The performative gesture is all the more problematic when taking into account the fact that I occupy, in turns, both the position of the victim and that of the behind-the-camera ‘executioner’. The photographs are arranged in a circle to reinforce the idea that the duration of the traumatic experience could be fragmented into an unlimited number of distinct moments. The location where I dug the grave-like pit is an unfinished stadium erected during the communist period in my native town, now an abandoned ruin. Some of the stadium stands are visible in the background of the photographs. This location has its significance, since it makes more forcible the idea of a ritual being watched by a public, the idea of an agent of gaze. There are a number of gazes at play: the gaze towards the recent history, the gaze which accompanies the killing, the introspective gaze. The photographic documents are just a pretext for confronting the problems entailed by the representation of the historical trauma. Whether it relates to the Holocaust or to communism, the historical trauma has deeply affected both the recent history and the collective memory.



    The rest of the works from the project have as starting point the historical event of the Bărăgan deportations. The Bărăgan deportations were a large-scale action of penal transportation, undertaken during the 1950s by the Romanian Communist regime. Their aim was to forcibly relocate individuals who lived within approximately 25 km of the Yugoslav border (an area called Banat) to the Bărăgan Plain. After relations deteriorated between Romania and Yugoslavia, the border between the two states became a sensitive area for Bucharest. The ethnic minorities present there, especially in the Banat, were considered „elements with a heightened risk factor". The deportees were taken under military guard and left to build houses of mud or adobe on their own in eighteen localities. Due to its climate, The Bărăgan Plain it is one of the most inhospitable areas in Romania. My grandmother and her family were among those deported by the communists.

- The Gate, object made of remodelled 1950s adobe bricks, 2011

    I revisited the house built by my grandmother in the 1950s, immediately after her relocation to the Baragan Plain. Using an axe, I extracted several adobe bricks from one of the inner walls of the house. The house has not been modified, hence the bricks date from the 1950s. I subsequently tried to sculpt these bricks into the shape of a gate. The upper part of the gate is composed of a whole brick, whereas the lower part comprises bricks which have been cut and joined with the brick on top, roughly in the middle. In essence, the configuration of bricks has stayed the same as inside the wall.

    As an object of study, trauma has migrated from psychoanalysis to other disciplines, such as history and sociology, and each of these disciplines has developed its own model of interpretation. As far as an artistic approach is concerned, I found Walter Benjamin’s ideas about the dialectical dimension of trauma to be particularly relevant to my project. The artist inhabits a space situated somewhere between the event and its recollection, between worlds which are re-made and re-assembled, just like trauma positions the subject neither inside nor outside the experience. Starting from the personal context of the family trauma, to which I did not have access, and expanding the reflection to include the collective trauma, I gradually inhabited a space and an interval between the found objects and the manufactured objects. The manufactured objects were meant to encapsulate the above-mentioned dialectic.