joi, 28 iunie 2012

The fetish of 'culture' in Romanian post-socialist society

ICR is the Romanian Institute of Culture. Its branches in important capitals of the world (London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Istambul, New York) are important sources of representation for Romania, but also of outcome for Romanian contemporary artists. Through ICR, Dan Perjovsky exhibited at MOMA for example...

After the new government in power decided that ICR should be moved from the tutelage of the presidency, under the tutelage of the Senat/ Parliament, 'workers in the cultural field' in Romania and representatives and members of civil society started protests.

Some of them initiated a petition, saying that they do not sustain the present director of ICR, Horia Roman Patapievici, but that they do not agree with the way the change was done through ordonanta de urgenta. (petition Mungiu, Parvulescu).
Even so, in the following days, a march and a protest in front of ICR affirmed much more the support for Patapievici, than anything else. 'Marsul papioanelor' was a tribute to Patapievici himself and to the 'high ellitist culture' of Romania.

The following link to an article on summarises the attempts that the Romanian cultural ellite, and their suporters all over the world, did in trying to stop the decision of the Government to change the present director of ICR, Horia Roman Patapievici.
By making a summary of all the letters of support that the present direction of ICR has received, the text presents in a certain way the kinship/ lineage of all the suporters of the Romanian high cultural field.
To me this text is very problematic. On the one hand it shows the support Patapievici received from 'big names' in the field of culture, and on the other hand, how good PR organisation he used in asking for this help all over the world. After eight years in power at ICR, the text transmitted to me that Patapievici really wants to keep his position.
An interesting annalysis about the relation between culture and politics (in both the decision of change as well as in the protests) could be found in more articles on Critic Atac, as well as in the comments posted by some of the readers of this articles, for example:
Patapievici was politically named by the president Basescu and played a very important political role in the last presidential campaign when, in an interview for a Spanish newspaper (La Vanguardia), he denigrated on sexual issues the counter-candidate of Basescu. Knowing that the news was instantly diffused on Spanish media, and that so many Roumanians in Spain watch TV, the outcome of Patapievici's position is easy to guess. Basescu wan the ellections not with the suport of Romanians in Romania, but from the suporters of Romanains abroad. (A very important episode of the ellections in Paris, where another important cultural figure, Baconsky was ambasados, deserves further annalysis.)
 Isn'it this politics?

Why certain institutions and people get so much support from so called 'civil society' and cultural workers in Romania? Was the field of culture opposed to any other fields in post-socialist Romania? Why 'cultural workers' and artists know to fight so well for their rights and intersts and so little for the rights of the Romanian society at large?

I believe that a research on some projects founded by ICR (before and during Patapievici in power) would be very useful in this discussion. : what kind of conferences, exhibitions and events did ICR organise. Who participated there, how the money were spent? What was the real impact of these events?

2 comentarii:

Malina Z spunea...

Un articol excelent, mi-as dori ca mai multi oameni sa isi puna intrebari si isi construiasca propria opinie, nu sa inghita pe nemestecate tot ce le cade sub ochi.

scott davidson spunea...
Acest comentariu a fost eliminat de administratorul blogului.