A project by Larisa David
Opening: Thursday, 26th of March, 20:00h
In a Europe affected by economic crisis, installed in a horizon of apparently endless social stagnation, and as of late, destabilized by the political crisis caused by neo-authoritarian decisions of some governments within the EU, as well as in neighboring countries, one could inquire about the stage of development of the post-socialist countries’ collective identities.
Initially it seemed that the national and – implicitly – the nationalism was being gradually surpassed in the new continental framework of the EU, the new, post-crisis configuration of Europe proposes a new arrangement: a complicity in which a false internationalism of the “European civilization” lives alongside both the authoritarian and reactionary nationalism, as well as with the more moderate form of this. A mutually advantageous complicity, from which the chance of emancipating politics is utterly missing.
In this ambiguous survival of nationalism at the level of continental structures, the national keeps being constructed and projected actively at state levels. There is an on-going and long-term endeavor that starts off at a young age, in school, and continues in older generations, through different programs and celebrations, cultural rituals and institutions. Usually drawn up by government measures, and carried out by the Ministry of Education and of Culture, these policies influence the lives of a generation, either admittedly and visibly, or in the case of some more liberal policies, as a civic obligation, manifested latently in the social/popular subconscious, or just as a simple “constitutional patriotism”, attachment towards the form itself of the democratic association of the community.
At tranzit.ro/Cluj, artist Larisa David stages one of the instruments through which the Romanian state wields influence over its citizens: the history textbook. The project consists of 3 videos, in which fragments are taken from the history textbook intended for primary school, of the last 25 years. These fragments activate different meanings from one reading position to the other. A change in perspective towards the history of these manuals reveals the artificiality and the nature of constructed national identity. Beside these videos, the project will exhibit another work, accomplished by the involvement of several pupils, thus moving the discourse of cultural reflection in the sphere of immediate social realities.
The [de]limitations project is part of the Fiction, Rhetoric, Facts programme of tranzit.ro, started in 2012.
Larisa David works with performance, actions, interventions, installations and videos, through which she seeks to approach the specific context of a place. At the core of her artistic practices lies her interest in the relation of individual and society, as she questions conventions, attitudes and behaviours appearing in normative constructs. She lives and works in Bucharest.
Curated by: Attila Tordai-S.
The project was realized with the participation of: Emese Apai, Nicoleta-Ileana Colopelnic, Ernő Csurkuly, Florina-Cristina Florian, Radu Gaciu, Gabriel Girigan, Elena-Theodora Guță, Gabriel Tarța, Radu-Ioan Toderici, Malvinka Urák.
Cameraman: Zoltán Varró
Special thanks: Adrian Dohotaru, Gabriel Girigan
Thanks for assistance and support: Alex Cistelecan, KJ, Iulia Șandor, Dora Visky, Janka Visky.
The main partner of tranzit.ro is ERSTE Foundation
The exhibition can be visited until 27yh of April, 2015,
M-Thu from 3-6 pm.