PRINT April 2013


performance art and politics in Romania

Andreea Novac, Pretend We Make You Happy, 2010. Performance view, National Center of Dance Bucharest, November 13, 2010. From left: Alin State, Istvan Teglas, and Stefan Lupus. Photo: Tonut Staicu.

OF THE VARIOUS TYPES OF NEGLECT, one is almost kind: letting something be, even freeing it by virtue of abandonment. Another form is aggressive, a traumatizing and annulling intervention on the part of a powerful entity imposing silence and erasure on a less powerful one. Neglect, first the one variety, then the other, forms the backdrop of contemporary Romanian art, and performance in particular.

Following the 1989 revolution, eager to reframe more than reform its structures of power, the Romanian state assumed a mostly laissez-faire position in the administration of its culture. Through two related institutions, the internal Ministry of Culture and the external Romanian Cultural Institute, the state allocated meager funds and welcomed assistance by the EU and countries elsewhere. It was in this atmosphere that the groundbreaking, state-funded National Center of Dance Bucharest

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