The Diplomatic Art cultural project was initiated in 2010 by Ciprian Chirileanu, visual artist and curator. The first two Diplomatic Art editions were held in 2014 and 2015 with the support of the Union of Visual Artists Timișoara. Since 2015 the name, logo and concept are registered at OSIM. In 2017 the Diplomatic Art Association was founded, with Ciprian Chirileanu as president, continuing the administration of the concept and of the entire activity.
The Association aims to promote the creation of contemporary professional artists from countries that have consulates in Timisoara (19 consulates in 2020), Timisoara twin-cities, former and future European cultural capitals, and also from Timisoara and Romania. Multidisciplinary artistic events are organized with internationally recognized artists, encouraging collaborations between foreign and Romanian artists, the events taking place in galleries but also in alternative spaces.
In 2017-2018 the curatorial concepts focused on visual anthropology and photography: Casa e traslocco (Italy), Berlin Brigade and Berlin18 meets Timișoara21 (Germany).
CONSULART – European Echoes (a project derived from the broader concept of Diplomatic Art) was launched in 2019 in partnership with the Association Timisoara 2021 European Capital of Culture as part of the Timisoara 2021 cultural program. CONSULART is a collaborative and interdisciplinary project between a Romanian and a foreign artist, resulting in a common creation in situ, exhibited in the consulate space or in its vicinity.
In 2020 the Diplomatic Art Association has initiated two new projects: the online exhibitions Si Muove and Zoom In, with virtual viewing via mobile phones, tablets or personal computers. When the safety measures due to the Covid 19 pandemic will be relaxed, the projects can be developed or adapted to real exhibitions with live participation of the public.
Since 2014, 22 events have taken place, presenting 97 artists from 25 countries, some of them representatives of their countries at various editions of the Venice Biennale: Azstalos Zsolt (Hungary), Sandro Bracchitta (Italy), Igor Josifov (Northern Macedonia), Diana Rossi (Paraguay’s first participation in the Biennale); Robert Baramov (Bulgaria) with his Rented Air Spaces project, an attempt to draw attention to the need to establish the Bulgarian Pavilion; Christa Sommerer (Austria) and Laurent Mignoneau (France), the pioneers of interactive video installations; Angie Bonino (Peru), a forerunner of video art in her country; Christine Niehoff (Germany) and Amy Alexander (Australia – a candidate for the first settlers on Mars), who opened a new “consulate” in Timisoara, The Utopian Consulate of Mars. The events had numerous institutional partners (Timișoara Local Council, Timișoara County Council, Timișoara Consulates, etc.), cultural partners (The Union of Visual Artists Timișoara, The Banat Museum Timișoara, The Association Timisoara 2021 European Capital of Culture, The Timiș County Department for Culture, The Faculty of Arts and Design, The German Cultural Centre Timișoara, The French Institute Timișoara, Goethe Institut Bucharest, Czech Center Bucharest, The Association of Estonian Printmakers, The National Association of Contemporary Engravers Italy, Accademia di Belle Arti di Palermo, Università Della Basilicata Matera, Galeria Brita Prinz Madrid etc), and media (TVR Timișoara, Radio Romania Cultural, Radio France International, Radio Timișoara, Banatul Azi, Evenimentul Zilei etc), the events being reflected in the local, national and international press.