press release

When you see a nine-year-old girl making that throat-cutting sign, it�s clear that something is going to happen, unless it�s already happened. But when things turn upside down and life goes on as if nothing had happened, it becomes unbearable. It is as if the very possibility for an event to take place were suspended.

It is precisely a sense of time, very clearly outlined, that strikes me in Ciprian Mure?an�s works. To an old bibliosaurus like me, this is like a sign pointing the way to Giambattista Vico. The girl�s sign, just like the fused sign Pepsi-Cola�Coca-Cola, together in the same glass, seem like emblems of their time, somehow close to the meaning that Vico ascribes to the heroic language in imprese eroiche. Only these emblems, instead of qualifying a group of mighty subjects of history, emboss notes of the times people happen to live in. The Young Communist Pioneers fighting over a bar of Swiss chocolate speak clearly, with all their hands, about a heroic age, moreover, they expose it in all the splendour of its consistency. And what can be more heroic, over the years, than the free or fluid choice between two chocolaty � or brownish � liquids. In other words, I suspect Ciprian Mure?an is a sort of armourer, artificer of coats of arms and heraldic emblems of the moment, illustrating mobility rather than nobility. Baroque emblems for virtual heroic times � desired, awaited or long gone.

But what of heroes? Experience proves that even though daily life is predictable, ordinary or uneventful, heroes are plenty. The most doltish heads dream that they can be the scene of a universal drama. Always been, always will be heroes. And what language can you use with the heroes of routine time? A heroic language, obviously, but one which does not allow itself to be blackmailed by meaning. A language wherein the striking interruption of the go of things or the inverted representation of �normality� does not make you stoop under the burden of a moralising meaning. Instead, it shows you the materiality of the form rather than its sublimation in meanings and dramas. Perhaps this is a way of signalling that at the very moment when we �understand� the falsity of a myth, the last myth is already part of the vision.

Still, our time must fit in too, meanings and all, somewhere between virtual heroic times and those of the anonymous heroes of reality. I don�t know whether it has anything to do with the world in which Ciprian Mure?an works, but it seems ironic that in Vico, the language of heroic emblems is that of an oligarchic world dominated by force, a world in which the military and economic order dominates everything else.

Ovidiu Tichindeleanu

Ovidiu Tichindeleanu is a doctoral student in philosophy in the PIC program at SUNY Binghamton, NY. He is writing a thesis on the modern media of sound and the archaeology of knowledge in the 1900s.

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Ciprian Muresan