On ruination: piercing the skin of communism in 1990s Romania

Nicolescu, Gabriela. 2017. On ruination: piercing the skin of communism in 1990s Romania. World Art, ISSN 2150-0894 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article discusses the relation between aesthetics, politics and ethics in the case of the making of a new display in the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, following the demise of the communist state in Romania. It shows how the museum’s innovatory aesthetics of display, believed to be ‘escaping history’, in fact cannot avoid being the very product of history. The new aesthetics of display in the museum aimed to objectify and externalise ‘communism’ from the lives of people and institutions in Romania. Going beyond the stereotypical denominations ‘communist’ and ‘anti-communist’, this article aims to explain that demonising the communist past and building in opposition to its aesthetics, leads to actually incorporating and integrating communist values and modes of doing within the present display.

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design of exhibitions, genealogy, politics of aesthetics, ethics, fascism, communism, Romania, history

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22 June 2017Published Online

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Date Deposited:

22 Sep 2017 17:02

Last Modified:

22 Dec 2018 02:26

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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