Dan Perjovschi

Action Tree


  • Dan Perjovschi, Action Tree, 1989

    5 Gelatin silver prints

    each 11 x 17 cm, framed 71,7 x 29,2 x 4,2 cm

During the time of communism, in many countries of the Eastern Bloc, the life and work of artists was regulated by the national Artists Union. The Artists Union decided on the admission of the graduates after studying at the academies and universities. It awarded public contracts and allocated studios and workshops. It was only on the basis of orders that it was possible to get artistic materials or to use workshops. The Union operated galleries and exhibition halls in many cities and held annual exhibitions in which almost exclusively government organizations acquired work. Participation in international exhibitions also had to be approved by the Union. Free art and a free market did not exist. It was not until the mid-1980s that certain easing occurred, which led to more experimental work, especially in the association's youth organizations. The youth departments were often not active in the capital cities, but in the country and in smaller towns, somewhat better hidden from the censorship authorities.

Two of Dan Perjovschi's actions from the pre-revolutionary time of the late 1980s are documented in the photographic sequences of 'Action Tree' and 'Action Flag'.

Dan Perjovschi: "The photos document an 'action' from a series made for photo camera in 1998. It was communism and everything (book, exhibition, film) was subject of censorship. Except things done outside (nature) or inside (apartment). This is the reason me and some other artists formed a group titled 'Atelier 35 Oradea' (a studio with artists until 35 years old), a division for youth of the one and only Union of Artists. The youth division especially in the cities on the west part of Romania were very active and in some cases (like in the city of Oradea where I was living 1985–1990) experimental. Together with other artists I did 3–4 actions under the umbrella title 'Peace Times'. My actions were titled 'Peace Times – Fish Eye'. In general they consists in 4–10 sequences photos of a simple gesture: flag a paper flag or writing words on the walls of some ruins of old bunkers, playing with a gas mask. The place of this action is near Oradea (the city in the west of Romania) using some old ruined bunkers (the pompous defence line against Hungarians)..."

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