Organizers got the idea from a
summer camp in one of Bucharest's disadvantaged districts where children
played, discovered museums and got a glimpse of art and artists in a bid to
create what they believed to be 'the perfect world'. Their ideas and creations
served as guidelines for an interactive exhibition.
The UTOPICA#prinarta (UTOPICA
through Art) a production of the Da'DeCe Association, co-funded by the National
Administration of the Cultural Fund kicked off through a city camp between 8th
and 12th July 2019 at the Golescu Grant Mansion, and it was attended
by 15 children as part of the Integrated Programme for Education for Diversity.
Iulia Iordan museum educator with the Da'DeCe Association told us how the
artifacts created by these little artists inspired the UTOPICA exhibition.
Iulia Iordan: "Our project is
called "Utopica Through Art" and is designed to be the first out of a bigger
series of experimental projects aimed at testing the children's interest in
changing the society they live in. Our association is specialized in staging
cultural projects for children in various museums. This project is a first
though. Last summer we staged an urban camp for children on the premises of
Golescu-Grant mansion attended by economically-disadvantaged children from the
Giulesti-Sarbi district. We worked together with them and with artists in a bid
to probe their interest in culture, in art and an ideal world. The outcome was
transformed into inter-active devices around this exhibition. So you are not
going to find here exhibits on display like in any exhibition. Visitors are
invited to follow a certain route along the exhibition and are allowed inside
after submitting an application. This is supposed to be an inter-active
exhibition and every visitor is invited to reflect on the world we live in, on
its problems and try to find solutions to these problems by means of art in the
space we have created here."
Iulia Iordan has further referred
to the complaints these children filed during the exhibition.
Iulia Iordan: "Children are
mainly complaining about school but a great deal of them is referring to
pollution and waste dumping as well. They are very aware and focused, more than
we expect them to be, when it comes to observing the world we live in. The
solutions they offer are also very interesting as they are very realistic, very
down-to-earth. They also complain about the relationships between people. There
were complaints about lying, the lack of affection and trust. These complaints
are varied and what seems to be very important is that this exhibition is no
longer destined for children but also for adults. And I can say that these
children are very mature and concerned about the big issues just like the
Iulia Iordan has also referred to
the differences between disadvantaged children and those from the middle class.
Iulia Iordan: "There are
differences, first it's their life experience. They are less interested in
culture being more outdoor with a keen interest in sporting activities. But
kids are kids and irrespective of their background our role as educators is to
whet their appetite for these things through the methods that we have. There
are some of these children who had never been in an artist's workshop so the
visit they paid to painter Stefan Caltia's workshop proved to be a great
experience and a revelation to many of them. They were very open, asked a lot
of questions and it eventually was a delight also for us."
In order to maximize the impact of
the aforementioned exhibition, the organizers want to take it to other places
around the country. Here is Iulia Iordan at the microphone again.
Iulia Iordan: This is a
small-size exhibition and we designed it like that on purpose because we want
to bring it to schools, which may not have enough room for bigger events of
this kind. We hope to bring it to as many places as possible and make it the
object of further research based on observations we have gleaned from our
visitors. There is a place inside this exhibition where we speak about the
perfect house and there are lots of artifacts created by these little artists
on view but we also have a place where visitors can bring their contributions.
There is also an interactive spot, which we dubbed 'the School' and has two
characters known as 'Utopian' and 'Boredom', who are tackling school history
and the issues school is currently facing nowadays. "
The UTOPICA exhibition is
addressing children above 7 years who want to make the difference and change
things in our present-day world.