_____Names I Forgot___Wilderness and Household
_____Unknown Land___Un-distant Flights
_____Besar-Besaran Dan Ringan___House That Jack Built
_____Wording a City Space___Shipwreck___Willow




Curator: Tamara Zlobina

In this piece, I initiated a group discussion about production of space in contemporary Chisinau, post-soviet implications, and transitional features of a socialist urban environment turned into a neoliberal one.

Wording a City Space included a few steps resulting in a performance. The performance was loosely based on a game called Telephone that involves passing along a brief message from person to person by whispering it quickly into one’s ear, and at the end comparing what was originally said with the final message. In our piece, there were different means which created a distortion within a text.

First we (Tamara Zlobina and I) explored the city, its recent history and architecture, and chose 15 sites to photograph and create postcards. We interviewed random citizens about these sites and their historical context. At the same time, we asked a group of 30 people to fill out a questionnaire to explore changes in people’s common expectations and beliefs regarding their living spaces and urban environment. As a result, we came up with a list of topics for the discussion. People’s opinions and reflections as well as the summary of the responses to the questionnaire contributed to this discussion. We recorded our conversation in different places of Chisinau and used the video documentation and postcards during the performance.

The performance was realized in the hall of the Culture Department in Chisinau. We set up an area for the audience and projected our video onto a wall. A participant translating our discussion into Romanian sat at a table in front of the audience. Every time we spoke in the video, the translator wrote the Romanian translation on the back of a postcard and passed it to the first person in a row. This person would read and write a response then pass it to the next person until it reached the end. This process continued throughout the duration of video and once the participants were finished with their responses we collected the postcards. The responses written on the backs of the postcards were compiled into one document. Our audience was invited to leave their contact information if they wished to receive the outcome – the original text, the distorted text, and a postcard.