Ştefan RUSU

film-video / video

Brejnev Likes Mamaliga & Mamaliga Likes Brejnev

Mini DVD transferred to DVD, 7’40”, 2001
Camera: Vitalie Shimansky
Image editor: Vitalie Stelea
Directed by Stefan Rusu

The title of the video is an appropriation of J. Beuys’s performance title:“ I like America & America likes me” related to the habits of L.I. Brejnev (former leader of USSR  and general secretary of Soviet  Communist party, between 1964-1982), which had an important role in the development of the Moldavian Socialist Republic (between 1950-52 he was appointed by I.V. Stalin as general secretary of Moldavian Communist party) and had an important contribution in modernization of the former agrarian region following the socialist pattern.
The main idea of the video is the remake of a traditional plate “mamaliga” (made from corn powder, similar to Italian “polenta”). In fact L. I. Brejnev had a personal cook, which prepared for him an ancient recipe of “mamaliga”, by killing a fresh cockerel and preparing “mamaliga” in the cockerel’s bullion. This plate was, by far, the favorite dish for this communist leader.
Note: The cockerel represents a subject of important profane rituals in pre-Christian Armenia and shamanisms incantations of African tribes. The cockerel in the Romanian profane mythology represents wealth, potency and awakening. Technical support-[KSAK] Center for Contemporary Art, Chisinau

Social Cooking-Romania, Neue Gesellschaft fur Bildende Kunst – NGBK, Berlin, Germany, New Video New Europe, The Kitchen, NY,USA, Stedelijk Museum, The Netherlands, North Dacota, Contemporary Art Museum, USA, “New Video/New Europe”, Museum for Contemporary Art, St.Louis, USA, TATE Modern Gallery, London, Great Britain, Filmhuis Cavia/Vivipara, The Netherland, The 6th PERIFERIC Biennial, Iasi, Romania, “Media Art Festival”, Friesland, The Netherland, “FRINGE” video dreaming, Leeds film festival, England, “DREAMCATCHER”, International videofestival, Kiev, Ukraine, “VIDEOMARATON”, the 6-th edition of videofestival, Chisinau, Moldova