Periferic is an international biennial of contemporary art initiated in 1997 by the Romanian artist Matei Bejenaru as a performance festival. Periferic is organized in Iasi the second university city of Romania by Vector Association. Periferic has had so far 8 editions, the last three were curated by international, invited curators and presented in various locations in Iasi.

Periferic is focused on different artistic attitudes related to the CENTRE - PERIPHERY relationship and aims to contribute to the discourse on art production in different cultural contexts. Its current mission is to promote regional artistic collaborations and develop a local contemporary art scene.


Periferic 1 (24 May 1997)

Venue: French Cultural Center in Iasi

Participants: Matei Bejenaru (RO), Mirela Dauceanu (RO), Vlad Horodinca (RO), Cati Orbulescu (RO), Cosmin Paulescu (RO)----

Periferic 2 (1998)

Participants: Mark Verlan & Pavel Braila (MD), Gusztav Uto (RO), Cosmin Paulescu (RO), Vlad Horodinca (RO), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Lilia Dragneva & Lucia Macari (MD), Teodor Graur (RO), Felix Aftene (RO), Lia Perjovschi (RO), Ileana Pintile Teleaga (RO), Kristine Stiles (US), Adriana Guta (RO), Vladimir Bulat (MD), Horia Avram (RO)----

Periferic 3 (14-16 May 1999)

Curator: Matei Bejenaru

Venues and themes:

Turkish Bath – Steam
A site-specific exhibition of limited budget works and a space of seductive and pictorial monumentality.

Palace of Culture – Correspondences
Installations redefining the relationship of the art museum to contemporary art and a symposium exploring issues connected to collecting and exhibiting of contemporary art.

French Cultural Center – “Over Frontiers”

Participants: Tania Abadjieva (BG), Felix Aftene (RO), Cristian Alexa (US), Jozsef Bartha (RO), Matei Bejenaru (RO), Pavel Braila (MD), Mircea Cantor (RO), Ioan Godeanu (RO), Teodor Graur (RO), Vlad Horodinca (RO), Dan Jauca & Mihai Burlacu (RO), Karen Kipphoff (DE), Cezar Lazarescu (RO), Dan Mihaltianu (DE/RO), Cosmin Paulescu (RO), Lia Perjovschi (RO), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Hanelore Percec-Odangiu (RO), Marilena Preda-Sanc (RO), Mircea Stanescu (RO), Gusztav Uto & Konya Reka (RO), Mihai Voicu (RO), Bogdan Teodorescu (RO), Dan Zbarcea (RO), Sergei Yakunin & Anna Sydorenko (UA)----

Periferic 4 (24-28 May 2000)

Venue: The Turkish Bath of IasiCurator: Matei Bejenaru

Participants: Agatha Zobrist & Theres Waeckerlin (CH), Xavier Lopez Quintana (ES), Dan Acostioaei (RO), Roddy Hunter (UK), Helen McBride (UK), Yuri Leiderman (RU), Lynn Hassan (US), Simona Tanasescu (RO), Rostopasca Group (RO), Karen Kipphoff (RO), Frantisek Kowolowski (CZ), Dana Dirvariu & Adina Tofan (RO), Dan Jauca (RO), Mihai Burlacu (RO), Mircea Cantor (RO), Lisa Jane Galloway (UK), Dan Zbarcea (RO), Mihai Voicu (RO)

Personal Mappings
Venue: The Palace of Culture of IasiCurator: Matei Bejenaru

Participants: Teodor Graur (RO), Alexandru Patatics (RO), Peter Hecker (HU), Cristian Alexa (US), Calin Man (RO), Gabor Gerhes (HU), Dan Mihaltianu (RO), Florin Grigoras (RO)

Girls Show
Woman artists from Czech Republic
Venue: The Public Bath of Iasi
Curator: Radek Vana

Participants: Veronika Bromova (CZ), Ivana Lomova (CZ), Iveta Ducakova (CZ), Milena Dopitova (CZ), Nathalie Prevot (CZ), Michaela Thelenova (CZ), Josefina Slezakova (CZ), Erika Bornova (CZ), Jitka Geringova (CZ)

Performance sessions
Venue: French Cultural Center

Participants: Julie Bacon (UK), Bogdan Teodorescu (RO), Gusztav Uto & Eva Vajda (RO), Sebastian Branzei (RO), Cosmin Paulescu (RO), Bogdan Focseneanu & Dragos Alexandrescu (RO), John Lamb (UK), Felix Aftene (RO), Cezar Lazarescu (RO), Companie Denis Tricot (FR), Anton Lederer & Margerethe Makovec (AT)----

