july 6 - july 14 / 2009

Lipstick - Michele Bressan & Mircea Nicolae

Two digital prints (100 x 70 cm), two lightboxes (21 x 20 cm), luxury cosmetics.

Funeral Wreaths - Vlad Nanca, Mircea Nicolae

Two funeral wreaths (80 x 60 cm, blue / yellow / red paper flowers, plastic thread) worn as backpacks between the statue of Stephen the Great in the proximity of the Republic of Moldova Government building, Lenin's statue from the Moldexpo Park and the empty pedestal of a monument that was being restored in front of the History Museum in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. Authors: Vlad Nanca, Mircea Nicolae. Within Interventii3, a project for art in public space, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

This action makes an ironic re-evaluation of the ceremonial pilgrimage towards the places consecrated by public monuments. The authors also question the ritual gesture of placing flowers in front of these monuments.

The overall intention is to underline the construct that lies behind the visual discourse specific to this means of communication through the use of which the political power shapes the collective consciousness of the population. The ritual set of gestures that these places imply, as well as the presumed adhesion of the viewer to this pre-defined set of gestures are also underlined.

By wearing the funeral wreaths as backpacks of potential tourists, the possibility of an irreverent pilgrimage is created, one that can deconstruct the conventional gestures associated with this behavior, thus questioning the values that these places of memory communicate to the viewer.

It is important to point out the fact that Lenin’s statue from the Moldexpo Park was removed from its original location in front of the Republic of Moldova Government building, where it stood during the Soviet period. Also, the statue of Stephen the Great was installed in a series of successive locations. Some of the displacements were due to the symbolic conflict between Soviet ideology embodied in Lenin’s statue, and Moldavian nationalist ideology.

The last location of this action – the empty pedestal of the monument that is currently being restored in front of the History Museum – underlines the following observation: public monuments aim at rendering eternal a set of chosen collective symbols and values, but the statues themselves are temporary, mobile and unstable within the built space of the city. They are also continuously re-shaped and re-placed by the political power and by its ideological messages that it wishes to communicate to the population.

The action took place one day after the Independence Day of the Republic of Moldova and four days after the commemoration of Moldavia’s liberation by the Soviet Army. This was a moment when these ceremonial gestures reached their highest frequency within public space.

Flower Bridge - Nicoleta Esinencu, Vlad Nanca, Mircea Nicolae

The flag of the European Union, the flag of the Republic of Moldova, two wooden poles 3,20 m x 8 cm, set up and abandoned on the banks of the small river that flows through the middle of the dry lake from the Valea Morilor Park, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The lake was emptied of water approximately two years ago, and it is said that it will be the place where a future residential complex will be built.

The members of the local Comsomol (the youth organization of the Communist Party from the Soviet Union) built this lake at the request of Leonid Brezhnev. Nowadays the lake is a wasteland, full of bushes and small trees, a landscape out of use and in a way, out of history. Within Interventii3, a project for art in public space, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

The Flower Bridge was created on the 6th of May 1990, within the “Flower bridge across the PrutRepublic of Moldova and the Bucharest-Chisinau Cultural Association. This was a symbolic gesture celebrating the liberation of Romanians living in Moldova from the Soviet rule. It also pointed out the possibility of an eventual union between the Romanian state and the Republic of Moldova. Citizens of Romania and of the Republic of Moldova met on the left bank of the Prut river in the border crossing points of Miorcani-Pererita, Stanca-Costeşti, Sculeni-Sculeni, Ungheni-Ungheni, Albita-Leuşeni, Falciu-Stoianovca, Oancea-Cahul, Galati-Giurgiulesti.

They celebrated this event by throwing hundreds of thousands of flowers into the waters of the river. A period of time in which the citizens of these two countries could travel across the border only with their IDs followed. This was discontinued when Romania entered the European Union. It was also consequence of the events that led to the apparition of the Transdniestria region as an independent state. river” action, organized by the “Association of free Romanians from across the globe”, the Popular Front from the Republic of Moldova and the Cultural Association Bucharest-Chisinau.

Today, the Flower Bridge no longer exists in the symbolic imagination of these two countries, and Romanian or Moldavian authorities never mention it. Rather than being nostalgic about a past state of affairs, this intervention highlights the process of creating symbolic objects with abstract existence by the nationalist discourse. Once they have lived their lives and served their purpose, they are silently withdrawn from the collective consciousness, thus becoming mental relics, as they are no longer kept alive by the ideology that brought them into existence.

Bollywood Stalin - Suzana Dan

Bust of Stalin from the Communist period, painted over with acryl, covered in gold foil.