‘Epoca de Aur / The Golden Epoch - Portrait of a Dictator’ by Mihai Risnoveanu

27th March 2006

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Monday 27 March 2006, 18.30 – 20.30, The Romanian Cultural Centre, 8th floor, 54-62 Regent Street, London W1B 5RE; Tel. 020 7439 4052, ext 102; e-mail: bookings@romanianculturalcentre.org.uk . Click here to see an image related to this event. "Personifying as no-one else before in our past the will and thought of the people, the general secretary of the party, this country’s president, is presented before History as a brilliant builder of civilization and New Country, hero among the heroes of the Nation, fierce patriot and continuous revolutionary, thinker of genius, political man of worldwide renown. An exceptional age, an age of great realisations, the age we are living has rightfully entered history named after its hero, The Nicolae Ceausescu Epoch". The phrase above only gives a taste of one of the strangest personality cults found in 20th century Europe, manifested in writing, music, and the fine arts. It is our goal to speak, employing a phrase of the time, about the revolutionary creativity of the Romanian people, especially when dealing with the representation in painting of its mighty ‘Conducator’ (leader) and his wife, the Romanian universal mother. It is our opinion that what you are about to see was not the work of the dictator, nor of some Party apparatchik, but a complete iconographic programme that was meant to rival and surpass those of the historical figures from the Romanian pantheon. We are going to trace, as far as our powers permit, the birth of an unfortunate and undesired icon, or rather of a spectre that haunted Romania for about 20 years. (Mihai Risnoveanu).> Mihai Risnoveanu is an unaffiliated art historian and critic. He has studied history of art at the Art University, Bucharest, Romania, and has an MA from Birkbeck College, University of London. This presentation is part of the CULTURE POWER program which is initiated by the Ratiu Foundation UK and designed for students and scholars interested in exploring the development of Romanian culture. The program consists of a series of seminars focused around a presentation followed by a constructive dialogue with an invited audience. Organised by The Ratiu Foundation UK. Details on www.ratiufamilyfoundation.com