Unfinished Sympathy-Vampire Diaries

CHELEN AMENCA / Dance with us – Performative lectures by Ellen Rothenberg & Delia Popa

In summer 2012 Ellen Rothenberg (USA) and Delia Popa (RO) and participated in a cultural exchange project with a Roma familyliving in a village in the county of Sibiu, a historic area in Transylvania. The second part of the project, an exhibition of new works generated in response to this experience, was presented at The Contemporary Galleries of The Brukenthal National Museum in fall 2013. “Chelen Amenca, (Dance With Us)” was organized by curator Anca Mihulet, with assistance for the village stay from anthropologist Oana Burcea. The exhibition and community project was realized with institutional support from The School of the Art of Chicago, The Brukenthal National Museum, and The Astra Museum Complex. The Bucharest program in May 2014  was sponsored through a grant from CEC Artslink.

Bucharest presentation: CEC Artslink

The program began with Ellen Rothenberg’s “Distance and Proximities,” a series of reflections in image and text with excerpts translated and performed in Romanian by artist Delia Popa, and Romani translations by Roma actress and playwright Michaela Dragan. The second half of the program “Unfinished Sympathy: Vampire Diary” was performed by Delia Popa and included her video “Maan Menelu.” Following the performances there was a conversation with the audience regarding the performances and issues concerning Roma people in Europe today.

ELLEN ROTHENBERG: Distance and Proximities 

This speculative dialogue slips between cultures: Romanian, American, and Roma, stretching from Chicago to Bucharest and the Transylvanian village of Igishu Vechi. A constellation of images and writing (letters, theoretical texts, excerpts from Skype conversations) all tethered within the wider landscape of feminist geographies.  Distance and Proximities is a meditation on dislocations and possible connections, the restless propositional spaces of home and studio, and the failures of representation.

The interweaving of texts, images, and questions challenges the dominant view of traditional Roma communities as outsiders, demonstrating that they are co-creators of their environment, and of the larger society. Distance and Proximities makes clear that significant connections can be made with these communities, and their inclusion in the larger social and cultural conversation is essential to the international community.

DELIA POPA: Unfinished Sympathy: Vampire Diaries

“(…) And here we have the color red, and red stands for vampires, and it is well known that vampires are dangerous, they have those teeth man, and those shiny eyes, and they show up wherever you don`t expect, seriously, and they have that anti-garlic smell, and they walk around with loads of wolves, probably to eat them.(….)”  Delia Popa’ s lecture-performance will tell the story of a she-werewolf meditating on her condition in a world of ”pure” humans, and of her brief, but transfiguring encounters with a group of vampires.