Anton Roland Laub. Photographs
Bucharest in the 1980s. Ceausescu’s ‘systematisation’ programme is in full swing in the Romanian capital: one-third of the historic centre has been wiped out to make way for imposing edifices and wide avenues intended to honour the regime. Despite Ceausescu’s particularly dogged approach towards the churches, seven are spared and undergo a process as incredible as it is absurd: they are lifted and placed on rails then moved and masked by housing blocks. Other sacred places, such as the Great “Polish” Synagogue, are hidden behind socialist panel constructions. Withdrawn from the cityscape, these buildings live secret lives, interpolated in the disparate architecture that shapes Bucharest’s urban landscape today.
Combining photographs taken by Anton Roland Laub with archive material, this critical inventory reveals a lesser-known yet fascinating urban and political story. Its act of ‘unmasking’ also addresses the broader issue of Romania’s reappraisal of its past.
The book Mobile Churches was published by Kehrer Verlag (Heidelberg) and will be available on the day of the opening.
Curator: Sonia Voss
The exhibition is organized within the Romanian-French Season with the support of the Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Institute of Romania, and is hosted by the Bucharest Municipality Museum at Suţu Palace (Bd. I.C. Bratianu nr. 2) from June 13th until the end of July 2019. The exhibition can be visited free of charge.
Special thanks to Matei Branea.