In the work 'Rulers' I attempt to deconstruct the iconographical representations of medieval Romanian rulers and kings that was taught to us in our educational period. The faces of the rulers in medieval times are depicted mostly starting from the votive portraits that were painted in the churches they built in their lifetime. Yet we must take into consideration the fact that the painters of that period were not appreciated mostly for their portraiture skills as much as for their icon painting knowledge.
In their mannerism they represented the faces of the ruler in the same manner as the faces of saints, the only elements that gave the identity were the crown and the moustaches or beards.
The work "Rulers" has three components: one in which I present a series of composite portraits of different rulers of the Romanian medieval times made with the help of a number of contributors to the project using a forensic composite portrait software.
I framed the images with a classic frame and passé partout to remind of the didactical portraits that were hanged on our schools walls - which together with the public portraits of the ruler and the casting in the historical Romanian movies - helped us construct a mental image of that specific ruler.
This image is mostly different from the image presented by the historical documents, which proves that the identity of a certain historical figure is given in the first place through his crown, clothes or face hair rather than the construction of the face
The second part of the project discusses the identification process of a ruler or another based on regalia, clothes and face hair rather than the portrait elements.
In three bass reliefs I modeled the faces of three presidents from the contemporary history, Iosif Vissarionovici Stalin, Muammar al Gaddafi, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela upon wich I added elements specific for the sculptural representation of the Romanian rulers from medieval times (crown, different hats, clothes and face hair).
When choosing these three controversial head of states to represent in my project I add another layer to the work by bringing up the matter of the relativity of the history that has been modeled in different ways over time in order to serve the political climate of a certain period.
Presenting the Romanian rulers of medieval age as super heroes and modeling history to serve a nationalistic ego did no justice to the true history of that period and to our capability of understanding the role and position of the Romanian Countries within that historical frame.
The third component of the project is a half length portrait that has all the characteristics of the portraits of Romanian rulers of the medieval times. This portrait I intend to donate to different local administrations from Romania, under different historical identities. The donation will be completed with the condition of placing the ruler`s portrait in the public space under the identity I am mentioning. This type of intervention intends to prove the lack of index this portraits have and also the tendency of the authorities to promote this type of public monument in Romania.