THE INSTITUTE of Constructions & Deconstructions (Romania)
The Institute of Constructions & Deconstructions was established in 1998, but its story goes back to December 1997, when Cosmin Gradinaru, Dan Panaitescu, Sergiu Negulici and Ioan Godeanu were expelled from the Academy of Art in Bucharest. The written reason on the expulsion order was "severe deviations from the school's discipline." In fact this was the punishment given to four students who tried to call into question the anachronism of the art education system. Because the expulsion order was abusive and illegal the Academy's board was finally forced to cancel this decision. The director of the academy accused us of wanting an Installation College, which, he claimed, "does not exist in the entire world, therefore, in Romania, according to our tradition, there will never be such a thing." So we proceeded to found our own, using a picture of the already existing Installation College of the Bucharest Construction Institute (where installation referred to industrial equipment), and taking advantage of the coincidence of the names… This photograph became the centerpiece of the installation we made a month later for the student-art festival in Timisoara in 1998. That's how we became the Founding Members of the Institute.
Our Installation College is not a school with policies, regulations, professors or students. It is our reaction to a rigid and intolerant regime, our desire to create a free space for exchanging ideas and a way of sustaining an independent stream of opinions. The board of the Art Academy took our project as an intention to create a system parallel to the one organized by the state. The total lack of humor of those who reached these absurd conclusions was turned by us into an opportunity to pursue this direction. That's how the Performance College was created. During the Art Academy graduation exhibition preview that took place at The House of Parliament in Bucharest, we organized a "parasite" action--as a result, we were labeled a "terrorist group." Since this was not sufficient, we were subsequently threatened with the destruction of the film roll on which we had recorded everything.
After finishing our studies, we considered that the only appropriate way to disseminate our point of view was through a process of completely rebuilding the entire value system, which led us to the Cultural Reconstruction Program. As a first step in this program we launched the first issue of the Official Bulletin at the Intermedia exhibition in Oradea in 1998. At the beginning of 1999 we re-launched the Cultural Reconstruction Program through a series of actions and performances, including "Who's Who," and "The Members vs. the Members." In 2000, we continued the Reconstruction by creating a CD-ROM interactive presentation of the Institute, by uploading the first internet site, by creating the fictional "SuperDan," since there must be a super hero in every battle, by inventing a game with no rules and no ending, and by launching a new project, "The Class Struggle." All are documented on our website, which will shortly also be re-constructed. In the future the Institute plans to take possession of a space, but contrary to the cultural tradition that has been consecrated in Western Europe since 1968, our space will be evacuated and not "occupied."
The Institute has been existing for almost three years now, functioning as a work in progress. All its production activity--event making, art object production, publishing the Official Bulletin, editing the CD-ROM, launching the Internet site--is supported entirely from private financial resources, our own. That is the reason why the Institute has no externally imposed cultural policies or strategies, being perhaps the only entirely independent cultural institution.
ioan godeanu: firstname.lastname@example.org
cosmin gadinaru: email@example.com
sergiu negulici: firstname.lastname@example.org
dan panaitescu: email@example.com
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