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The official opening of the „Tradition and Post-modernism” Summer Workshops -2002


First lectures: Augustin Ioan and His Eminency Archbisop Hrisostomos.

The lecturers from Sweden, Goran Andersson

and Gunar Alvemik in a coffe timeout.

Lucia Rato and Mariana Stanescu presenting the new ecological techniques used in restoration of the cutural and historical herritage.

Practical demonstration course in restoration field by Roxana Radvan si Suzana Dan from National Institute for Optoelectronics Bucharest.

Luiza Barcan at the courses.

Sunday, visiting the wooden church in Danicei village.


The „Tradition and Post-modernism” Summer Workshops – 2002















For two years at the Bujoreni Village Museum, the four editions of the symposium “Tradition and post-modernism” have brought together important artists and men of culture in the attempt of questioning the opposition between traditional and contemporary cultural forms. Each edition focused on one particular theme. In chronological order, they were as follows:  The wood (2000), Sacred Art/ Religious Art (2000), Craftsmanship and Initiation (2001), Symbols, Communication, Media (2001). Thus we have created a very firmly marked working background. The symposiums always had three sections, which represent in fact three modes of approaching the proposed themes: one theoretically section, consisting of scientific lecture sessions, one section of applications, i.e. the organization of small creation camps, craftsmanship demonstrations, live performances, and one illustrative section, consisting of the traditional and contemporary art exhibitions within the Village Museum at Bujoreni. Few research trips in Valcea County have been also organized as part of each biannual cultural gathering. 

The course and results of such symposiums have been reflected in the issues of the Ianus magazine, publication of the HAR Foundation. The field research activity has resulted in the series of six monographs, which focused on the wooden churches of Gramesti, Marita, Copaceni-Racovita, Ciungetu, Malaia and Brezoi.

In 2000, with the support of the EUROART Program, we created the Pilot-Center called “Tradition and Post-modernism” at Bujoreny, the very location of the Village Museum. The partnership between the HAR Foundation and the Valcea County Museum has been thus consolidated, and consequently enabling the extension of the background-program as one complex long-term manifestation. 

In 2002, the European Commission for education and Culture in Brussels have appreciated the activity of the HAR Foundation, by nominating the “Tradition and Post-modernism Summer Workshops program among the winners of the project auction as part of the international program Culture 2000. Among the co-organizers of this ample program we count:  The Valcea County Museum, Timmerdraget – Centre for Loghouse Construction, Torsta – Sweden, Resource Group Integrator – Italy, whereas our partners are: the Bucharest University for Architecture and ­Urban Planning “Ion Mincu”, the Bucharest Art University, the  F.D.S.C. –Romania, The Orthodox Study Center if California – U.S.A., the National Opto-electrical Engineering Institute of Bucharest, the Ramnicu Valcea City Hall, the Valcea County Museum, the Romanian Artists Union – Valcea branch and the Ariel Theater in Valcea. 

The “Tradition and Post-modernism” Summer Workshops are an extension of the program “Tradition and Post-modernism” in that that we transformed the biannual lecturing sessions in a summer school, at which students and masters in architecture, arts, history and theology have been invited to participate. 

The lectures presented by some of the most important professors and specialists in these fields, have as main issue the anthropology of the sacred and of the human inhabitance, other contiguous scientific domains as well as the new techniques and methods used for the preservation of artifacts of the historical-cultural patrimony. Some of the main themes are listed below: 

- general issues related to the organization and functioning of traditional societies; power and hierarchy within traditional societies; 

- sacred within traditional dogmas – sacred place, sacred image, consecration ­rituals; 

- sacred and religious  in contemporary arts and architecture; 

- inherent and additional symbols of sacred constructions;  

-general issues regarding some of the contiguous scientific disciplines (archeology/history, traditional dogmas/theology, ethnology); 

- ethic issues related to the restoration and preservation of the historic and cultural inheritance; 

- ecological techniques and safe modes of patrimony artifact preservation. 

