LAST CHRISTMAS (of Ceaușescu) is a seismographic search that examines the dysfunctional dynamics and institutional memory of the Romanian revolution... Read More
LAST CHRISTMAS (of Ceaușescu) is a seismographic search that examines the dysfunctional dynamics and institutional memory of the Romanian revolution three decades later. I visited museums that bear witness to the events of that time and questioned their transparency, or to what extent it is only claimed. The focus is directed at the agency of things and what they reveal or conceal. The work questions constructions of power and the latency of controversy related to (in)justice and (dis)orientation. Dealing with the fall of the Romanian dictator Ceaușescu on Christmas Day 1989, three places are at the fore: the execution site in Târgoviște, the city where Vlad the Impaler alias Dracula once resided, Ceaușescu’s private house in Bucharest, and Casa Poporului, the never inaugurated ruler’s palace. How do they look back on us today? All three are ‘traumatised’ places, silent witnesses of an undead past. Parallel to this, I photographed my father’s old typewriter in front of a green-screen. Every year in the 1980s around Christmas, my father had to register the imprints of each key and submit them to the police (miliția), who archived the profiles of every single typewriter in the country. At the end of 2019, 30 years after the system change, an EU resolution was passed, calling on the Romanian state to officially process the past events. While the overthrow of other East European dictatorships in 1989 was mostly peaceful, Romania’s revolution ended in a bloodbath. To this day the dead have not been atoned for.
The eponymous photo book is published as a bilingual edition (De/En) by Kehrer Verlag, Heidelberg.