Artist: Ciprian Muresan
Venue: Hussenot, Paris
Exhibition Title: Incarnation
Date: October 10 – November 14, 2020
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Hussenot, Paris
After the fall of communism, Lenin’s statue was torn down from its pedestal in Free Press Square in Bucharest. Rumours had it that the bronze in the statue was itself reused from a monument of King Ferdinand of Romania, in its turn destroyed and melted by communists.
Before ‘89, the political power in Romania used art and artists for propaganda purposes. Growing up later, I’ve always had the feeling of discharge from this weight, as if my generation was no longer limited in its will to create freely. On the other hand, I’ve also been haunted by the feeling that we were lost and adrift. Being employed by the power generated a feeling of being useful and filled the empty space left by anguishing questions such as: What is our meaning in society? What is it for?
Having this in mind, I kept pondering on how I would approach Lenin today – no prerequisites, no external factors, just me in my studio in Cluj. How absurd is it to exhibit Lenin’s statue in public today? I came up with a strategy to supersize it: I modelled in clay, as classically as possible, a small copy of Boris Caragea’s Lenin in Bucharest, based on reproductions of the destroyed statue. Through the casting process, small negative moulds have resulted, sized 10 to 20 cm. Again, through the modelling process by hand I enlarged 1:6 times scale. The result of the combined final pieces is intended to produce a monumental Lenin sculpture, close in its size to the original, through a formalist, abstract process.
By copying the curves and volumes of the moulds, the transition from positive to negative results in a double deformation, both by reproduction as well as by oversizing. A parallel with history is therefore created – when a good idea is amplified in a distorted way, it becomes an absurd monstrosity.