This film project is an exploration into the built memories, ruins and architectural traces of Romania’s communist dictatorship. It’s intended as a starting point to a more in-depth mapping exercise surveying the legacy of this past era throughout the country. For now it merely functions as a teaser.
The controlled drone movement and x-ray like inverted black and white infrared-look gives the footage an analytical and scientific quality, quite distanced from the reality. Furthermore, the high resolution footage makes buildings look like models of themselves instead of actual reality. However, the soundtrack borrowed from 1990s radio and TV archive transmits a more visceral and emotive sense of the actual past.
Tapio Snellman’s relationship with Romania goes back to his teenage years when news about the destruction of historic Bucharest to create a monumental urban utopia reached the media and his imagination. About three years after the revolution, during a first trip to Bucharest with his German-Romanian then partner, Christian Grou ,he was able to experience the as yet unfinished but already decaying reality of what was left behind.
Over many years Tapio has subsequently followed the research done by photographer Ioana Marinescu whose work deals with the memory of those lost neighbourhoods in her hometown Bucharest. It was at her initiative that they together decided to start a project of this filmed survey.
- April 2017
- Tapio Snellman