The edition 2002 of the summer workshops had also one section of application, which structured on three objectives: 

a) The design and construction of a wooden church for a community made of approximately 20-30 families, using traditional and contemporary techniques.

b) The design and construction of a pilot-social house for four persons (3-4 rooms and annexes) using both traditional and modern techniques and materials. 

c) One creation camp (painting, sculpture, graving, calligraphy, decorative arts).


On August 2, 2002, at the Bujoreni Village Museum took place the opening of the “Tradition and Post-modernism” Summer Workshops in the presence of Mr. Iulian Comanescu, president of the Valcea County Counsel, Mr.Gheorghe Deaconu, director of the Valcea County Department for Culture and National Patrimony, Mr. Eugen Deca, director of the Valcea County Museum, and of the Romanian and foreign guests, reporters and other numerous audience. 

During the first week, some of the most important foreign men of culture attended at Bujoreni in order to lecture on a complex and sometimes original thematic. Among them, were His Eminence The Archbishop Hrisostomos form the California Center of Orthodox Tradition Studies – U.S.A., the professors Göran Andersson, program manager with the Timmerdraget Traditional Construction Center in Torsta – Sweden and his younger colleague, the professor Gunnar Almevik, general manager of the Dacapo Mariestad Art and Crafts School– Sweden, the doctor Lucia Ratto, researcher with the Institute Resource Group Integrator of Genoa – Italy. Lectures and demonstrations were also presented by the arh. dr. Augustin Ioan, professor at the ­Bucharest University for Architecture and Urban Planning, the prof. dr. Anca Manolescu with the Bucharest Village Museum, dr. Roxana Radvan form the ­Bucharest National Opto-electrical engineering Institute, the ethnologist Mihai Camilar with the ­Bucovina Folkloric Traditions Museum in Gura Humorului, Mariana ­Stanescu, chemist – restaurateur at the Bucharest Village Museum and the craftsman Vasile Pop for the construction and restoration company “Taina lemnului”(in translation the secrets of wood) form Desesti, ­Maramures.

All demonstrative applications of the first school week were very complex; this is why, special devices were brought to Bujoreni on this particular occasion. The first exemplifications – the ecologic restoration using the VELOXY method, were performed by dr. Lucia Ratto from Italy and her collaborator, Mariana Stanescu. In order to get familiar with the non-toxic restoration techniques, few restaurateurs from the Bucharest, Craiova and Sibiu Village museums were invited to participate at these summer Workshops. The use of the VELOXY method was applied during our summer demonstrations, for the treatment of some items made of cloth, paper or parchment. 






The artists at work: Dumitru Gorzo, Suzana Dan, Mircea Nechita, Valeriu Pantilimon and Alexandru Matei.


Another modern restoration method experimented by the researchers with the Opto-electrical engineering Institute was presented by dr. Roxana Radvan – the patrimony artifacts investigation, diagnosis and restoration laser technique. The scientist also presented an original laser-cleaning device of high accuracy, as a result of the Eureka E2094 project coordinated by Romania. 


Also within the series of applications we include the presentation of Vasile Pop, who came from Maramures with some scale models and items to prove the preservation of the traditional construction techniques in the architecture of wood. Displayed on the porch of the 18th century school, where the all lectures took place, these samples of traditional wood combinations and tiles for different regions of the country raised the interest of both Romanian and foreign participants, and enabled an active exchange of ideas and information. 

After a week of dialogue, the first Sunday we took a documentation trip in the Valcea county, based on an itinerary proposed by Ligia Rizea, consultant on patrimony issue with the Valcea County Department for Culture and national Patrimony.Thus on our way south to Dragasani, we visited for the first time another series of wooden churches located on the southern region of the county: Sutesti, Pietroasa, Mrenesti-Creteni, Popesti-Ursi.

