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APOCRYPHA 1: VOTE FOR MUIAN - Original Art for Sale | Visual Kontakt
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The original Muian series occurred in 2012, between two important elections in Romanian politics: the referendum for impeaching then President Traian Băsescu, and the general elections, won by Prime Minister Victor Ponta`s party with a two-thirds majority. As the Author bears resemblence to former PM Ponta, it is no wonder that many of the most prominent Muian stencils were interfered with, to either support or attack the PM.
In 2015, after a fire that claimed more thn 60 lives, PM Ponta resigned in disgrace as thousands took to the steets in an attempt not only to topple the government, but to forcefully change the political system itself. The event was more of a mass neurosys than a revollution and, despite wide popularisation, unrest was quelled within 10 days of the tragedy. Yet, as local and general elections are scheduled for June and December 2016 and the traditional party system is proving slow to change, social unrest is at a new high, as „fresh” politicians attempt to emerge with the more or less discrete support of discredited but high-ranking officials. Campaigns are focused on making new candidates look involved in community affairs, to ostentaciously prove their distance from the traditionally isolated, arrogant political generation before them.
In 2016, councilman Sebastian Lascu launched a media campaign against street art in Oradea, claiming willingness to donate his salary to anyone providing information about graffers, then passing a resollution to publicly fund ”proper” street art and finally, one week before the campaign, personally painting over graffiti. The councilman claimed a crusade against Muian personally and, while no stencil was covered, it is evident that once again, Muian is participating in a political match. Certainly, if politically involved as a target, Muian can become, in turn, an agent.
Parasitic behavior is a central key of Lesson no 2, deriving from inquiries of Project Muian into acknowledgement in public and personal expression. In Romanian slang, a face pula mare (literally: making a big cock) denotes impetuous, self-aggrandizing behavior. This is a universal trait of campaigns, but few languages have the sexualized idiom to identify such acts. Lesson no 2 is a reversed act of political parasitism: if politicians can use Muian for their own “big cocks” in campaigns, so too will Muian use politicians for its own purpose, linking itself ever more strongly to its intruders. Lesson no 2 is a public endorsement by Muian of the very people who seek to have it destroyed. The Author inscribed himself in councilman Lascu’s party and money raised by sales will be donated to support its campaign. The question of parasitic behavior is thus deepened, to the point that it is unclear, under these circumstances, who is taking advantage of whom and to who’s benefit.
As long as such machinations are ubiquitous in the “entertainment” paradigm of politics, they prevent not only the enactment of social reform, but the very identification of aberrations within the system. As a way out, voting stamps featuring the Muian stencil are handed out freely to the public, in hope that, once realizing the seedy and vacuous nature of present electoral stunts, they may invalidate their vote by literally voting with Muian. While the 2012 graffiti scandal was planned as an anti-campaign, we now see Muian emerge as an anti-politician, with each vote gained being, per se, an anti-vote. Lesson no 2 is the first outing of the Author’s (or the Project’s?) political beliefs, and an overdue answer, owing not just to the repeated involvement of politics in the project, but also to the nature of political though (or political superficiality) in the light of the [psudo-]revolutionary hysteria that has infected the country since the “Colectiv” discotheque fire.