Nestled in a picturesque area near Vălenii de Munte, Slon village hosted the 6th edition of the artistic residency organised by META Cultural Foundation within MagiC Carpets international platform between August 10th and September 7th 2023. The curator Raluca Elena Doroftei and the project team merged in the rural heart of Romania a space for exploration, connection and artistic creation.
META Cultural Foundation promotes Romanian contemporary art both locally and internationally, establishes regional and European cultural cooperation networks, aiming to improve the performance of Romanian contemporary art, offering young artists the opportunity to express themselves and present their works to the public, thus enhancing national cultural values locally, regionally and internationally.
Currently at its 6th edition, MagiC Carpets is an international project aiming to bring artists from different backgrounds into specific / unconventional contexts where they can get inspired and contribute to the cultural activity of the community. With its authentic landscape and ancestral traditions, Slon provided valuable inspirational resources. The artists selected for this year’s residency have developed dynamic, engaging projects that combine video art, performance, installation, movement and music.
The village of Slon and its surroundings, with all its history and traditions, became a true creative lab, where the artists engaged with the locals and actively involved them in the creative process. Using multimedia techniques, particularly audio-video, they explored different approaches and ways to reflect and portray rural realities.
Experimenting multiple art types, La Nouvelle Panique – a group composed of Gaspard Hoël and Jonathan Poulet (Nantes, France) – transformed the village into a living scene. Using music as universal language, the group teamed up with the local community to convey authentic stories and emotions of daily village life. The result of this artistic fusion is an audiovisual performance that spotlights the human connection with the environment.
Ștefania Becheanu developed her video-performance project called “Je m’en vais”, which explores the concept of evaporation and rejoining the forces of nature. Focusing on the female perspective, Ștefania worked closely with local women to transpose their experiences and stories into a contemporary artistic framework characterized by powerful emotional transfiguration.
Andrei Predescu explored local traditions and beliefs, exploring the mystical practices of Slon community. Andrei documented and explored these traditions using photography and film, trying to grasp their progress and impact within contemporary society, thus bringing a new perspective towards the connection between tradition and contemporaneity.
Besides these personal projects, the artists have organised a series of educational workshops for children of Slon and the surrounding area, enabling them to learn about photographic techniques, video production, animation, dance and musical composition. 2META Museum was the venue for meetings and debates.
After more than 3 weeks spent in this landscape, the positive impact of the residency for both artists and community was obvious. It was not only about art, but also about active learning, developing new skills and motivating young people. Thanks to this artistic residency initiative, children and locals were not just spectators, but active protagonists in the making of artistic stories. Thus art connected, inspired and revitalised the community.
In addition to their creations, the project successfully bridged generations, traditions and contemporary art, while adding fresh energy, innovative perspectives and transformative cultural openness.