Director: Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor
Mona Vatamanu was born in 1968 in Constanta (Romania). Florin Tudor was born in 1974 in Geneva (Switzerland). Artist have worked together since 2000.
Selected personal exhibitions:
2009 — Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor, Surplus Value, BAK, basis voor actuele kunst,
2007 — August, Play Gallery, Berlin
2003 — Living Units, Project Room, Ludwig Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
Selected group exhibitions:
2010 — Shockworkers of the Mobile Image, 1st Ural Industrial Biennial, Ekaterinburg
2008 — 5th Berlin Biennale, When Things Cast No Shadow, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin
2007 — 52nd Venice Biennale, Romanian Pavilion, Low-Budget Monuments, Venice
Courtesy of Artists
In the 70s — 80s of the previous century the government headed by Nicolay Ceausescu undertook the large-scale reconstruction of Bucharest that changed the image of the Romanian capital.
Mona Vatamanu & Florin Tudor’s The Trial movie shows a cinematographic panorama limited by front faces of Bucharest standard blocks of flats that in a way have become monuments of socialist Romania. The authors use a method that is a classic one in conventional cinematography — a cityscape shooting from a moving car window. This mostly signifies a transitional phase between key scenes of the movie and works as a division mark for the major events. At a certain point you have a feeling of eternal surface, not subjected to whatever transformation, even a potential one, that is spreading in the space and brings you to some controversial historical events and their ambiguous consequences. A background for this unimpressive and at the same time meditative narration is monotonous minutes reading at the court trial of Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife Elena. Stage version of a turning point event in the history of modern Romania, the trial of the dictator whose political actions were so traumatic for the country, and the fact of the Ceausescu family being lately criticized, show some controversy of these historical events and a chance of presenting them in another light.
Major ‘achievement” of the modern age is based on rethinking of time concept and its introduction into human consciousness. Past and future con- cepts have vanished, leaving only present as a true living space. Anything with a title “historical experience” becomes a memory and a somewhat paleontological exhibit without a right to be considered true-to-life. Future is not considered any more as a planning arena, being just some vague thing that, like a blur horizon, is yet to come out. At that point an architectural context presented in the movie looks surreal and has no connection to the reality, since it’s just a physical representation of history, a canvas marked with non-erasible paint of the past. Looming building faces and monotonous reading open a special dimension of the movie, a state close to hypnotizing trance where a loud event becomes less and less vocal in collective memory and leaves only a dark spot on the pages of history.