At the Sutesti church we noticed with regret the mutilation state of being of a monument, whose identity was completely annulled in the absence of knowledge and of a prior research study.

As if in compensation we then discovered the beautiful church of Mrenesti-Creteni, which needs a quickly intervention so that it could be saved from irreversible degradation. This is one of the reasons for which we included it among the scopes of the next edition of our program, so that it could be changed from Creteni to the Valcea Village Museum.

At Popesti-Ursi, our surprise was twice as big: the monument-church impressed us all by its architecture and decorative elements. Then, a burial that was taking place there, at the village cemetery, became an opportunity especially for our foreign guests to perform an ethnologic study on the field, because the ancient and pre-Christian customs completed the Ortodox ritual of this passing event. After that, we went to Gramesti, in order to show to our participants one of the biggest and oldest wooden churches within the area of the Valcea county; one true architectural masterpiece, a model for the other churches within the same area, made up of the same material. The terminus stage of our trip was the Maldarasti mansion, where we visited the museum – tower and the stone church of the 18-century. 

We must not forget to mention the fact that, every evening, after the dinner at the Village Museum’s inn, both students and professors were leaving for the town, in groups, and continued their discussions on the terrace of the restaurants Supca or Capela (Chapel) – depending on their accommodation location. Everything was spiced with wine or beer, depending on their tastes and the outside temperature. Whereas the ceremonial maestro for all the time we spent there was the professor ­Serban Anghelescu.



The beginning of the second lecturing week was marked by the moment of changing turns. It was timeto say good- bye to our foreign guests, with regret on both sides, since the days spent in Valcea had   a certain signification in their minds and souls, as they used to say. But we did not have time to feel sorry for so long, because it was the turn of the other invited professors, many of them being older collaborators of our program, to take the floor: prof. univ. dr. Radu Florescu, prof. dr. serban Anghelescu, with the Village Museum of Bucharest, prof. dr. Silviu Lupascu with the Bucharest University, prof. dr. Valentin Ilie and the arh. prof. Catalin Berescu with the Bucharest University for Architecture and Urban Planning“Ion Mincu”, the art critic Luiza Barcan, prof. Sorin Olteanu with the Bucharest Institute of Archeology  “Vasile Pârvan”, prof. Florin Mihailescu and prof. Alexandru Nancu the Bucharest University for Architecture and Urban Planning “Ion Mincu”.

Once completed, the first stage of the program, meaning the closing of the summer school, we said good-bye to our participating students and professors; this time our souls were richer since as always happened on such occasions, especially at Bujoreni, deep friendships started to take shape. The beauty of the natural scenery, the hospitality of our hosts and the diversity of this manifestation, always brings together those for whom our program means the approach of some common issues and ­concerns. 



The second phase of the Summer Workshops did not mean a resuming of the activities, but a continuation thereof, since during the two lecturing weeks, Alexandru Nancu and the architects Agustin Ioan and Catalin Berescu set the last details related to the two buildings ready to take shape: the social house and the church, whereas the carpenters of the Museum started to work on the wood, the material used for those two edifices. 

During the second phase of the program, we included also the creation camp dedicated to the realization of icons and religious items for the wooden church. An important contribution to the realization thereof, had Gheorghe Dican and the restaurateurs Laurentiu Margineanu and Constantin tanea. The participating artists were: ­Suzana Dan, Mihai Coman, Gabriel Chituc, Dumitru Gorzo, Mircea Nechita, ­Valeriu Pantilimon, Alexandru Radvan, Virgil Scripcariu, Toma Gabor, Catalin Udrea and Adriana Scripcariu.

