Bucharest seems to lie on some fault lines, in a fluidity both spatial and temporal, floating between an unprocessed past and an uncertain future in the edge lands of Europe. Twenty-six years after the violent fall of Ceaușescu, deconstruction is manifest but the outcome of a story whose old logics are dissolving and of a present full of uncertainties, remains volatile. A process of simultaneous modernisation and decay is taking place. It is not easy to discard decades of the cruelest dictatorship. Its traces are still ubiquitous. The notorious “Securitate” might officially not exist anymore; its shadows remain on the faces of the destitute elderly.
These images are on the borderline between chronicle and fiction. None of them is staged however reality is mainly a pretext to construct metaphors of a state of mind. This series is also about time, about inevitable endings, about what is fading — but also what is yet to fade. It is about shadows that trace invisible, blurred, and oblique lines and borders.
In a derelict department store that used to be the showcase of communist prosperity, the plastic ghost of Nadia Comaneci stares at the peeling walls while, at the other end of the city, a shy stuffed baby bear bears the company of the holy virgin. In between bittersweet nothings happen and, openings, prospects, reflections, disguises are intersecting and answering one another. Elsewhere a young couple’s tenderness glows in the greyness. Hope is sometimes the thin reverse of desperation.
Sadly the last frontier in this post-cold war world may be the passing away of old generations whose sufferings and disillusions project an immensely sorrowful silence.
All pictures have been taken in February 2016.
Marylise Vigneau is represented by the Anzenberger Agency in Vienna. To know more about Marylise Vigneau, please visit her official website.