ART ENCOUNTERS: WAYS OF KNOWING by Contrasens Cultural Association

The 2019 Art Encounters Biennial grows around the meaningful dialogues of the curators and invited artists with the city of Timișoara and its people and it remains, as always, a creative meeting point for artists, communities, institutions, and ideas.

Ways of Knowing is the mediation program that defines, this year, the space and rhythm within which the Biennial’s mission – to engage a wide audience in a debate on the main topics of today’s society, creating a vibrant platform for cultural exchange between the art scenes in Romania and those abroad, takes shape.

Through rooting Ways of Knowing in the Art Encounters 2019 Biennial, we aim to validate culture as a pillar of urban regeneration and platform for dialogue and interaction within the community and to demonstrate the viability of contemporary art as a space for aesthetic experience and as an incubator for applied learning and for shaping thinking, through a transdisciplinary, inclusive and innovative cultural mediation program that diversifies the public for culture and proposes new connections with the existing public, through an approach that explored the unexpected connections between art and the cultural, institutional and urban identity of Timișoara.

Ways of Knowing is a mediation program for the whole community, aimed to make individuals of all ages, with diverse backgrounds, profiles, interests and needs, ‘hard to reach’ or ‘easy to reach’- but forgotten, public by chance or by surprise, include contemporary art, events, spaces and institutions of culture in their everyday lives, to find value and relevance in art for their personal growth and professional development. For all, we aim to change paradigms of engagement with art by changing the symbolical question ‘what did the artist want to say?’ to ‘what would the artist want me to tell myself?’, thus changing the relationship between the public and contemporary art. Ways of Knowing is configured as networking – research, documentation, activation and training (April – July), production of mediation and promotional resources (July – August), workshops, visits, tours and events for public from 5 to 85+ (September – October, covering the Biennial) and follow-up events and support for spin offs (October – December).