Intalnire cu Istoria / Appointment with History
 
Intalnire cu Istoria / Manifestul Comunismului, installation 2008, 5th Berlin Biennial, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
Appointment with History (Treffen mit der Geschichte) consists in a research related to symbols. It could be defined as searching for a new symbol for old utopias. We use images that connect different ideologies and historic times and study the meaning of these within specific situations. The installation has besides a series of paintings and the audible Communist Manifesto through the speakers a live microphone allowing free speech from anyone who wish to say something to the public.


"Intalnire cu Istoria [Appointment with History] (2007 – ongoing) is a series of small paintings, reproducing nineteenth-century realist techniques and representing a wide range of scenes, from a recent anti-capitalist demonstration in Basel to a queue of people standing outside a department store under communism, to crowds on Berlin’s Alexanderplatz in 1989, to a scene from the film Imposibila iubire [Impossible Love] (1983), where a worker in the 1950s contemplates the world that is being constructed. The series revisits the history of a realist language for social thinking in art and makes an urgent claim for the current agency of realism, one that is fully aware of its complicated past instrumentalizations." 
Cosmin Costinas


"In their series of paintings Appointment with History/Intalnire cu Istoria, Vatamanu and Tudor enact processes of collective and personal remembering. The catalyst for the series was an anti-capitalist demonstration the artists witnessed in Basel, with its insignia and banners familiar to them from their youth in socialist Romania. The compact, small-format paintings are products of a painterly exploration undertaken in quest of a new symbol of communist utopia, which includes its own failures and scars. They are built up layer by layer in a process deliberately reminiscent of the style, coloration, and paint application of nineteenth-century landscape painting. The artist duo research their motifs of utopian ideologies and their implications for social conditions in archives, schoolbooks, photographs, and propaganda films, and come up with familiar images: people queuing outside a supermarket under communism, crowds on Berlin's Alexanderplatz in 1989, or a scene from the film Imposibila iubire (Impossible love, 1983), in which a worker contemplates his vision of the world as it is constructed.
The audio-installation Communist Manifesto/Manifestul comunismului comprises a lectern with live microphone, rows of chairs, and loudspeakers over which a reading of Marx and Engels' Communist Manifesto (1848) is audible. Overlaying the images, the soundtrack calls on the viewer/listener to become conscious of ideological stratifications and to question the division of theory and practice."
Silke Baumann

Intalnire cu Istoria / Manifestul Comunismului, installation 2008, 5th Berlin Biennial, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin;
2011, Untitled (12th Istanbul Biennial), Istanbul

 
 
Demonstratie la Basel / 2007

27 ianuarie 2007, Basel / 2007

Syria / 2011 Nu ne otraviti pamantul / Don't poisson our land / 2014
Tear down this wall / 2014

Si pietrele simt / 2016

Bougainville, Coconut Revolution / 2011 Migrant camp burning in Calais / 2016
August 2008, Bagua Province, Peru / 2011

May 2011, Puerta del Sol, Madrid / 2011
28 March 2009, London / 2009 20 february 1991, Tirana / 2009
March 2009, Downing Street / 2014 May Day, Berlin Kreuzberg / 2009 Imposibila iubire / 2007 Coada la ulei / 2007
February 2011, Tahrir square / 2011 18 decembrie 2005, Hong Kong / 2008 2 June 2007, Rostock / 2008 February 2011, Tunisian boat arriving in Lampedusa / 2011
Black Block Rostock / 2008

Stop Trading with our Future / 2009 Police guarding the christmass tree, 2008, Athens / 2010 Monumentul comunismului / 2007
3 nov 2011, General Strike, Oakland / 2014 20 decembrie 1989, Timisoara / 2008 22 decembrie 1989, Timisoara / 2008 4 november 1989, Berlin / 2008
anti G8, Genova / 2008 ianuarie 2008, Davos / 2008 Fur Solidaritat und Revolution / 2008 Baricade, Iranian Green Revolution / 2010
Rosa Luxemburg / 2008 Undoing History / 2007 Imposibila iubire / 2007 Camion / 2007
Demonstratie la Rostock / 2008 Imposibila iubire / 2007 Anarcho-Syndicalist Flags / 2014 March 2011, From Tripoli to Lampedusa / 2011

Rosa Luxemburg
Order Prevails in Berlin

...

What does the entire history of socialism and of all modern revolutions show us? The first spark of class struggle in Europe, the revolt of the silk weavers in Lyon in 1831, ended with a heavy defeat; the Chartist movement in Britain ended in defeat; the uprising of the Parisian proletariat in the June days of 1848 ended with a crushing defeat; and the Paris commune ended with a terrible defeat. The whole road of socialism -- so far as revolutionary struggles are concerned -- is paved with nothing but thunderous defeats. Yet, at the same time, history marches inexorably, step by step, toward final victory! Where would we be today without those "defeats," from which we draw historical experience, understanding, power and idealism? Today, as we advance into the final battle of the proletarian class war, we stand on the foundation of those very defeats; and we can do without any of them, because each one contributes to our strength and understanding.

...

"Order prevails in Berlin!" You foolish lackeys! Your "order" is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will "rise up again, clashing its weapons," and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing:
I was, I am, I shall be!

Written: January 14, 1919
Source: Gessemelte Werke
Publisher: Dietz Verlag
First Published: Rote Fahne, 14 January 1919
Translated: Marcus
Online Version: marxists.org 1999
Transcription: A. Lehrer/Brian Basgen

Elections


You cannot talk about proper elections, as there was nobody to vote for. We had to go to the ballots for the same reason we do it today, because they put a stamp on your I.D. card. The only name on the list was Ceausescu's so… As for the other elections, for mayors, secretaries, they would fiercely fight among themselves. One year I was appointed supervisor and also had to count the votes. When I opened the ballots I would see all sorts of curses at those whose name were on the list, but we pretended we hadn't seen anything, otherwise we would have a difficult time with the party supervisors. The fouled ballot paper were counted together with the valid ones (I don't know how many times I had to count the books to match the figures demanded from the top); they knew there were let's say 3500 people registered to vote a certain poling station, of which 3498 were needed to submit a valid ballot paper and to vote for Ceausescu.
Enache Dumitru, mecanic at Ciclop

Martor, Anthropology Review, nr 7, 2002, pp59 - 60




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