Periferic 8 Biennial - Art as gift

contemporary art biennial

Text Information/
Picture Gallery/

Periferic initiated in 1997 by the Romanian artist Matei Bejenaru started as a performance festival, which organically developed into an international art biennial organized in Iasi, the second university city in Romania.

Periferic 8

The 8th edition of Periferic Biennial for Contemporary Art attempts to re-address the question regarding the conditions and possibilities for producing art events in Romania, in the new situation created by the recent economical developments. The event proposes self-repositioning and the involvement of different layers of public in order to grant a dynamic and democratic access to contemporary art events.

Concept - Art as Gift

The concept of the biennial proposes an alternative model of exchange and raises the question "can art be regarded as a gift?". While Periferic Biennials have always challenged the market-based mechanisms of contemporary art, Periferic 8 directly analyzes the speculative methods that influence the realization and social value of art. The social practice of gift-giving in an everyday sense is experienced as a positive gesture, since everybody enjoys receiving and giving gifts. The exchange can be mutual, but it reflects a complex system of different motivations: power relations, dependence, as well as desire for prestige. Gift-giving is also used as a metaphor for describing the economics of art from creation/production through sharing/distribution to reception/consumption. Periferic 8 deals with the question how the values and commodities of art are created, which are in transaction on the intellectual and commercial art market. The two end poles of the survey are art strongly connected to the market and being commercialized and gift economies suggesting alternative economic models.

Periferic 8 wishes to play the role of a mediator, thus fortifying the dialogue between various cultural fields. On the one hand it presents alternative models of education by activating the already specialized audience, artists, art critics and theoreticians, on the other hand it involves other segments of local intellectuals and people interested in the processes of reception and mediation. The project seeks to strengthen local cultural consciousness in order to form a dynamic civil community that feels responsible for its own context and suggests that contemporary art is a transdisciplinary field where social and political issues that affect a wide range of people can be discussed.

Mediation Projects:
Creative Mediation Project / Studio for art practices and debates (RO), coordinated by Catalin Gheorghe and Cristian Nae (RO)
Contemporary Art for Young People / Coordinated by Ana Maria Iftimi, Alexandru Bounegru, Oana Nicuta (RO)
S-video IN / S-video OUT. Made in Iasi / Video program curated by Catalin Gheorghe (RO)
MINIpoint – Info Point program / Coordinated by Daniela Palimariu and Dan Basu (RO)

An illustrated publication in English, Romanian and French and a free guide leaflet will accompany the biennial and will be available in each location.

Vector Association, Iasi

For further information on detailed program, travel and accommodation, please visit:

Main Partner:
Banca Comerciala Romana
tranzit. hu - tranzit contemporary art program is supported by the Erste Bank Group
KSA:K - Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau
Centre Culturel Francais, Iasi
Goethe Zentrum, Iasi
University of Arts "George Enescu", Iasi

Supported by:
Periferic 8 is made possible, in part, by a special grant from the American Center Foundation in support of Vector Association´s exhibitions and programs
Administration of the National Cultural Fund - AFCN Romania
Municipality of Iasi – "Iasi 600" Cultural Program
Seacex – Sociedad Estatal para la Acción Cultural Exterior
ERSTE Bank Group
ACAX – Agency for Contemporary Art Exchange, Budapest
Hungarian Cultural Center, Bucharest
Ambassade de la Republique Francaise a Bucarest
Iaspis, International Artists Studio Program in Sweden
Romanian Cultural Institute, Stockholm
Student House for Culture in Iasi
The National Theatre "Vasile Alecsandri", Iasi
Romanian Literature Museum - Casa Pogor, Iasi

Media Partners:
Romanian Television Iasi
IDEA / arts + society
Observator Cultural
Suplimentul de Cultura
Radio Guerrilla
Ziarul de Iasi

Tel/Fax: 0040 232 237486, 0040 723 508738

External Links
Periferic 8