excerpts from the exhibition > Peasant Museum in Bucharest.
An object of history, memory, symbol, but most often today, of geographical marking, the public forum monument is, in fact, a recipient of collective features, complexes and fascinations. The intimate correspondences established by it with the various configurations of the public sphere and of the place in which it is located are virtually creating a new history- one told by the monument in a different manner and to different people each and every time. The invisible meaning of such an artifact is turning it either into a space for mutual values to communicate and interact with each other, or into a space of resistance against the forms of colonizing and postulating a monolithic identity. As circumstantial agents, public monuments become territories tagged by the coexistence of various testimonies, traumas and daily realities.
The work Series. Multiples. Realisms. is focusing on the construction of a photographic series dealing with the public monuments created in memory of World War I in the rural environment. In the quiet landscape of these villages, a fragile profile of the soldiers as known heroes is captured, disclosing not only a mutual historical experience, but also a universe that formed the object of radical transformations in the last years. Apparently disconnected from their background, the lives of these lonely characters provide the passer-by with an incursion into a collective social practice. The layers of such practice are activating, beyond the daily resignation and oblivion, sui generisshapes in which the sphere of the national is represented, and the public discourse is interpreted.
Nicu Ilfoveanu’s approach is to destabilize the traditional rhetoric accompanying the narration of these monuments, while he proposes a working and reading alternative. There is a common denominator for these images, namely an intimate relationship with space, with the living territory of the village, which has become the instrument of collective projections. The affinity with this landscape is, for each community, strengthening the presence of certain rituals and histories which are subjectively constructing national identities. Last, but not least, Nicu Ilfoveanu’s project allows an observation of the mirage represented by commemoration, death and public representation horizons, following the perception of these monuments at the local level then, when they were built and now, in the present.
The exhibition is designed as three channel dia-installation, Super 8 loop projection, object by Vlad Gherghiceanu and is accompanied by a bilingual publication with contributions by Claude Karnoouh (French sociologist and anthropologist), Gheorghe Negustor (PhD Faculty of History, University Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj) and Nikolai Vukov (Associate Proffesor at the Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Studies, Sofia)
project financed by AFCN
partners: National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, National Military Museum, Square Media, pepluspatru Association
with the kind support of Liliana & Peter Ilica Foundation for the Endowment of the Arts