Moving Images in Romanian Critical Art Practice and Recent History

Brebenel, Mihaela. 2016. Moving Images in Romanian Critical Art Practice and Recent History. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

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Abstract or Description

This thesis approaches contemporary moving image artworks from Romania in order to critically revisit key events, moments and situations in the country’s recent history. Responding to a gap in the literature on Romanian art, it addresses the relations between moving image practices and the socio-political transformations that have taken place in the country over the last three decades. This is achieved by considering the role of moving images in two major events – the Romanian 1989 revolution and the June 1990 anti-government protests – and by mapping critical moving image art practice from the communist period to the “postcommunist condition” and the context of post-2008 economic crisis.

In addition, this thesis investigates how moving image art can be used to assess the contemporary Romanian situation. The main argument is that responding to these recent transformations is an urgent political task, one that few artists have addressed themselves to date. A constellation of moments from the recent Romanian past is thus assembled in order to explore the possibilities of thinking and writing about history that are evoked through moving images. The analysis focuses on a selection of works by artists Ion Grigorescu, Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujică, Mona Vătămanu and Florin Tudor, and, Joanne Richardson, each of whom have responded to this political task in a particular way.

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


moving image, media historiography, Romanian art, contemporary art, critical art practice, aesthetics, politics, postcommunism, 1989 revolution, transition, haunting, memory, inheritance, gesture, ghost, Eastern Europe

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


30 September 2016

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

27 Oct 2016 16:12

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 13:56


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