Is This How You Like History? (2022)

In ‘Is This How You Like History?’ (2022), the artist attempts to remove from a Romanian history textbook the marks made over the years by students and the artist’s teacher. Pencil, highlighter and pen marks are erased, painted over with correction fluid or removed with a cutter knife. In addition to scanned pages of the textbook, the work incorporates a moving image piece recorded during the four-hour long process of cleaning. Following the idea that history is not a series of events, but rather the storied versions of them being passed down through the written word, the artist questions the pedagogy of history and the separation between history and collective memory. If the marks’ original purpose is to select the information to be learnt and remembered in the future, does removing them entail a wish to forget, to challenge authority or to imagine a history of history?

Orbits, Seen Fifteen Gallery, 2022

Copy of deconstructed history textbook (Bucharest, 2010), moving image 36’8”