soros center forcontemporary arts chisinau, republic of moldova.

PREFACE

By launching the concept of this exhibition we assumed the task of answering many questions related to a certain cultural period of our country and, in this context, to thoroughly consider the situation in society, taking into account the local artistic environment. The title denotes the intention to introduce an exhibitory framework with some conclusive features to the public. The exhibition reflects the last six years of activity of the artists of Moldova in a social environment foreign to their previous experience and the particularities of the current moment, in connection with the itinerary of visual art's evolution.  

Reflecting on the picture of the local visual art, we can not assert that innovation in art or the artistic experiment manifested itself as a constant component of the cultural life of Bessarabia. The reserved attitude of the artistic community of Moldova toward the new milieus, at the height of their development in the West, 

 is largely due to inheriting the "tradition" of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Moldova, based on the close correlation of "art-ideology" (dogma), on the informational isolation imposed by the encystation within our geographical space and, implicitly, on the ostentatious "sovereignty" against the epicenters of the universal culture.  

The evolution of the cultural period preceding the 6th Kilometer led to establishing some premises in shaping new attitudes among our artists in respect to the variety of non-traditional expression.  

After the first thaw that took place in 1987-1989, there followed a period marked by the activation of a new generation of visual artists. With the appearance on the cultural arena of Chisinau of a group of artists, such as Marc Verlan ("Marioca, son of rain"), Violeta Zabilica and the group Phantom, that tried to assert themselves through diverse ways of alternative expression, a visible intensification of innovative tendencies occurred. After 1992, artistic events with a post-modernist nuance were amplified: the opening of The Exhibition of Illusions by Marc Verlan in the winter of 1992, the exhibitions and actions of the group Phantom, some experiments by the students and professors of the State Institute of Art for the graduation theses within the graphics department in 1995, or the action Barbie's Funeral in the autumn of the same year. The democratization of the artistic message became broader with the establishment of democratic institutions, especially of the SCCA, in 1996. As a preamble to the 6th Kilometer was the creative art camp carbonART, in the summer of '96, which, as well, was conceived and organized by the SCCA. 

Eventually, the assertion of new milieus like video art, video installation, etc. appeared, which were virtually non-existent in Moldova before our Center's first manifestations. We can assert that despite the difficulties to be overcome in order to organize such an intricate event as an exhibition of contemporary art, the 6th Kilometer has been traversed. I would mention another important moment: the experience gained by the event's coordinators. For them the launching of the exhibition became a serious test. Given the fact that the exhibition resulted from a group effort, this crystallized as an important change in relations between the author and the work, the curator and the artist, and, especially, among the artists. 

Octavian ESANU Director, SCCA-Chisinau, Curator 6th Kilometer