153 de secunde

  • Theater
  • Hosted event

90 mins.


153 Seconds, from director Ioana Păun, is a radiography of the Colectiv Club fire, based on testimonies from the survivors, and, also, a macro-radiography, that shows current social diagnostics. 153 Seconds starts from the story of one of the survivors of the tragedy, Tedy Ursuleanu, and transform into a visual essay about a blocked generation.

A poem built with mathematical rigours, 153 Seconds documents the Colectiv tragedy, blocking the tears through rational filters. It raises questions, searching for a guiding wire in the labyrinth generated by numerous other crisis moments in recent history. It debates, from a subjective point of view, the political, moral and emotional implications of Colectiv Club fire, a moment that reached the depth of the social fabric, that generated a complex reflection process about a blocked generation. The script, written by Svetlana Cârstean, strongly but delicately points out the story, recreated from tens of testimonies from survivors. With almost 20 young actors on stage, the show reconstructs, without any trace of graphic violence the energy of a crowd situated in a critical point. The journey of this group is defined by divergent states: exaltation, enthusiasm, numbness, paralysis, fury. The soundtrack – created by Sillyconductor – and the group’s dynamic – choreographed by Andreea David – reproduce the Colectiv turmoil, reenacting the struggle of the common body of bodies, haunted by the same terror. The container that blocked the exit from Colectiv has a voice of its own, performed by the actor Bogdan Dumitrache, and builds the mental context that dominates the reality of Romania’s youth.

“It is a show with a surreal feel. You remain motionless for more than an hour, and at the end the applause start with caution, like being afraid not to disturb. You can hardly reconnect to reality. For a long time after you leave the chair, your mind is still in the show”.  (Bogdan Munteanu)

153 Seconds, this is how long the Colectiv Club fire lasted, after it started on Friday night, October 30, 2015. A firefighter who entered the club remembers the image of tens of mobile phones ringing, almost all showing the same caller: dad or mom. A shipping container, built to be airtight, is painted orange and placed at the club’s entry. It blocks the exit. Then, time blurs everything. The fury, the discourse, the intentions…

“The 153 seconds represent, in fact, the explosion of a long time, a distorted time, manipulated, diformed historically. The show directed by Ioana Păun is an artistic act vitally necessary in our cultural context, because it addresses our entire set of values, the driving force for us as social beings, and because it creates a detailed radiography of the causes that configure the collective memory mechanisms. The children of the transition are 30 years old, it is their time, but they cannot imagine the change.” (The Culture magazine)

“The information from the documentary becomes a song, image or even poetry. Ioana Păun creates a show with a nuanced aesthetic, because this is the only way to make the emotion of the show bearable. The director Ioana Păun succeeds in controlling everything with lucidity, from the research stage  to the sound (both harmonious songs as well as metallic screeching) and video, then the impeccable movement of the actors (by Andreea David), creating a team of very talented young artists” (Dana Tabrea – professor, PHd in philosophy and art critic, AICT – International Association of Theater Critics –  member).

Ioana Păun (b. 1984) projects were performed at prestigious european and international institutions, from the Theatre Royal Stratford East, to Teatro Luna Chicago, Kunstraum Lakeside Austria, Live Art Development Agency UK, Schauspielhaus Vienna or Onassis Centre in Atena. Her shows are mostly centered around social themes, targeting complex subjects, from the condition of workers in a factory to the life of Filipino workers. Nominated for the Prize for Social Inclusion for the AFCN Gala, Ioana Păun focused her work on understanding human behaviour, especially in ferocious situations and extreme conditions  – economical, political or health related. In 2019, two of her shows – Genetically Modified Organisms and Birth of Violence – will be shown in France and Belgium, during the Romania-France Seasons and Europalia programs. Her most recent work, Birth of Violence, investigates the radicalization mechanisms among youngsters and will premiere this autumn in France, at the Le Phenix Scene Nationalle theater. With a background in theater and performative arts at UNATC Bucharest and Goldsmiths University in London, Ioana Păun is the coordinator of the Performative Arts Program at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest.

Svetlana Cârstean (born in 1969) is a poet and translator. Her debut was in 1994, in the collective volume “Family picture”, alongside  T.O. Bobe, Răzvan Rădulescu, Mihai Ignat, Sorin Gherguț and Cezar Paul-Bădescu. Her individual debut volume, Flower of vise, was launched in 2008 and in 2013 was published in Sweden, at the Rámus publishing house, translated by the Swedish poet Athena Farrokhzad. Her poems are translated in numerous languages. She launched, in 2015, the book Gravity, at Trei Publishing House. In april 2016, Trado, written with Athena Farrokhzad was published in Sweden, by Albert Bonnier Publishing House, in collaboration with the Rámus Publishing House. Svetlana Cârstean is host of the Wednesday Intersections.

The work on the show started in 2017 and every element of its making is the original creation of some of most avant-garde Romanian artists. Also part of the team: choreographer  Andreea David, pop artist Cătălin Rulea, documentarists Laura Ștefănuț and Smaranda Nicolau and musician Sillyconductor.

Direction: Ioana Păun
Scenography: Cătălin Rulea
Documentation: Laura Ștefănuț, Smaranda Nicolau
Script: Svetlana Cârstean
Soundtrack: Sillyconductor
Mouvement: Andreea David
Voice: Bogdan Dumitrache
Special musical composition: Diana Miron
Producer: Biatrice Cozmolici
Video: Razvan Leucea
PR: Evantia Barca
Associated artist: Nicoleta Lefter

Irina Artenii, Andrei Cătălin, Claudia Chiraș, Sorin Dobrin, Lorena Luchian, Alice Mihalache, Denisse Moise, Cristina Negucioiu, Ana Maria Pop, Ingrid Robu, Adina Răducan, Amelia Stuparu, Teodora Tudose, Octavian Voina

Co-financed by
ARCUB and Administration of the National Cultural Fund (AFCN)
The project does not necessarily represent the position of The Administration of the National Cultural Fund. The Administration of the National Cultural Fund is not responsible for the content of the project or the manner in which the results of the project may be used. These are entirely the responsibility of the funding recipient.

Media partners
Opinia Studențească, Radio Iași, Suplimentul de Cultură, Ziarul de Iași, Alecrat – the magazine of „Octav Băncilă” National College of Art Iași, Viva FM, Iași Fun, RFI, Newsweek, Agerpres, Libertatea, DOR, , Arte și Meserii, Revista Arta, Modernism.ro, ArtOut, Scena.ro, Vice.com, Sub25, Sunete, Noizz, Ziarul Metropolis, Zi Da, IQAds, IQool, Radio Tananana

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