Subversive Practices Behind the ‘Iron Curtain’: Ion Grigorescu’s Performances for the Camera

Lecture series Elektronenströme November 2016

Wednesday, November 2nd 2016 // 7:00 pm // Auditorium at Kunstmuseum Bonn
Free entry


Speaker: Corinna Kühn M.A. – Institute of Art History, University of Cologne


During the 1970s the majority of performance artists living and working in Central Eastern Europe had to carry out their actions in private and therefore ‘behind-the-scenes’. In his private rooms the Romanian artist Ion Grigorescu performed for a film or photo camera without the public. His working life intermingled with family meetings and intimate life. Using daily gestures, he tried to inscribe his life as an individual into the structure of the ‘system’. The artist medialized his actions through media which were usually employed to control people. Without negating the monitoring function of the media, he used it in a different way and thereby exaggerated or caricatured their omnipotence. My paper will focus on Grigorescu’s performances and propose the term ‘social situation’ to describe the processes of production and perception as an (time-delayed) interaction between the triangle Performer – Camera – Viewer.