Exhibition “Duke and Mirrors” at the Ministry of Culture

about the same topic

Theoretically, we should be happy to live long. However, the possibility of witnessing several cycles in the lives of artists and the arts, where certain worlds are created and dismembered, respectively, is a challenge for which we are not all ready.

I often imagine what people like Lena Boiangiu might think about the development of the cultural scene (national and global), who was also a very good political commentator, being an exemplary literary secretary, theater critic, gifted teacher and skeptic by definition. arrogance of the human personality). Where are those splendid and well-written theatrical programs at the Bolandra Theater, where the distinction of premieres and press space for their authoritative analysis has disappeared?!

I also wonder what Alex Leo Urban would have said when he saw how vulgarity in the underworld invaded the area of ​​arts of all kinds, how the imposter gained a non-negotiable position in positions of responsibility and how little by little it evaporated. Little by little, relational bliss, professional collusion without commercial purposes, discussions of ideas and intelligent conversations, simply put.

In the not too distant past, there was respect for the “intangible” legitimacy of the cultural sphere, for the quality of creation and for the human connection generated by this sacred area of ​​society. These “times” have survived despite the pressures of globalization and social media in countries such as France, Germany and Austria. Paradoxically in Romania, the intangible prestige of holiness and the importance of culture to society have slowly disappeared, with the difficult installation of our unconsolidated indigenous democracy.

As a result, decisions about the cultural system are made unilaterally, without professionals having really effective tools for interaction. The glitch is huge and has turned into a fatal glitch.

The past weeks have passed – how many times in the last few years?! – Things that confirm the above statements.

First: I found out that the Minister of Culture does not extend the contract under the supervision of the Stefan Palese Heritage Institute, a wonderful professional with unanimously recognized authority. Immediate positions are taken by all organizations and associations dedicated to the country’s heritage, the petition collects 10,000 signatures in a day and a half – show me how many heads of institutions in Romania will receive such sincere support – and a letter is addressed to President Iohannis. At the time of writing, I doubt, unfortunately, that all this will have the effect the professionals desire, but let’s be surprised.

Second: Governmental Decree No. 51/1998, which is a basic framework regulation for granting non-refundable funds to cultural projects, is up for public discussion. With all the joy to see that multi-year financial support can finally be introduced, the main problem that the decree has is that, in its current formulation, it fundamentally changes the philosophy of providing funding for culture in Romania.

As a country highly dependent on administration, where public policy in culture is of an “architectural” type, that is, it provides the full framework for the diverse expression of culture, Romania, like France, should provide visual and strategic support to all cultures. Domains .. from a specific perspective of the state. However, in the newly proposed version, Regulation OG 51 and conditions include all financial support for cultural projects in the design of EU state aid schemes. Schemes that were not originally designed for the subsidized cultural sphere, but to organize the cultural institution in such a way that it does not compete unfairly with the European market – I repeat, European.

We are departing starkly from a public policy paradigm in culture that applies a strategic vision that translates putative intents and responds to the specific needs of the Roman cultural system. We transform the approach into a mechanical model of technocratic financial support, which lacks vision, and is dominated by a bureaucratic, inflexible, and anti-human matrix.

Third: The text of the long-awaited “Heritage Law” was discussed, an ample and necessary legislative framework for all that means the way archaeological and heritage activity is carried out in the country.

Professionals instantly mobilize and interact with a blog about which expert committees and professional bodies have not previously been consulted. “In its current form, heritage law renders the entire cultural heritage protection system vulnerable,” one specialist notes.

We are in the most contradictory possible situation. In the midst of democracy, which is 30 years old or better, the contract of trust between the cultural system and its workers and those who administer and decide this field on behalf of the state is almost ruptured.

A serious irony is that during the communist period, for example, the confidence of the cultural sphere in the state was zero. We were all more attentive to the truth. The actions of the state have always seemed suspicious to us, we did not give ourselves, as a professional field, to the system that guides us, because we did not trust it. Even this system, however, respected the field of culture and art, and recognized its value. He observed Bentelli and Anna Blandiana – to name a few – because he recognized the power of the arts to influence society. Adrian Păunescu awarded the Flame Cenacle the privilege, because he recognized the importance of the “nonconformist” project, which is reflected in the “Song of Romania”.

On top of that, the censors made sure not to stifle creativity! On the contrary, she was very keen to preserve the resource of talent and competence and divert it in the interest of the system, if possible. And he was investing heavily in this resource.

Today, after 30 years of democratic rule, we are in a situation where the cultural system, convinced that representatives of the state want only their own interest, finds itself considered a non-core professional field (see the lack of auxiliary schemes for culture). sector in the epidemic) and a subject constantly made up by an executive who has no real interest (or with exclusive political interests) and above all, without the competence of a proven vision in managing the complex and, in fact, essential areas that the state possesses: culture.

The trust (this is the key to all success) that cultural and humanities workers invest in successive governments is, today, an illusion. We are seeing more and more that these governments may not really want the “good” of culture. In any case, it is not the form of culture that has generated freedom of expression in other parts and in other eras.

In fact, history always repeats itself, and we fail to read it correctly, because it returns a variable, especially because we are not careful.

“The annihilation of the cultural and creative sector is the last step in depriving the population of access to human aspirations, to the intangible conception of freedom as a goal and to the critical spirit, The method of work‘ another young man whispers to me anxiously. //

I will surely surprise many by saying that no, neither at this time nor for at least 15 years, it is the “gangsters” – albeit a somewhat coercive metaphor – who actually possess the power in this degenerative process and are dangerous to culture and creation are not the ministers ( regardless of their political colour. Yes, they also have a role to play: they represent, attempt to enforce their agendas and receive numerous attacks during short and intense periods (only since the Heritage Blog initiative was launched in 2008 and so far 17 Ministers of Culture have changed – along with relevant Foreign Ministers and Advisers).

So who is the real power?

I leave you to guess where it is and who exercises it.

All I would like to add, in conclusion, is an excerpt from lost in the morning From Gabriela Adameșteanu: “For in our country, my dear people, people seem tired from the start, and quit from the start, as if they had lived so much difficult and disappointing life, so they have long since given up resisting the almighty evil. And turmoil, temporary, primal proliferates. Automatically… Like microbes in dust… There seems to be fermentation in the air….”

It’s an honest description of the first photo I got when I arrived in the corridors of the Romanian Ministry of Culture, in 2016. //

smoke and mirrors; Press the clips

Read also the comments sent to the Ministry of Culture

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