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RIRI


Irina Nicolau, ethnologist and writer, co-organizer, together with Horia Bernea, of the Romanian Peasant Museum, coordinator of 6 volumes of oral memory, author of 8 books of alternative ethnology, creator of object-books, clothes and jewels; she loved kitsch objects, she loved her friends and she loved to play.

One day, it must have been nineteeneightysomething, I received a letter from Irina. She had managed to travel to Athens, to visit her aunt. I must also tell that she had first received an official negative answer from the Passport Department and she had been forced to request an audience at the Militia, hoping she would change their mind. She prepared thoroughly, she combed her hair back, tied it with a white ribbon and gathered it at the back of her neck, she wore a blue shirt with a white little collar, a straight dress, no make-up, she removed her famous rings and she took care that she looks stupid and poor. I don’t remember what she told the officer or whoever, but she finally obtained the passport. And thus I return to the letter I received from Athens! An elegant envelope, smelling of occidental glue, that I opened respectfully with the coupe-papier, only to find a piece of toilet paper inside, written upon with brown ink: THIS IS EXACTLY HOW I FEEL HERE. RIRI

Much later, in 2000, we made an album on Sibiel icons together with a younger friend. Thanks to Irina’s design, the book turned out to be a beautiful object. However, because of the bad binding, the colorful pages would fly away at the first skimming through the volume. Every time she gave the book as a present, Irina would write in the dedication: TO BE READ PREFERABLY CLOSED. RIRI

What is there to learn from these two stories? Well, first of all, that Irina Nicolau felt she was RIRI; secondly, that she had the gift of writing the essential, in simple words, short and very telling; thirdly, that she liked to work with her friends. And, in general, that she knew how to transform the unpleasant and the mistake in funny and memorable accidents.

Unfortunately, most of her books appeared in minuscule number of copies and where thus read mainly by her friends (Irina gave away as gifts everything she received as author’s rights and then bought some more so she could continue to make presents) and borrowed by her friends’ friends. The generous friendship, floating around her like mist led to a phenomenon manifest only after she left us: a sui generis community was formed of very different people who feel close to each other only by virtue of the feelings she had unveiled in them; some had just discovered her, other had known her for a long time and grew apart for whatever reasons; some, very young, were professionally formed by her, others adopted her (or were adopted?) as close relative.

Ioana Popescu

Decades of Visual Memory - Photographs by Ana and Gheorghe Tripon




We are pleased to invite you to the viewing of the exhibition Decades of Visual Memory -Photographs by Ana and Gheorghe Tripon, at the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant, June 3rd - July 18th, with the opening on June 3rd, at 5 pm.
 

The exhibition dedicated to the photographers Ana and Gheorghe Tripon includes photographs taken by them between 1958-1992, as well as a few taken by unknown photographers during the first half of the 20th century – before their time. Located in Băița, Hunedoara County, România, the two photographers portrayed places, people, the important moments in their lives, social events, and the costumes and textiles specific to the region. Their photographs are mostly monochrome (black-and-white,) but there are also some in color, and some that have been colored.

The photography of Ana and Gheorghe Tripon served the need of Băița region community members to immortalize in images the people they loved, capturing the important moments in their lives. Along with the fulfillment of this mission, their photographs convey the documentary value of recording people's life style, and the traditional physical assets of the region – the architecture, the costume and the home-made textile inventory.

The rapid transformations that occurred during the 20th century can be observed throughout the Tripons’ photographs, and we can establish connections between various eras.

In today's context, when photography produces instant images, Ana and Gheorghe Tripon’s photography, which from photo shoot to film processing was the result of an intense creative labor but also of technical accuracy, remain unique.

The photographs included in the exhibition belong to the following collections: Ana Tripon, The Textile Museum, Nicșa Family, Elena Țucă, and Victoria Tripon.

The exhibition is organized by the Textile Museum in collaboration with the National Museum of the Romanian Peasant.

 




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