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Even if questions are coming from elsewhere, they still have to ask what is going on today and here. The fear of failure acquires some valid sense only when we will hesitate to ask clear-headed questions about history and the price paid repeatedly in the fight against abusive and vengeful systems trying to stifle every opposition. Jesse Jones and Declan Clarke reclaim histories, spaces and lost artifacts, hymns, heroes and heroines left behind in the back of our collective memory, eroded away or aesthetically frozen on the pedestal of pop idolatry.
The anti-heroic and anti-monumental dimension of the historical place and historical instance has the power to re-size all what we hoped we would know if we went farther still, seeing maybe, with our own eyes for the first time the gorge where South American guerrilla fighters struggle and get executed. Not to give in means to aim for free fall, finally landing with your feet of familiar ground, stripped of illusions in the midst of strife.
For Declan Clarke the autobiographical recovery of key characters functions as a mnemonic device applied to revolutionary history, which pushes the living memory to name everything in the proximate surroundings - recalling that all what you hoped for will somehow find a way to get trough. Concrete data, artifacts and books gather anecdotal notes that offer a lead, maintaining the investigation always on the very intimate and personal level. As an instance of that, in the midst of family life, the divergence in economic, politic and daily rhythms between brothers creates differences based on class, division of labor or plans for vacation overseas.

Jesse Jones evokes the specters of ideology in old spaces, filling them again with radical content, thus, the banned residue becomes part of a collective "hauntology". Armies of Romanian intellectuals and historians have transformed the communist past into the equivalent of a haunted castle, a cursed inheritance, dark and impossible to deal with.
This is why there is an urgency to recruit immediately members acting out the chorus of 'haunted history', as the only possible way to engage with the critical spirit, in a period were critique is always manifested as condemnation and anathema. The forgotten history lesson comes trough the medium of whispered recitation and incantation of the Communist Manifesto, a séance that multiplies and empowers the hum of the masses, amplifying it into every direction.
Jones makes the necessary historical bridge between the new hymns and the new technologies. The history of the Theremin and its electronic sound is not just the exploitation of a spectral effect appropriated by American SciFi flicks, it is post-1918 political history, indefinitely postponed and banished.

Stefan Tiron

Many Thanks to: John Fairleigh, David Noonan, Fionnuala Cawkhill, Tessa Giblin, Nicu Ilfoveanu, sillyconductor, Irina Gheorghe, Cotenescu Ion, Raluca Doroftei, Razvan Botis, Maria Guta, Cristina Popa, Mari Dinescu, Alina Popa, Matei Caltia, Ion Dumitrescu, Claudiu Cobilanschi, Silvia Costiuc, Irlo, Anamaria Pravicencu, Nela Todorovska, Irina Carbunescu, Cosima Opartan, Vladimir Taroi, Anca Vestemean, Milos Jovanovic, Gabi Eftimie, Valentina Chirita, Daniel Alexandru, Alice Gancevici, Irina Filip, Cristina Candea, Andra Stanciu, Voicu Malina, Georgian Toader and many others.

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Declan Clarke | Everything Must Finally Fall | 2007 | DVD 04' 36" | courtesy of the artist

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Jesse Jones | The Spectre and the Sphere | 2008 | 16mm film transferred to DVD 12' | courtesy of the artist

 

 

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