SAPIENCE OF AVANT-GARDE
-text and photos Andrei Dorian Gheorghe
design Florin Alexandru Stancu-
Any great beginning has its own
Moments of anticipation.
Then the specific space-time rules are born
For the radiating foundation.
These are a few images taken around the Dambovita River
in the Capital City of Romania.
Once over Central Bucharest
I saw a superb sky load:
“Noble Parhelion, thank you!
You showed me a true road!”
Going south of the river
to a district in which the former totalitarian regime (1948-1989)
had replaced the traditional buildings with regular block of flats,
I still found out a street like a oasis of old perfume.
Its name: Vigilentei (Vigilance).
But my target was the next street
(I’ll immediately explain you why).
Its name: Sapientei (Sapience).
During the interbellic times
Romania had one of the most active movements
of literary-artistic avant-garde in Europe
(together with France, Germany and Italy).
More, from Romania
(defined by the poet George Bacovia -1895-1957-
as a “sad country, full of humour”)
four genial avant-garde creators emigrated to the Occident
and marked forever the world culture:
-Tristan Tzara (1896-1963), the leader
(a movement promoting nihilism and logical chaos in the creation)
in Switzerland and France;
-Eugen Ionescu (1909-1994), author
of the “perfect” drama in the theatre of the absurd,
The Bald Soprano (Paris, 1950),
and one of the 40 members of French Academy
during his life;
-Isidor Isou (1925-2007), founder
(a movement based especially on games of words
through replacements of letters) in France;
-Florentin Smarandache (born in 1954), founder
in the USA.
Obviously, they had the gift to
identify, overtake, accent, theorize and develop
features of Romanian daily spirituality
and to give them to the world in languages of larger circulation.
However (and this not only my convincement), literarily,
all four had found out the best inspiration and roots
in the opera of the greatest Romanian humorist,
Ion Luca Caragiale (1852-1912).
the incontestable predecessor of entire Romanian avant-garde.
I chose Caragiale’s sketch Big Warmth,
first published in 1899.
In this sketch, because of the high temperature
(33 degrees on the scale of Celsius),
a gentleman wants to go to Mr. Mitica Popescu
on a street named Sapientei (Sapience),
number 11 bis (because “13 is fatal”),
but he finds he goes to Mr. Costica Popescu
on a street named Pacientei (Patience),
number 11 bis, too.
Then he tries to re-orientate,
but involuntarily, like in a vicious circle,
he returns to the Patience street.
And because in the meantime the Patience street had disappeared
during the demolitions of the totalitarian regime,
I was happy that I could discover
the remnants of the second street, Sapience,
which had inspired Caragiale’s sketch
and which had not been found by his hero!
But today this street looks very short
(I told you the reasons).
However, we can find here
another dimension of history:
a chapel made in 1710 by Safta Brancoveanu
(one of the daughters of the illustrious “voievod” and “domnitor” of Wallachia,
who was beheaded together with his four sons
by the Ottoman Sultan
because he refused to change his religion
from Christian Orthodox into Muslim,
leaving and extraordinary sample of supreme dignity in world history)
and her husband Iordache Kretulescu.
Inside the small church
4 elements inspired me to try 3 photo-metaphors:
- the Sunny Saviour
on a crucifix
and in a painting;
painted in the colors of the dusk;
-a painting with the beams
of the Annunciation.
In November 2016 I returned to the church
after a larger tour in that area,
in which I tried to catch the sunset and the Moon.
Another (older) vision of the Moon over the spire of the church made me:
look for other bright heavenly friends,
return to Romanian avant-garde
and try a final astro-photo-poem.
Just because both tragedy and comedy
are parts of our human life.
“I don’t need the Moon Sickle to arrange my hair!”
“I don’t need the Moon’s Crown to be a king!”
I don’t need to lose myself
through your fluffy clouds, Venus,
or through your gaseous territories, Jupiter,
I don’t feel that astronautic call.
Both of you look good in my astronomic dimension
just as specks in motion on the sly wall.
So if, similarly, I’d force me to be
as dadaistic-absurdistic- letteristic-paradoxistic as I can
I would not become a better man,
but just a poor epigone
admiring and envying what I cannot really do,
and looking at the serious heavenly bodies
maybe as at joyous heavenly bunnies.
© 2016 SARM
(Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy)