Teach Yourself Romanian


Irre Lazarescu
2009.08.21. – 2009.08.23.

In TEACH YOURSELF ROMANIAN, Irre Lazarescu approaches a country and her personal history by twisting Romanian myths and stereotypes. Seeking up ones roots through recreating a story, mapping out a personal chronology, is both frustrating and rewarding. The goal is evasive.

Lazarescu sees the wooden stake as an apt symbol for Romania, certainly Romania as it’s seen through Western eyes. The Prince Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler, was transformed into Count Dracula through the filter of Bram Stoker, and the international myth of the cultivated vampire, most effectively killed with a stake through the heart, was born.

Not nearly as many people know that the wooden stake played a part in another, more recent story –the one about what became the dictator Ceausescu’s famous last speech. What first interrupted him were not shouts of protest, but shrill screams. Somewhere in the massive crowd, people had started to jab others with sharpened wooden sticks, so their pained cries would break the silence. Otherwise, no one might have dared to be the first to instigate the uprising. Two days later, Ceausescu was dead.

Irre Lazarescu was born in Rågsved in 1983. She studied at Gerlesborgs Art School and graduated in the spring of 2009 from the Art Education program at Konstfack. Her article The Romanian Fever- what led to the cultural explosion? (in swedish) was published in Hjärnstorm Magazine, where Lazarescu now serves as an editor.