Periferic 5 (May 2001)

Local players – global players

Curator: Matei Bejenaru

Venue: The Turkish Bath of Iasi

Participants:Ron Sluik (NL), Humberto Velez (PA), Lisa Jane Galloway (UK), Javier Quintana (ES), Elize Hannaas (NL), Annette Kuebler (DE), Dan Acostioaei (RO), Cristian Alexa (US), Lucas Horvath (AT), Roger Bourke (UK), Johannes Steidl (AT), Stephen Mathewson (US/AT), Max Blaeulich (AT), Alexandru Antik (RO), Florin Grigoras & Dana Mereuta (RO), Dragos Alexandrescu (RO), Ozge Acykkol & Nadi Guller (TR), Daniel Knorr (DE/RO), Cezar Lazarescu (RO), Cosmin Manolescu (RO), Irina Botea (RO), LEX LUTHOR FOUND (Mona Vatamanu, Alina Pentac, Nicolae Comanescu, Florin Tudor)(RO), Anca Benera (RO), Tatiana Papuc & Zoltan Kovacs (RO), Dilmana Iordanova & Mihaela Mihaela Kavdanska (BG), Lila Passima (RO), SUPER US (Gabrieal Vanga, Ciprian Muresan, Nicolae Baciu)(RO)

French Artists from the Marne County

Participants:Clementine Treu (FR), Cecile Le Talec (FR), Jean-Michel Hannecart (FR), Ivan Polliart (FR), Francois-Xavier Letournelle (FR), Christian Lapie (FR)

Venue: French Cultural Center of Iasi

Participants:Dan Jauca (RO), Bogdan Teodorescu (RO), Helen Sharp (UK), Gusztav Uto & Eva Vajda (RO), Cosmin Paulescu (RO), Irma Optimist (FI), Makonouchi Bento Group (RO), Aurel Cornea & Liliana Basarab (RO), Felix Dragan (RO)----

Periferic 6 (30 May – 14 June 2003)

Prophetic Corners. Dealing With the Future

Curator: Anders Kreuger
Venues: The Turkish Bath of Iasi, The Palace of Culture in Iasi, The “Cupola” Gallery in Iasi, French Cultural Center, Goethe Zentrum Iasi

Participants:Hüseyin Alptekin (TR), Liliana Basarab (RO), Erick Beltrán (MX), Pavel Braila (MD), Miriam Bäckström (SE), A K Dolven (NL), Annika Eriksson (SE), Ion Grigorescu (RO), Róza El-Hassan (HU), Haraldur Jónsson (IS), Carsten Höller (DE), Joachim Koester (DK), Henrietta Lehtonen (FI), Matts Leiderstam (SE), Ieva Mediodia (LT), Aydan Murtezaoglu (TR), N55 (DK/NL/SE), Joao Penalva (P), Lia Perjovschi (RO), Quasar (RO), Arturas Raila (LT), Nina Roos (FI), Bruno Serralongue (FR), Praneet Soi (IN), Mika Taanila (FI), Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson (IS), Dré Wapenaar (NL), Erwin Wurm (AT)

The exhibition was developed from the idea that some places has a special potential for the future: historically charged places that must learn to look forward, places that have ended up in borderline situations, places that think of themselves as peripheral.“Prophetic Corners” are locations that let us see into the future. Prophetic Corners was meant to be an exhibition rich in artistic attitudes and strategies. Some of the artworks did more or less directly refer to the idea of “the future” (Annika Eriksson, Carsten Höller, Matts Leiderstam, Mika Taanila and others). There were works dealing with social relations and artist/audience interaction (Hüseyin Alptekin, N55, Thorvaldur Thorsteinsson, Erwin Wurm and others). There were conceptually motivated image-based works, mostly realised in the medium of photography (Miriam Bäckström, Róza El-Hassan, Joachim Koester, Aydan Murtezaoglu, Bruno Serralongue and others). Some works highlighted the relation between visuality and textuality (Erick Beltrán, Haraldur Jónsson, João Penalva, Arturas Raila and others). Accomplished contemporary painting had a presence in the exhibition (Ieva Mediodia, Nina Roos, Praneet Soi), just like the inexplicable or self-explaining object (Henrietta Lehtonen, Lia Perjovschi, Dré Wapenaar). In addition, the curator used the opportunity to focus attention on the Romanian artist Ion Grigorescu, whose complex and intriguing work is too little known in his own country and abroad. The photographs from his artist’s book Iasi (1974 – 1975) were of particular importance to the exhibition, and it seemed to gather many of the conceptual threads laid out between the different projects and venues.----

