Consuming History

by Carmen Dobre-Hametner

Consuming History, is a photographic series presented in the group exhibition Inventing the Truth. On Fiction and Reality, representing Romania at the 2015 Venice Biennale. The project documents a participative show which takes place in a former Soviet bunker near Vilnius, Lithuania where a team of actors, employed by a commercial entity, stage traumatic living during communism for locals and foreign tourists alike. The visitors are guided through the following experiences: a propaganda session, KGB interrogation, rudimentary medical examination, fingerprinting, military instruction, shopping in a communist store and having a typical communist meal. The show is not scripted and aims at maintaining a balance between the aggression which is applied to the participants and moments of relieving the tension, thus avoiding its transformation into another Stanford experiment. Rather than reviving the actual horrors of the Soviet past, the Survival Drama (the name of the show) fictionalizes history to the effect of exemplifying a touristic relationship to the past and the transformation thereof in a product ready of consumption.
Technique Photography

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