Regimes of Representation - Art and Politics beyond The House of People
Symposium - Thursday 11 January, 2007

On January 11, 2007, a conference will be organized in the former House of People in Bucharest - more precisely, in Romania's national museum of contemporay art: mnac. The title of the conference is Regimes of Representation: Art and Politics Beyond the House of People.

The subject of the conference is the very location where the event is being held. The Palatul Parlamentului and its current co-function as a museum, will be the point of departure for a discussion of the relation between post-communist politics, imagination and representation. mnac is one of various attempts to use contemporary art to transform a former 'totalitarian' symbol into one for democracy, but it is unique in simultaneously being the seat of government.
The central question for the conference is: Can art take over the location of power, being 'a symbol of openness and democracy?' Can, consequently, imagination influence or take over the meaning of a building that is an essential logo of totalitarian rule?' How does Romania's first national contemporary art institution employ the symbolic to express a constructed national identity, by using (totalitarian) foundation? Can we speak of a reverse 'Bilbao Effect?' And how does the institutionalization of contemporary art reflect the imperative to democratize since the fall of communism?

With Chantal Mouffe, Nicolas Bourriaud, Jonathan Lahey Dronsfield, Marcus Steinweg, 4space, Ruxandra Balaciand Meta Haven.
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