Spaces of Drift: Unreconstructed Pasts in Șerban Savu’s Paintings


  • Calina Parau


Memory, Post-industrial, Broken Filiations, Past, Ruin


This paper analyses the metaphorical and structural idea of broken filiations and explores the possibilities of representation conveyed by a heterogeneous historical position in post-communist Romania and, more generally, on the globalized scene of transitions. It tries to look at the discontinuous relation with the past from two dimensions: the re-negotiation of cultural identity in a post-industrial setting marked by a modernizing drive, drawn on the metaphor of the ‘orphan’, and the turn towards a classless world of the masses, generating conflicting forms of memory and representation. This broken cultural geography of linearity and genealogies dismantles the old structures that yielded place-bound identities, generating an interstitial sense of temporality shaped by new forms of cultural mediation. The visual artistic language of Șerban Savu is illustrative for these theoretical ideas that try to comprehend the crisis of the subject at the dawn of a new globalized world, ‘fathering’ a present in ruins, marked by an underlying sense of inhabiting disinherited spatial and temporal frames.