Rosu Domestic

Milk bottles peoples were waiting for in queues at shops, newspapers on the walls announcing the fulfilment of high production quotas and full text cites of speeches hold by tovarasul Ceausescu. On the shelves a range of products in their original wrapping as well as toys, records and B/W photos of happy pioneers and class excursions.


Picture: Felix Wolf, Bucharest

This is not a club. It’s a gallery in Bucharest. For one month this is the home of a very unusual, sometimes chaotic and very living exhibition. Illuminated by red light, the exposition is devoted to the very usual things of daily life in Romania before 1989.

Rosu Domestic – the name of the project – makes part of the current Bienala de Tineret, a network of galleries in Bucharest, displaying for one month various young artist from Romania and abroad.


Picture: Dan Popescu, Bucharest

A concentrated world of consumer communism

Located in one of the small streets in the old centre of Bucharest, the quite small, living room-like exposition features a shopping window that might attract some of the few by passers in this area. Entering the room, the visitor faces the concentrated world of consumer communism and scarcity in Ceausescu’s Romania.

The exhibition still grows. Visitors come by again, enlarging the exposition by artefacts they kept in their households and storerooms. “People from the neighbourhood brought us also some homemade marmalade, cheese and bread”, says Maria who, among others, spends lots of days here to keep the exposition open.

The place will get a more normal gallery soon after again, exhibiting artworks of current Romanian artist, but the constituent group might work on in different projects and places in the future.
Read the interview with Miruna Tîrca, one of the organizers of the project Rosu Domestic:

Why did you build up this exposition?
We wanted to bring some young people together and this exposition seemed to be the best occasion to get people working on something. We were lucky enough to get a space of our own for one month, which was quite of a big surprise, as nobody really expected we were going to be accepted as part of the Biennial for Young Artists.

More, the exhibition was not designed to be an artistic one, but rather an anthropological one, which means we were not trying to demonstrate anything in particular, we were just trying to present a few facts connected with the communist domestic universe the way they were.

The idea was that each of us knew little bits of this universe because each of us has experienced it in a way or another, even if we are quite young and our memories of communism cover a period no longer than 10-15 years. Anyway the objects have been collected from different persons and places, starting with our own homes. I cannot say there was actually a collecting campaign, we just brought as many objects as we could, (sometimes took things without letting parents and grandparents know!) and then we kept asking friends if they couldn’t help us more.

Everything was organised in a few days and the concrete exhibition in only 2 mad days. We thought that if we happen to get the place, the gallery, we should get the maximum out of it, which I hope we did.


Picture: Felix Wolf, Bucharest

Which group stands behind this project and how did it emerge?
The group is called Acordeonului 15 and it´s meant to be an alternative one, with people coming from different areas of interest, like anthropology, arts, film directing, literature. The group has formed quite spontaneously and for the moment it is still defining itself. The name Acordeonului 15 comes from a street in Bucharest and in fact this is the address of a house where we intend to develop our next projects.

Meanwhile, we are looking for a more central place, as this house it is quite far away, a kind of place that can host cultural events/meetings/happenings opened to anyone that finds out about it.


Picture: Dan Popescu, Bucharest

What reactions did you expect?
I don’t know if we really expected a certain kind of reaction, I think we just expected people to come here like in a house, and spend some time talking, listening to old music, watching diapozitives, or even eating Zacusca!

What public / private reactions did you get?
Considering that we didn’t appear in the official catalogue of the Biennial as we were very late with the project, the public reactions were very good ones: a few articles in newspapers, then a report on the PRO TV television channel, all of them positive.
The private reactions were even better, as some people kept on coming here regularly, and many times we were “forced” to have after-hours here, which was actually very nice.


Picture: Dan Popescu, Bucharest

What comes next?
If we get a proper space, many things: film projections, lectures, other exhibitions, creative writing, etc.

Miruna Tîrc, email: freeska10(at)yahoo.com
Bienala de Tineret / The Young Artists’ Biennial, Bucharest 2004 www.metacult.ro

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