Salonul de proiecte
Str. Actor Ion Brezoianu 23-25 - Palatul Universul Corp B Etaj 1


Salonul de proiecte is a program focused on research and production, which promotes Romanian contemporary art through exhibitions, publications, presentations and debates, while positioning it in dialogue with the regional and international context. Salonul de proiecte was founded in 2011 in the framework of MNAC Anexa and since 2016 it functions as an independent art space located in Palatul Universul, Bucharest. Team: Alexandra Croitoru, Magda Radu, Ștefan Sava

The Absent Museum


Tip eveniment
Perioada Expozitie
09.10.2019 - 17.11.2019
  • 19:00 - Deschidere
  • 00:00 - Inchidere
This exhibition is the third in an initial series of public events organised around the Mihai Oroveanu Image Collection, a project initiated by Salonul de proiecte in 2018. The title “Absent Museum” captures the intentions and the substance of the exhibition, but at the same time it supplies a comprehensive framework for the entire project constructed around the photographic archive hitherto. As has already become obvious, museums in Romania are faced with multiple problems, shortages and inconsistencies, both internal and external in nature, while major image collections and works of art are destroyed or lost without being co-opted into any mechanism to preserve them and place them in the public sphere. It is well known that Mihai Oroveanu, who built up this collection of photographs, wished to establish a museum of photography in Romania. Such an institution is lacking despite the existence of substantial visual materials locally, as well as generation after generation of exceptional photographers. However, the title of the exhibition refers not only to an institutional but also to a methodological void. Inasmuch as photography has been viewed historically only from the standpoint of the art exhibition, the exceptional photographer, the anthropological or historical archive, or a mass of images produced by the general populace, a schism has occurred in our conception of photography, one that we need to overcome. In this respect, Mircea Nicolae’s exhibition interrogates the way in which a future institution, a “house of photography,” might incorporate in a single whole not only the high-art view of photography, but also the private view of those who use photography as a tool of memory or an affective instrument. “The Absent Museum” aims to open a wider discussion about photography as a complex but unified cultural phenomenon, as well as about the existing possibilities to obtain material results institutionally or methodologically. The exhibition articulates an encounter between two historically well-established modes of viewing photography—the art exhibition and the photographic album—seeking to emphasise the difference between the materiality of the photograph and the mental image that it generates through perception. By including two stereographic viewing stations, which by the nature of the medium create an immersive, 3d-type experience, extremely popular from 1900 to 1950, the sensorial is stimulated not only visually, but also tactilely, engaging the whole body. In addition to presenting such landmarks in the history and criticism of historic methods of showing photographs, the exhibition also contains a number of “author” compositions. They attempt to explore, cautiously, but also captivatingly, the space between large-scale photographic collage and the type of in-depth historical investigation at the level of the collective psyche for which Aby Warburg was famous. Another side of the exhibition looks at the critique of photographic representation—closely linked to social structure and class hierarchy—which excludes those who either do not have the means to represent themselves or are currently represented by others.