New York

Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor

Lombard-Fried Projects

It appeared when one entered Mona Vatamanu and Florin Tudor’s exhibition (the Romanian artists’ first in the United States) at Lombard-Freid that a lecture had just taken place or would take place very soon. Rows of folding wooden chairs were arranged in neat diagonal rows in front of a stark wooden lectern with a microphone. Yet, though nobody was situated at the podium—and the day I visited I was the only person in the space—a single voice, enunciating crisply with moderated pitch, rang through the room. The Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels’s influential 1848 screed, was being read in German, but not “live”: This was a prefab version (in fact the store-bought “book on tape” one gets to listen while on the go) of the foundational text, presented with a kind of dull urgency by a well-trained, anonymous orator, who gave his rendition the emphatic variations expected in the telling of

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