speaking (1998-2004)

Vorbind / Speaking was a series of performances carried out across several years, during which  I read in public spaces lists of names or words from dictionaries, their selection having various political meanings. All the performances were long, took place without a pause and entailed an intense physical involvement, pushing the physiological limits of the speech process.

Speaking 1, Gioconda’s Smile Performance Festival, Chisinau (MD), 1998, curator: Octavian Esanu

During the opening event of the Gioconda’s Smile Festival, I read for five hours, without breaks and without drinking water, all the words in the Romanian Dictionary. In the Republic of Moldova, although the majority of the population speaks Romanian, this language is called officially "Moldovan language" by the political power in Chisinau, in order to silence any arguments in favour of a potential union between Romania and the Republic of Moldova.


Speaking 2, AnnArt Performance Festival, Sf. Gheorghe (RO), 1999

Speaking 2 was a performance dedicated to the memory of my car, completely destroyed in a crash in 1998, from which I walked away unscathed. In a forest clearing close to the campsite where the AnnArt Festival was organised, I recited for 4 hours, in solitude, without pause and without drinking water, all the days I had lived until then. I was tethered with a rope to a white birch, and I walked in circles around it, taking one step for each day I recited.

Speaking 3, Fabs Show, Poznanski Factory, Lodz (PL), curator: Malgorzata Sidor, 2001

In a large interior courtyard in a former textile factory in Lodz (Poland), currently a large shopping mall, I read until midnight all the names of the Polich officers assassinated in September 1940 in the forest of Katyn by the NKVD, Stalin's secret police. While reciting, I didn't drink water and I didn't pause... After it got dark, I read the names using a flashlight...

Speaking 4,MOPE 2 Performance Festival, Vasa (FI), 2002

The performance Speaking 4 took place in a sauna I had improvised in the centre of Vasa, a city in Western Finland, in a region with a predominantly Swedish population. I read all the names in the phonebook of Nykarleby, a nearby town, where an Art Faculty was operating with the support of the community. 


Speakings, 3 live radio performances, Kunstradio Vienna, curator: Janette Pacher, 2002

Matei Bejenaru, Speaking, live radio performance, ORF Kunstradio Vienna, 2002


Speaking 5, I Am Here You Are There…, GFZK Leipzig (D), curator: Barbara Steiner, 2004

Speaking 5 was a continuation of the Chisinau performance of 1998, six years later. Meanwhile, in 2003, a Moldovan-Romanian Dictionary had been printed in  Chisinau, a book that aimed to define words that were specific to the Moldovan language. The performance took place at the Chisinau Writers' Union, where I read in turns pages from the so-called Moldovan-Romanian Dictionary  and from the Romanian Dictionary, in order to unify them in an artistic project... To me, the Moldovan Dictionary is nothing but a collection of Romanian regionalisms... The video recording of the performance was presented at the exhibition I am here, you are there at theGFZK Leipzig in 2004.