"Mobile Churches" (2013-2017) is about dictatorial fantasies that became urban realities, it is a critical inventory aiming at revealing a lesser-known yet dramatic urban and political story from Bucharest in the 1980s. Ceaușescu’s ‘systematization’ program is in full swing in the Romanian capital: one-third of the historic center has been wiped out to make way for imposing buildings and wide avenues intended to honor the regime. Despite Ceaușescu’s particularly dogged approach towards sacral buildings, seven churches are spared and undergo a process as incredible as it is absurd: they are lifted and placed on rails then moved and hidden behind housing blocks, while several other buildings - such as the Polish Synagogue - were masked by socialist panel buildings. Withdrawn from the cityscape, interpolated in the disparate architecture that shapes Bucharest’s urban landscape today, they live secret lives, holding unresolved remnants of the past.
In 2017, "Mobile Churches" was nominated for the Dummy Book Award at the Unseen Photography Festival in Amsterdam and also at Les Rencontres de la photographie, Arles. The resulting photobook “Mobile Churches”, published as a trilingual edition (De/Fr/En) by Kehrer Verlag in Heidelberg, was shortlisted for the FOLA Photobook Award in Buenos Aires.
Romania’s path towards democracy started a month after the fall of the Berlin wall. It didn’t start peacefully but with bloodily repressed demonstrations. It was also marked by the controversial trial against the dictator couple Nicolae and Elena Ceaușescu on Christmas Day 1989, in office number 3 (Birou 3) of a military base. The trial lasted only 55 minutes, the verdict 1 minute 44 seconds and the execution less than 10 minutes. The decree setting up the tribunal was signed on December 27th, by which time the couple had already been dead for two days.
The events of those violent days remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue, leaving the question: was it a people’s uprising or a staged coup d'état?
Corruption in Romania results not only from the ‘stolen Revolution’, but also from the wall of silence that has been blocking justice for 30 years.