In order to stand by our habit of organizing a show during the program Tradition and Post-modernism, we included in the second part of the Workshops, an theater stage, which was in fact an open workshop directed by the actress Viorica ­Vatamanu – professor at the «Ion Luca Caragiale» Theatre and Cinematography University in Bucharest with the young artists form the Ariel Theater in Râmnicu ­Vâlcea. This theatre performance stage, which was in fact an innovative communication experiment, was concluded with an improvisation performance followed by a reading memento of a fragment of the play “Dammed for doubting” by Tirso de Molina, a Spanish dramaturge-monk of the 18th century, not very much known in our country. The porch of one house stood for support for the theatrical exercises coordinated by Viorica Vatamanu, whereas the performance, which took place in a house garden, had a numerous audience which gathered there for that particular event. 

All this time, Alexandru Nancu together with the workers (Bogdan Bâjbâiac, Dumitru Dinca, Marian Stroe, Emil Vlasceanu, Silviu Berindei) and specialists (Marcel Stoian, Lucian Marinescu) form the Village Museum started to raise, first the house, then the church, after the wooden module that represented the support for each of the two buildings, had been displayed at the entrance. Some students in architecture form Ramnicu Valcea also participated to the first phase of the works, this way performing their summer application program. 

Construction works fully continued also after the closing of the creation camp. Day after day, they added another element, shaping the image of the wooden house and church, which today, as we speak stand still within the scenery of the Valcea Village Museum. A very touching moment was when the workers reached on the roof of the house; on such occasion tradition says to stop working and place there, on the roof, some token to the goods: a towel, a bottle of wine and a bunch of basil. There are other rituals connected to the foundation of the house. It is said that on the corners of the house, people have to burry coins for welfare, whereas one rooster must be sacrificed and spread the blood on the foundation, since people believe that in order to last, any construction demands for its blood sacrifice. Such a sacrifice used to be once a human being, as stated by a common legend of the Balkan area: the one of Manole the mason. The pre-Christian tradition includes also the customs of walling a human in the wall of a future house, gesture whose consequence is the death of that person. These are ritual sacrifices, which we, the modern people cannot accept any longer. But a tragic event reminded us of such ancient beliefs. Due to a car crash, one of the young people who used to work on the building site died: Iulian Matei.  Should we have sacrificed that rooster instead and avoid thus a human sacrifice? We will never find the answer to that question. May God rest his soul and receive his sacrifice!



Building the modules. Rising on the foundation of the first module and making the modular structuring of the house ground-floor. Assembling the roof



Assembling the first modules. Building the tower and the structure of the nave roof.  Finissing the roof.


 The works at the wooden church had not started before the priest Laurentiu Bozdoc hallowed the place and put a cross on the future altar location. Then the works on the house and church continued simultaneously, using the same modern and traditional techniques. In order to fit it in to the ambiance of the village museum, the social pilot-house made of wood at costs much lesser than those applied by the National Agency for House Buildings, was covered with pine clipboard. Just as the house, the church took the shape as intended by the architects. It totally complies with the traditional configuration of any religious location, but it was built with modern techniques, its aspect reminding use of the past, but being very well integrated into the present. The innovative elements did nothing to spoil the Byzantine canon common for every religious building. 



 The opening on the occasion of the official closing of the “Tradition and Post-modernism” -2002 program, took place on November 30 this year, on the Andrei Saint’s Day. Everybody present, partners, authorities, and journalists, appreciated with one consensus, our achievement. The journalists were present here also, as they did on other occasions during this program. This event was fully media-broadcast. The activity of the HAR foundation, one of the main two Romanian applicants to the program Culture 2000, is now officially acknowledged, many persons and institutions being eager to use as models, the buildings we created at Bujoreni. We inaugurated for the public the social house, which shall become the patrimony of the Valcea Village Museum and serve as the headquarters of the Center “Tradition and Post-modernism” – institution created by the HAR Foundation and the Valcea County Museum in 2000. The next was the church, which was conceived so that it could be disassembled and donated in 2003 to a poor community in Romania. On such an occasion it’s hallowing shall take place. Until then, adorned with the artifacts created by the young artists, it may be visited at the Valcea Village Museum, serving as an aesthetic model and as a replica of representation the traditional canon within modern circumstances.    



art critic


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