Prix Louis D

Cultural program "The Undisciplined Eye. Everyday Life beyond Narration"



The call for applications for the first artistic residency at CEREFREA Villa Noël has closed on Monday, June 20th, 2016. We have received 42 applications from artists from Central and Southeastern Europe countries, who have shown an interest in working at the Villa Noël within the project "The Undisciplined Eye. Everyday Life Beyond Narration". The selection committee  has verified and evaluated each application dossier received. The three winners of the program are: Sonja Jankov, Nicole Hewitt and Romana Schmalisch.


Nicole Hewitt (1965, born in Croatia) is a visual artist working in film, video, installation and performance. Hewitt completed her MA in Fine Art Media at the Slade School and gained her PhD in Fine Art also at the Slade School of Fine Art in 2013. Her work has recently been concerned with memory, history and narrative as mediated through technologies of representation and preservation. She is currently working on an episodic series of performance/texts “This woman is called Jasna.” Hewitt is also a researcher in the field of contemporary art theory and practice. After gaining an MA degree in Fine Art at the Slade School of Art, University College London, she is completing her PhD at the Slade School of Art. Her thesis explores the relationship between film, narrative, dance, history and rhetoric. Since 2003 she has been active as a curator and she conceived and realized several workshops, exhibitions and seminars. Hewitt is a lecturer and Head of Department of Animation and New Media of Academy of Fine Arts, University of Zagreb since 2005, and was a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths College, Visual Arts Department from 2009/2011, and London Metropolitan University in 2014. Lives and works in Zagreb and London.

In Time

Film and research project (2008), 16 mm film, High 8, mini DV transferred to BETA produced by HFS and Pangolin.


 Project title for residency in Bucharest: Minor Speculations

Sonja Jankov (1985, born in Serbia) is an independent historian and theoretician of contemporary art and cultural aspects of modern architecture, who uses photography and temporary spatial installations within interpretative curatorial practices. She holds an MA from the Faculty of Political Sciences (Department for Cultural Theory) and has spent a year at the Centre for Critical and Cultural Theory of Karlova Univerzita in Prague. She used to work at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Novi Sad (2012-2015), as gallery director at the Institute for Culture of Vojvodina (winter 2014) and as contributor to B92, the section for culture and art. Her publications include over 50 critiques and reviews, texts for catalogues and essays. She was a scholarship holder of the Republic Foundation for Development of Scientific and Artistic Youth.

Case Study: SPENS (2014), photographic series and research project


Project title for residency in Bucharest: Mythological Drawings—Method of Approaching Residential Brutalism in Bucharest

Romana Schmalisch (1974, born in Germany) studied Fine Arts at the University of Arts in Berlin where she graduated with an MFA in 2002. She was a resident artist in several fellowship programs, among others as researcher at the Fine Art Department of the Jan Van Eyck Academy, Maastricht, and in the Berlin Senate’s fellowship program in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery and Studio Voltaire, London, and in Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers. In 2009 the artist started her long-term project “Mobile Cinema”, an apparatus somewhere between urban model, cinema, and plate camera, that unites experimental lecturing and moving to different places. Romana Schmalisch developed different film projects at the interface of theory and film, investigating cinematic representations and the representation of historical processes and social structures and works, and collaborated on various film projects with Robert Schlicht.

Mobile cinema

Exhibition view Kunstmuseum Dieselkraftwerk Cottbus (2015) in co-operation with the 25. FilmFestival Cottbus.


Project title for residency in Bucharest: Mobile Cinema


Selection committee:

Simona NECULA, General Secretary CEREFREA Villa Noël, University of Bucharest

Damiana OŢOIU, Lecturer, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest

Dan PERJOVSCHI, visual artist, writer, journalist

Alina ȘERBAN, art historian and curator, PEPLUSPATRU Association


Call for applications


CEREFREA Villa Noël launches a residency program for artistic research in Bucharest, dedicated to artists from Central and Southeastern Europe whose practice is actively exploring the concept of intermediality and tests different transdisciplinary methodologies in the artistic production. 