Periferic 7 (May 12-30, 2006)

Focusing Iasi

Social Processes
Curators: Marius Babias and Angelika Nollert
Venue: The Turkish Bath of Iasi

Participants: Luchezar Boyadjiev (BG), Boris Buden (AT/HR), Nicoleta Esinencu (MD), Andrea Faciu (DE), H.arta (RO), Christine and Irene Hohenbüchler (AT), Laura Horelli (FI), John Miller (US), Dan Perjovschi (RO), Lia Perjovschi (RO), Hito Steyerl (DE)

The invited artists inquired into the social, cultural, and socio-political facets of Iaşi: a cultural gateway between Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Transnistria. Strategies of Learning
Curator: Florence Derieux
Venues: The Palace of Culture of Iasi, The Cupola Gallery, The Natural Science Museum

Participants:Sandy Amerio (FR), Bik Van der Pol (NL), Valentin Carron (CH), Latifa Echakhch (MA/ FR), Jens Haaning (DK), Pierre Joseph (FR), Mattias Olofsson (SE), Sean Snyder (US/DE), Simon Starling (UK/DE), Andrei Ujică & Harun Farocki (RO/DE)

Why Children?
Curator: Attila Tordai-S.
Venue: The Sports Hall of the “George Enescu” Arts University of Iasi

Participants: Big Hope (Miklos Erhardt, Dominic Hislop, Elske Rosenfeld)(HU/UK/DE), Mircea Cantor & Gabriela Vanga (FR/RO), Ioana Nemeş (RO), Elke Marhöfer (DE), Ciprian Mureşan (RO), Katya Sander (DE/DK), Nedko Solakov (BG), Péter Szabó (HU/RO)

In the rush to change after 1989, to become a "grown up" member of modern Europe, to transform into a working, economically viable democracy, Romanian society has not been alerted to the cost that this metamorphosis may be extracting from its children. Through artist proposals, lectures, workshops and side events, the project is aiming to discuss the issue of child abandonment in an extended sense. ----

Periferic 8 (3-18 October 2008)

Art as Gift

Curator: Dora Hegyi (HU)
Venues: Sports Hall of the “George Enescu” Arts University of Iasi, Temporary building of the National Theatre “Vasile Alecandri” of Iasi, The Museum for Romanian Literature - Casa Pogor, Students’ Cultural House, Info Point in front of “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University

Projects and Participants: Markus Bader / raumlabor berlin (DE), Joseph Beuys (DE), Johanna Billing (SE), cARTier / Vector Association (RO), CCCK - Center for Communication and Context Kyiv / Ingela Johansson (SE), Inga Zimprich (DE)with Sonke Hallmann (DE), Stefan Constantinescu (SE/RO), Guillaume Desanges (FR), Veaceslav Druta (MD/FR), Roza El-Hassan (HU)- Salam Haddad (HU-IQ), Miklos Erdely (HU), Tatiana Fiodorova (MD), Dora Garcia (ES), Felix Gonzalez-Torres (US), Institute for Wishful Thinking / Maureen Connor, Gregory Sholette (US), Christian Jankowski (DE), Daniel Knorr (DE), KUNST=KAPITAL (GLO), Yuri Leiderman (RU), Aniko Lorant (HU), Aurelia Mihai (DE/RO), Hila Peleg (DE/ISR), RO-MD (Moldova in 2 Scenarios)/ Vector Association, Iasi (RO), K:SAK, Chisinau (MD), Mladen Stilinovic (HR), SZAF / Judit Fischer, Miklos Mecs (HU), Rasa Todosijevic (SP), Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor (RO), Tirdad Zolghadr (TXL)Mediation Projects: Creative Mediation Project / Studio for Art Practices and Debates (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)

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.


This article incorporates text from:
Dora Hegyi: Why Iasi? in: IDEA, nr 26, 2006.
Astrid Wege: Periferic 7/Focusing Iasi: Biennial for Contemporary Art; Various Venues. in: ArtForum, Oct, 2006
Catalin Gheorge: Art as Social Message. in: Praesens, 2006/2.
Vlad Morariu: Social Processes / Strategies of Learning / Why Children?. Framework, 2006/5.
Attila S. Tordai: Prophetic Corners, 6th Periferic Biennial. in: Praesens, 2003/03.
Corina Bernic: On the Edge Iasi, Romania'a Periferic Biennial. in: Museo contemporary art magazine

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