canon. experience of a dictatorship

performance in studio, photo, drawing, printing

In 1987 I realized the performance in my studio in Cluj Napoca, Romania.
The performer had to move against the background of the Vitruvian Man - the Canon of Proportions by Leonardo da Vinci. He had to eliberate himself from this pattern that symbolizes the perfect proportions of the human body and the symmetry of the perfect universe as a whole. I directed the screenplay and made photos.
After the performance took place, between 1993 and 1996, I processed and edited the photos in various series and formats.

Examples from the series presented e.g. at the group exhibition Paradisul național (National Paradise), Hungarian Cultural Center, Bucharest, 1996 / group performance ABMOCATAC, Cluj Napoca, 1994

canon. experience of a dictatorship is a work conceived under the strain of the last years of communist dictatorship in Romania. They were marked by utmost constraint. Food was rationed and sold only against food ration cards, even soap and toilet paper had to be procured on the black market; people would stand in line from two o'clock in the morning to buy a bottle of milk, a loaf of bread or a lump of butter. There was only one television program, limited to two hours per day, and it showed mostly communist party sessions, patriotic ballet dances and choral music. Massive savings dictated by the state were achieved by interrupting the supply of domestic electricity and gas for several hours each day, warm water was available only for one hour per day, and the winter came to be a harsh survival test for everybody. The whole thinking was politicized to match the standards of the dictator and his party. Adult women and men were called comrades, young people had to join the Union of the Communist Youth, children were all pioneers and even the toddlers were called "falcons of the homeland". This was part of building the new person and the multilaterally developed socialist society. Fear, obtuseness and political fanaticism were exercised as methods of brainwashing.


In 1987 I exhibited the photos for one day at the Art Academy in Cluj Napoca. At that time we used to learn at the academy how to draw classical nude studies with the perfect proportions of the Vitruvian Man.