Enchanting Views

courtesy: Agerpres, photo: Petre Dumitrescu, Olimp, 1973

Romanian Black Sea Tourism Planning and Architecture of the 1960s and 1970s
Enchanting Views
is the first exhibition devoted to one of the most coherent and innovative projects of post-war modernity in Romanian architecture, namely, the tourist development of the Black Sea coastline during the 1960s and 1970s.

The exhibition does not pretend to have an exhaustive view on the Romanian coastline planning strategies. However, it has attempted to put together a display able to capture the role played by this vast architectural endeavour and development in articulating a new vision of socialist modernity, directly reflecting on the implicit representations that leisure architecture projected in the visual and social space of the period.

Enchanting Views proposes a new reading of the visual and symbolic identity of the Romanian Black Sea coastline, placing architecture at the center of a time-specific visual culture, essential both to understanding the local tourism policies and the experience of modernity. Thus, the exhibition expands its research framework from the politics of space to the politics of image, revisiting some of the most important works of this architectural laboratory between 1957 and 1973.

The exhibition records the manner in which the leisure program is integrated to the official mechanism of promoting the successful narratives of socialism. The experience of the coastline is an important episode of Romanian post-war modernity which needs to be analysed in the context of the organized mode of spending the leisure time, of the rationalization of consumption and of the particular conditions of mobility of the tourist.

The design of the Dalles Hall display is conceived in the form of exhibition satellites which contain the archive photographs, a selection of case studies – architectural typologies and plans associated with a series of references circulated between both sides of the Iron Curtain, interviews, propaganda movies, and a recent photographic documentation by artist Nicu Ilfoveanu.

10 October–30 November 2014
Dalles Hall, National Museum of Contemporary Art (www.mnac.ro)
18 Nicolae Bălcescu Avenue, 1st District, Bucharest
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–6pm

Opening: Thursday, 9 October, 7:00 pm
Curators: Kalliopi Dimou, Sorin Istudor, Alina Șerban
Project organized by the pepluspatru Association