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Ion Grigorescu’s choice of a French-language title for his film "L’Homme – Centre de l’Univers" shows use of a master language that places the artist within a specific center of intellectual and artistic thought. In reality, however, Grigorescu’s groundbreaking artistic activities centered on communist Romania of the 1970s, a fact that caused him to take up a unique position as one of the few male artists relating to the international discourse on body art and performance. Grigorescu, lying on a meadow amidst a Romanian landscape, positions the camera in a fish-eye mode that makes the ground appear rounded and him look like the only human being on earth, with his legs and arms stretched out in various directions. The camera pans from various angles, as if through a porthole, over the artist’s clothes and body as well as an adjacent utility pole in the middle of the landscape. Instead of mounting live actions, the artist chose the photo or film camera to document his bodily performances, which place the self at the center of artistic expression.

  • Artist: Ion Grigorescu
  • Original Title: Omul, centrul universului
  • English Title: Man at the Center of the Universe
  • Year: 1978
  • Material: 8mm film transferred to 16mm, color, no sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 5min, 38sec
  • Inventory no.: K420
  • Category: film
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