Ostalgia by Simona Rota | en

Ostalgia - Simona Rota
Ostalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona RotaOstalgia - Simona Rota


Ost ['ᴐst], German, noun: East
Algos [álgos], Ancient greek, noun: pain
Ostalgia is a photographic series developed for over 2 years. It was born in the wake of a documentation work for the Museum of Architecture in Vienna. Simona Rota was a photographer in a research team set up by the Museum whose mission was to locate and study the official Soviet architecture promoted in its 15 satellite republics between 1960 and 1990. The series is a subjective catalogue of monumental buildings that testify to a past of heroic intentions, but which reach the present completely eroded with disappointment. They were icons of success and progress and, therefore, complicit in political propaganda and the dynamics of legitimization of a totalitarian ideology. Houses of Culture of the Trade Unions, Houses of Culture of the Socialist Pioneers, Congress Centers of the Workers, Lenin Palaces, Circuses and Sports Palaces, Museums, Memorials and Mausoleums…
[...] “Nobody could trust anybody” are the words Simona's father, Teodor Kurz, often uses to describe the atmosphere that permeated day-to-day life in the Socialist Republic of Romania (SRR). Yet his photographs, taken in the Romania of the 1970s and 1980s, transmit something different from mistrust, something that could even be taken for happiness. Warm and colorful, they show people who seem to live a life of welfare. These fragments of life that Simona Rota has subtracted from her father’s archives (and from her biography), interrupt the monotonous rhythm with which Ostalgia runs.
'Which of these two rhythms is noise and which is music? Were we really happy, Dad? Or rather, have we all played a massive fiction of welfare? Can you be happy without freedom? Are there fulfilled private lives in the absence of public life? Can a person be happy even if she knows she is surrounded by limits, lies and menaces? What would I have been if the Romanian revolution did not happen and I kept on living in a closed system? Could I be happy then? Do I miss living in the SRR? Do we miss the USSR?', asks the author through the book. 
ISBN 978-84-940115-1-1
Second edition
Fabulatorio/Cuadernos de la Kursala nº 37, 2013
108 pages
191 x 260 mm
Text: English/Spanish/Galician