Romania Week: Bogdan Girbovan
|from the series, Two Months Nowhere
by Kathleen Laraia McLaughlin
Photographer and freelance artist Bogdan Girbovan graduated from the National University of Arts in Bucharest, Photography Department. He has exhibited throughout Romania, as well as in Paris, Istanbul, Vilnius, and Prague. In 2012, Bogdan received the Fostering Artistic Practices Award from ICR in Venice, Italy.
The domestic landscape is one of Bogdan’s preoccupations and is found in his projects 10/1 and Two Months Nowhere. In his project Two Months Nowhere, he purchased a house in the village Izvoralu, where his father was born. He lived there for two months to learn more about his paternal family’s roots, going back several generations.
The communist era apartment blocks, these absolutely grotesque buildings, were erected in Eastern Europe as a result of the “Moscow Master Plan”, initiated by Stalin in 1935. The purpose was to provide cheap housing to the peasants brought to work in factories and manufacturing plants and to radically make even all the individuals in the new concrete empire of the “Golden Era.” This was accomplished by lodging people in identical apartments, with the intention to put an end to any individualistic inclinations. Under the same roof live now physicians, professors, steel men, miners, engineers, pensioners, and even farmers. Unfortunately, the mentioned apartment buildings are still upstanding nowadays.
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