|Appointment with History /Intalnire cu Istoria|
|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."
|Intalnire cu Istoria, Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor, series of paintings and Display installation in collaboration with Celine Condorelli,
exhibition views, Omnia Communia Deserta, 2020, La Loge, Brussels; images by Lola Pertsowsky.
|Fuera Pena, Burning Effigy, 2014, Mexico City / 2016-18
||Ende Gelaende 1 / 2019||Ende Gelaende 2 / 2020|
|Zone a defendre 2 / 2020||Somnul (studiu) / 2019||Zone a defendre 1 / 2020|
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."
cu Istoria / Manifestul Comunismului, installation 2008, 5th
Berlin Biennial, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin;
|Demonstratie la 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|
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.
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:
January 14, 1919
Source: Gessemelte Werke
Publisher: Dietz Verlag
First Published: Rote Fahne, 14 January 1919
Online Version: marxists.org 1999
Transcription: A. Lehrer/Brian Basgen
Martor, Anthropology Review, nr 7, 2002, pp59 - 60