H 200 cm; b/w
40 x 30 cm
Inv. Nr. 182
Born in 1977 in Romania
Lives and works in Cluj, Romania
Ciprian Muresan is part of a generation of artists who come from Cluj or live there, such as Victor Man, Adrian Ghenie and Serban Savu, whose works are shaped by the tumultuous years of post-communist Romania. Muresan’s body of work deals with this history on a personal and collective level, as a more global consideration of socio-political issues and references to art history.
Hanging against a wall, the revisionist and provocative headline Communism Never Happened is made out of vinyl records of propaganda speeches. This brutal statement reminds precisely of propaganda and dictatorial methods, while the records that could possibly function as a source of testimony are made mute by having been carved. With the transformations that took place in the past decades, which turned communist regimes into neoliberal systems, this artwork intends to show that Communism may appear to the youngest generations as a distant myth fabricated by their elders.
The video Dog Luv, which was featured in the Romanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2009, shows a conversation between five dog puppets, the members of the “Republic of Dogmachina”, discussing mankind’s history from Ancient Greece to nowadays and its love of cruelty, torture and execution. Their exchanges are based on a text by the Romanian playwright Saviana Stanescu. The scene, performed on a very dark shadowy stage, plays in a formal and metaphorical way on the different shades of obscurity and contradiction, while the dogs try to define the boundaries of non-humanity.
An older work, Untitled (The door and hand), is, perhaps, the most poetical of all his works. What is the relationship between the image of a door and a picture of a hand? Probably the same report than between a moralistic tale and family habits, or between a nail hole and a scar. The artist actually tells the following story: Whenever the son is guilty of a reprehensible act the father drove a nail into the door. Each time the son did everything right it removed a nail from the same door. Today redemption is complete because no nails are left in the door but the scar is still there as well as the holes, in order to recall the past and the relation between father and son.