The focus of the residency is to set up a regional network in the sphere of artistic research, strengthening the exchanges with connected cultural domains such as social sciences, humanities, architecture, opening up opportunities for dialogue and collaboration between various artists and researchers. The CEREFREA residency program aims at building up a centre for international cooperation and a platform for academic and artistic exchange in Bucharest.

The program follows closely a research theme, which will be examined in the course of two years. A guest curator will coordinate the program and will organize at the end of the residencies an exhibition project together with the selected artists. The art historian and curator Alina Șerban will coordinate the first edition of the CEREFREA residency program.

The Undisciplined Eye. Everyday Life beyond Narration is the theme of the first two editions of CEREFREA Villa Noël artistic residency in Bucharest. The purpose of the program is to reflect by means of artistic research upon the idea of document and to explore its multiple codes in contemporary visual practices. The theme endeavours to interrogate the specific conditions of life of the contemporary man, proposing to renounce to descriptive and narrative formats with the help of analytical and transdisciplinary methods.

The program will support those artistic projects that propose a site-specific research inspired by the Romanian social context or an in-depth reflection on subjects from the living contexts of the artists of the former Eastern bloc. The residency program encourages projects that advance new frameworks for visual research and touch upon the territories of negotiation between different collective histories and personal experiences, between contemporary social realities, urban economies and everyday life space. 

During the residency, the selected artists will give a public talk and will participate in an exhibition and a panel discussion at the end of their stay in Bucharest. A series of meetings with local artists, curators and scholars will be organized.


Conditions of residency:

Number of places: 3 positions for 3 non-Romanian Central and Southeastern European artists

The residence period is 2 months: between July 1 to August 31, 2016.

The grant includes:

• Transport to Bucharest and return;

• A monthly stipend of 4050 lei gross (approx. 900 euro gross);

• Accommodation in Villa Noël in Bucharest;

• Individual and common work areas;

• A joint production grant for the final exhibition of 8,000 lei gross (approx. 1750 euro gross).

Deadline for submitting the applications: June 20, 2016.

The application consists of a CV (not to exceed 4 pages), a cover letter presenting the project and its relevance in the context of the theme of the program (not to exceed 2 pages) and the contacts of two people who can provide references for applicant. All materials will be written either English or French. Materials will be sent in a single PDF (not to exceed 3MB) by e-mail: 


Selection committee:

Simona NECULA, General Secretary CEREFREA Villa Noël, University of Bucharest

Damiana OŢOIU, Lecturer, Faculty of Political Science, University of Bucharest

Dan PERJOVSCHI, visual artist, writer, journalist

Alina ȘERBAN, art historian and curator, PEPLUSPATRU Association



Founded by the University of Bucharest, New Europe College, New Bulgarian University in Sofia and the French Embassy in Romania, the Regional Francophone Centre for Advanced Research in Social Sciences (CEREFREA Villa Noël) at University of Bucharest aims primarily at strengthening the visibility of academic research in social sciences and humanities in Central and Eastern Europe, in French language. The project CEREFREA ( rests on the excellent cooperation between local and international francophone partners specialized in research and training programs. CEREFREA won the prestigious cultural price Louis D. of the French Academy, which has transformed Villa Noël into a centre for excellence in the study of francophone social sciences. From a technical standpoint, Villa Noël has conference rooms equipped with video conferencing systems, seminar rooms, and offices for researchers, a library and accommodations for researchers and artists in residency.

In partnership with:


It is a platform for cultural exchange and interdisciplinary research in the field of visual arts active locally and internationally, founded by artists Anca Benera, Arnold Estefan, Cătălin Rulea and art historian Alina Șerban. The programs and projects initiated aim to reconnect the various local and regional / international histories and to foster various encounters between the artistic practice and the academic research area. The association is recognized for its self-organized institutional project Centre for Visual Introspection (2008-2012) and its publishing platform P+4 Publications, dedicated to the research and international promotion of Romanian contemporary art.

Project co-financed by the Administration of the National Cultural Fund.

The project does not necessarily represent
 the official position of the Administration of the National Cultural Fund. AFCN shall not be held liable for the project's content or any use to which the project outcome might be put. These are the sole responsibility of the beneficiary of the funding.