During my first year as a student of the biennial Master of Fine Arts in Imaging Arts and Photography at Fondazione Fotografia Modena, I had the occasion to apply for a one month and a half residency program in Bucharest, Romania, at Bucharest AiR, a non-profit organization which every year offers the possibility to artists from all over the world to stay in Bucharest up to three months and carry on researches and projects in the context of the city.
I applied with the idea of starting a research for an editorial project to be developped by two Italian publishing houses (Viaindustriae, Foligno (PG) and A+M Bookstore, Milan) on dictatorships’ construction of consensus, especially regarding the Soviet Union, starting to analyze the figure of the last Soviet dictator, Nicolae Ceaușescu and his political legacy. My specific interest in this long-term project involving several people and contributions, is towards the Palace of the Parliament, formerly called People’s House or House of the Republic. It was build in the frame of Ceaușescu’s “reconstruction” plan of Bucharest – after the earthquake in 1977 – , through which 1/5 of the city was actually destroyed to make space for Ceaușescu’s megalomaniac project including the Palace, a big square, Piața Unirii and a huge boulevard resembling the Champs-Elysée, Bulevardul Unirii.
In 1984 the construction works started, led by the 28 years old architect Anca Petrscu. It is nowadays the seat of the Parliament of Romanian and it houses the MNAC, the National Museum of Contemporary Art.
The duration in time and space of this symbol of power is peculiar; it actually “served” its purpose for only 5 years (also considering it was not finished and not much usable), since the dictatorship fell in 1989, after the day of the Romanian Revolution, on 25th of December, where Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu were captured and executed.
Since 1994 the palace hosts the Chamber of Deputy, since 2004 the Senate and the Contemporary Art Museum.
For sure, the Palace still plays a critical role in the urban and social space with an unresolved relation to the city, even more underlined during the last years by the discussions going on on the construction of the new cathedral, the Romanian People’s Salvation Cathedral.
Starting from here, I am carrying on two different kinds of activity:
- research of materials (books, newspaper, pictures, documents)
- visual production (photo and video project)
I also started working on a photographic project on the water spots left by the air conditioner on the streets of Bucharest.
I will use this blog to share my experiences and to keep updated those who could be interested.