Lovers of folklore and vintage photography can visit throughout October 5 an exhibition from the library of the AGERPRES National News Agency that captures the Romanian villages from the interwar period, traditional Romanian customs, folk costume, as well as emblematic names of our folklore.
Called "Maiastra/Songbird, Traditions and Longings in AGERPRES Pictures," the exhibition contains 30 vintage and current photos taken over time by the agency's photojournalists and was mounted for the 26th edition of the Maria Tanase Festival by AGERPRES in a partnership with the Dolj County Centre for Preservation and Promotion of Traditional Culture.
Doina Ifanoni, ethnologist researcher, art historian and theorist, a member on the National Commission for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, says that the exhibition highlights aspects of daily life and spirituality that AGERPRES photojournalists captured along time, and the pictures from 1927, 1930, 1937, 1945 and our time make us "travel a little through the history of places and enjoy the remembrance of the history of the place."
"Photography has a great merit: it simultaneously stores a piece of life, with all its details. In a description, in a scientific work, by word we say as much as can be communicated in verbal language, but images tell us about the place, about habitat, about people, about so many things that mean life. Sometimes we may not find the date and place where the photography was taken or the man who was the subject, but by the way the image is presented, if it is in folk costume for example, we know where it comes from, we find out if it is appropriate clothing for a certain context, for a holiday, for work, so photography, at the same time, in a single sequence, tells us a lot and does so through phenomenological subtlety of the anthropological typology, because we see people, with their features," Ifanoni told the opening of the exhibition on Tuesday.
According to Ifanoni, the culture of the image and visual dialogue, visual perception are said today to have become a priority, but let us not stick to the physiological perception, which at the moment makes us happy or sad, but try to store and analyse, because a photo exhibition brings more information, as it is an image of the past for the present, because "the present actually feeds on the past."
"Photography has always been a means of ethnographic research, since the Gustian campaigns at the beginning of the twentieth century. What the specialist failed to say images of the places investigated would say. We, the researchers, went on field trips with AGRERPRES photojournalists because professional photography is one and documentary photography is different, that's why the Dimitrie Gusti National Museum of the Village, the National Museum of the Peasant had a good relationship with AGERPRES, because they managed to make the professional image available for printing, which means technological quality, in order to see the detail, which is essential in ethnographic research," said Ifanoni.
The ethnomusicologist Elise Stan, the TV producer of the "Maria Tanase" Festival, stated that the pictures belonging to AGERPRES are of inestimable value and those presented in the exhibition are unique.
"It is a joy for me to be able to participate in this varnishing, because I discovered photos here that I did not know. I made a film earlier about the life and artistic career of Maria Tanase and then I collected many pictures of the great artist, but there are still some here that I did not know. The pictures belonging to the AGERPRES news agency are of inestimable value, it is a real national heritage. And the fact that you brought the exhibition here, in this context of the "Maria Tanase" Festival, makes it even more important and I am convinced that it will be a success. As a specialist in folklore (ethnomusicologist, with a PhD in music), I am absolutely fascinated by everything I see in this exhibition and I really know its value," said Elise Stan.
The director of the "Maria Tanase" Festival, Amelia Etegan, also said, in her turn, that the exhibition is an integral part of the festival and captures very important moments in the evolution of some other remarkable artists, such as Maria Lataretu, who appears in a 1930 photo.
"Others capture the villages, there are photos related to everything that means the ethnofolkloric environment and for this reason I think that the exhibition is a premise for a future collaboration with AGERPRES. We respect the work power of the people there who built an impressive collection of photography over time, and I think that we can somehow contribute to the enrichment of this collection with the pictures that we take," said Amelia Etegan.
The Director General of the AGERPRES National News Agency, Claudia Nicolae, said that the pictures from the agency's archive, around 4.5 million pieces, can be considered sheets of history, works of art, which invite one to time travel.
"The exhibition "Songbird, Traditions and Longings in AGERPRES Pictures" presents, through the 30 pictures taken over time by the agency's photojournalists, the Romanian village from the interwar period, landscapes, people, monuments and moments from Oltenia of the old times, but also the present one. The general objective of the project is the preservation and public circulation of a collection of images with a special cultural and historical relevance," underscored Claudia Nicolae. AGERPRES (RO - author: Maria Mitrica, editor: Antonia Nita, EN - authors: Corneliu Colceriu, Cristina Zaharia, editor: Adina Panaitescu)