Black Heart Press presents:
A time capsule sneak peek into the printshop of the National University of Fine Arts Bucharest (Universitatea Naţională de Arte, UNARTE in short) in 2008, when yours truly was visiting the printmaking department there as an exchange student, in the foot steps of famous alumnis Constantin Brâncuși and Victor Brauner.
The big etching press was a Karl Krause (Leipzig), the litho press from Erasmus Sutter (Berlin). The gentleman cleaning his screen is Bogdan, master of improvisation and registration - printing huge silkscreens with more or less one good frame. I learned a lot just looking over his shoulder.
A lot of stuff in Bucharest and at UNARTE sucked, with sub-optimal conditions and more obstacles than ever imaginable, and I could spend all day listing them (for in Romania I truly glimpsed and to some extend even learned the art of complaining - and to be honest, who would have ever thought that the evil professor would come up with a plan as devious and cunning as the REMOVAL OF THE LITHO PRESS HANDLE over the easter holidays to enforce the printing hiatus he knew the students were bypassing with the help of the friendly door ladies who let us in anyway), but there was also a lot of great stuff. Like sieving all graining sand (no #180 grit, just real sand from the construction site next door) for cat poop (pregnant ninja printshop cat was later discoverd to be the culprit, but was pardoned on account of potential rat kills and because who can really resist a cat sneaking into the printshop every morning like clockwork?)
The printing technician aka caretaker will be remembered as not only the guy who returned on the evening of the LITHO PRESS HANDLE REMOVAL DAY and without a word produced the handle from the professor’s locker and re-attached it, coming in early on the first day after the holidays to remove it again and then ceremoniously re-attaching it when the evil printmaking professor declared that it was now time to print again, but also as the guy who secretly bought cat food for ninja printshop cat. And unfortunately also as the guy who got drunk enough on the whiskey certain printmaking students forgot in his locker due to circumstances completely unrelated to the LITHO PRESS HANDLE INCIDENT to offer said whiskey to a certain evil professor who of course got suspicious as to why the technician was suddenly in the possession of such a fine drink, and while I would like to believe that the story he made up in his (our) defense was good he nevertheless got us all busted.
My photo-blog from back then. The navigation is in Romanian, but you’ll manage. No printmaking photos there, just eye candy.
Where the wild things live. Now also in English, as I’ve just discovered.
Atelier 35 is an artist run gallery and one of the coolest places to exhibit in Buc, with a long history (website is since 2007, but they were already hosting art events in Ceaușescu’s time.