalin. As a country dominated by Russia for 45 years, Romania has the same type of habitat. Hruschiovi have some small kitchenettes; this was a big step forward, compared to the kommunalki, which had common kitchens, common bathrooms and sometimes, common bedrooms. Comfort has become the main instrument of propaganda.

PAVILION UNICREDIT, the new centre for contemporary art and culture, located in Victoria Square, Bucharest, is on the ground floor of such a building, which became a banking centre in 1993. Pavilion uses the space for the implicit messages it conveys, through its location (across from the Romanian Government building) and, through its history.

The centre opens with the multidisciplinary programme and exhibition, STATEMENT, curated by Lia Perjovschi. STATEMENT is the storyboard of a contemporary art centre today, a conceptual expression of the lines of force structuring both intellectual and everyday life. It is a map of ideas that may go wild or may structure itself peacefully: a laboratory where the spectators become researchers.”PAVILION UNICREDIT opens 19 February