The Source is the result of the international art residency In Context, held for the first time in Slănic Moldova June 27 - July 27, 2017. Six contemporary artists from Brazil were invited to create new work inspired by the history and geography of the city using local materials and a wide set of aesthetic practices ranging from sculpture, photography and installation, to performance, participative and public art. The theme of this year's programme was water, as the essential source and resource of life, of planet's biodiversity, human culture, memory, and spirituality. Filtered through distinct creative processes, the works explore these concepts in relation to the specific context of Slănic mountain resort, as well as the energies contained within the materials used (salt, stone, wood) and the potential of art to revitalize spaces and communities through participation and generosity.
As Brancusi once said: "Art is not an escape from reality, but an entry into reality, probably the most true, the sole valid reality.” The Source is just the beginning of such an abiding vision to transform Slănic Moldova into a new reality, an incubator of ideas and international artistic exchanges, a living museum open to everyone.
Works produced during the program
Primaria Slanic Moldova, 12 AM TODAY, Alexandra Nechita
Institutul Cultural Roman/Cultural Romanian Institute
Agricola International Bacău, BDG Import, Habitat for Humanity Comanesti, SC West Standard, Grup Serban Onesti, Casa Creanga, SC Arboris SRL, Atelier Couture, Salonul Lidia Cristea Onesti, Hotel Perla Slanic Moldova, Hotel Dobru Slanic Moldova, Hotel Venus, Pensiunea Montana Slanic Moldova, Vila Pufu.
Smart FM și Mișcarea de rezistența
When I first arrived at Slanic Moldova I was amazed by how quiet the city is. I was overwhelmed by the stillness and how nothing seemed to happen.
We were pretty much the only young people on the streets and I could see from the native eyes how exotic and weird we were. Then we started to build a routine and interact with the lifestyle: walking to the main square, going to the Sanatorium, eating at the pizza place, doing groceries and so on. And I could feel that our presence was at the same time disturbing and sparkling.
I remember that every time I passed by some one I was always smiling and nobody smiled back, then I changed to waving and no return, then I was just trying to say "buna/ buna" (our own version of good morning, good evening and good night) and no feedback either. But I slowly managed to interact and after 5 weeks I've learned how they are tough, but at the same time sweet and fragile.
I deeply believe that this generation clash made a difference in both sides, at least it made on me."
Renato Maretti"I was genuinely pleased with the whole experience In Context|Slanic Moldova. To be invited to go somewhere I have only heard about on the other side of the world to do what I like was a good start. To get there and see that even in very distant places many of our problems are ver similar and the fact that art can play a role in the thinking and putting action into solving these problems is just amazing. The urge for exchange, interaction from people in Slanic was overwhelming, so open to the project and to tell us about there life and their culture. I hope the project goes on, it was so important for us and to the people who received us as well. Thanks Slanic Moldova, the district of Bacau, Romania and to the people who made the project happen. With love, Renato"
Among these mountains, covered with pine trees, was the mighty river.
A river that runs through the city we lived in the month of July
It was from the river that I started my artistic production at In Context.
Nature was present in all artistic production.
In the midst of so much work, our studio was a really important place. A really nice space where once a casino used to be.
On many nights we had parties.
We danced a lot and were very happy.
At last, it's like a famous Brazilian samba from Paulinho da Viola:
“I just can not define that blue
it was not heavenly blue
it was not the blue from the sea
It was actually a river that passed through my life.
and my heart got carried away”
Looking back two months after leaving Slanic Moldova, I feel "InContext" was one of the most inspiring experiences I've ever had. There was an amazing interaction between Brazilian artists and the Slanic community. Making art felt as natural as breathing, as we were immersed in an atmosphere where there were no boundaries between art and life. Working with local resources gave me the opportunity to discover new materials. The impossible was made possible in the less three weeks that elapsed from when we arrived until the opening of the art exhibit "Sursa""
Daniel Kraichete - curator"
There’s something magic about going across the world to develop art !
InContext was probably one of the richest experiences I’ve lived until now.
Being part of such a special group of artists, in the middle of the mountains, without knowing the language, the habits or even what we were going to eat.
All the “mystery” and uncertainty faded when we got to SLANIC MOLDOVA with all it’s nature and beauty. When we came across the people and all their stories and life experiences.
Art is a powerful tool for change and we definitely used it.
In context changed a lot in our minds and lives making us believe that it’s really possible and fruitful to overcome the toughest cultural barriers and develop great things. After a month of work and coexisting , the city was not the same as our lives were not the same. We have started something powerful and planted a seed for a new era of art, creativity and development in Slanic Moldova."
In Context was a powerful and strong surprise that happened in my life and career, and that I believe I will treasure in many ways: for the friendships I developed, for the people I met, for the work that we undertook and for the deep and touching changes we could see were happening because of the relationship that the town and region established with us. As any other art residency, one is expected to come in contact with new references and therefore develop new works, ideas and procedures. However, in my case, In Context took this to a new level. Since the beginning, we were being challenged to think big and to create works on a monumental scale, both conceptually and materially. It is quite overwhelming to look back and see the achievements made by all the artists in just 5 weeks.
There was a lot of effort from the producer, the town hall and the artists to make these ambitious projects possible and, looking back, it is hard to believe that so much was done. It became very clear to me that it all happened because of empathy and dreaming together to make good and lasting things by the community and for the community.
These amazing outcomes were only possible by the ability to dream big of Alina Teodorescu, this visionary woman that really understood the power that art could have over her beloved community, alongside the Slanic Moldova Primaria. In context gave six artists the rare opportunity to be taken out from the isolation of the art world and actually put them in contact with a loving small community that was eager for transformation and that embraced each one of us, the project and all our ideas with love and enthusiasm.
Slanic is a magical place. Not just because of the beautiful forests, the mountains, the fresh waters and the architecture, but by its people and the dreams that they never stopped believing in. Slanic Moldova and the magic that In Context made happen in that isolated place in the mountains will always be dear memories that I will forever carry with me."