In the context of ideological practices and political propaganda mechanisms, the monument is a circumstantial declaration of power. Construction, demolition or abandonment of a monument overlap with a program of substitution of history placed in the possession of those who situate it in a subordinate relationship, becoming the mouldable result of those who write it. The political changes that have redefined identities in the former Eastern block, led to a redefinition of transition as the current and quasi-permanent reality, enhanced by political instability, a machinery of discontinuity and impaired memory. Constructing a monument aims at taking possession of public space as a space of memory conservation and the recent history of the former communist territories disclose specific issues in the relationship between monument, history and collective memory.MonuMental Histories seeks to question the relevance of monuments in the process of writing history and memory preservation and to point out the consequences of ideological transitions over monuments, most of them abandoned, not assumed or replaced and reconverted, and others recovered by beautification policies.
MonuMental Histories is a multimedia project which brings together video productions by artists and women artists whose discourses integrate political commentary to the mechanisms of historical and social manipulation, ideological handling of visual culture, assumes power critique and normative formulas, the difficult interaction with the ideologically conditioned edifice, but also the potentiality of monumental, architectural utopia as the formula of social non-regimentation and also of forced adaptation to an environment temporarily outside of political interests.The debates around the House of People, the project Morii Lake, the Carol Park Mausoleum, the masculine statuary or temporarily empty plinths, all in Bucharest, to which we may add those surrounding the monuments abandoned in some areas of former Yugoslavia as well as references to historical trauma, the fragility of memory in relation to the absence of historical evidence, to the deconstruction of the normative gaze in relation to the iconography of power, create a context for the construction and re-construction of a specific dialogue with history and memory through the filter of video art productions that reflect the effective dynamics of this issue in contemporary Romanian art and beyond. MonuMental Histories scan some of the video work made by Romanian artists and women artists interested in the subject, but aims to go beyond a local history extending the discourse towards Eastern European territories, assuming the effects of the same political transition and rescaling, in the concrete sense and cultural as well, of monumental history through political power. History is itself a monument, an unstable construction that submits with authority its witnesses, but also provides a constructive framework for interrogations, debate and change.
Curator: Olivia Nitis
Artists: Irina Botea (Ro), Cătălin Burcea (Ro), Igor Grubić (Hr), Elana Katz (De), Sorin Oncu (Ro), Anca Munteanu Rimnic (Ro), Marilena Preda Sânc (Ro), Gabi Stamate (Ro), Valeriu Șchiau (Ro).
Architects: Jusin Baroncea, Ioana Trușcă, Mihai Barbu
Visual Identity: Ciprian Ciuclea
Location: Bucharest, Gabroveni ARCUB,
Period: March 17th – May 8th 2016