Palatul / The Palace
Florin Tudor / Mona Vatamanu (Bucharest)
At the time we grew up, our hometowns Bucharest and Constanta were demolished to make room for the Romanian socialist utopia. The palace of Bucharest was a part of this utopia, but was left unfinished by his owner Nicolae Ceausescu, former president of the R.S.R., executed in 1989.
Our video installation consists of two guided tours that tell the story of the building and its social implications on the people living in Bucharest. We don't know yet how to review our action of filming there: Diana, the guide of the first tour, is acting like a performer and reminding us of Lara Croft's character in Tomb Rider. At the same time, her narration hardly covers the drama of having the palace there… We also can't describe the horror dimension represented by this building. Maybe "ridiculous", "incoherent", "absurd", "aggressive" are possible terms. Moreover, you easily come up against the limits of legal or illegal filming, because the edifice now hosts the parliament. At the same time you are allowed to tape when paying a fee of 9 euro. Another weird thing for us is that as a resident of Bucharest you hardly can imagine what amount of material is wasted in the palace unless you visit it just like foreign tourists. For them, the palace is the most visited place in the city. We kept the footage character of the film to make the viewer feel like a tourist. After the first film, we made a second one with a different guide. Not surprisingly this one tells a different story. The narrations of the first and the second film together reveal the contradictions of the Romanian society.
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