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Ion Grigorescu’s video "Oedipus" continues the artist’s reflection on the metaphor of the ruin, as he views the house in ruins as a symbolic representation of the Oedipus complex. The myth of Oedipus provides the subject for a filmed performance that is presented in this video. In Grigorescu’s interpretation of the story, children free the city from the Sphinx, while the blinded and suffering Oedipus is eventually saved by his faith. Grigorescu had already developed black-and-white studies in his work "Regele Oedip" (King Oedipus) before filming this color video, in which the protagonists are children. In a muddy pit, the “father”—played by the artist himself—is stabbed to death with a pointy stick by one of his progeny and thrown off his throne. The underage boy then proceeds to settle down on this muddy sculpture and mourn the tragic loss while the city is liberated from the Sphinx in accordance with the myth. Grigorescu’s interpretation focuses on the immediacy and simplicity of the performance in the muddy pit, with the suffering that is inflicted and the ruins represented by earthen remnants.

  • Artist: Ion Grigorescu
  • Original Title: Oedip
  • English Title: Oedipus
  • Year: 1994
  • Material: video, color, sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 8min, 46sec
  • Inventory no.: K417
  • Category: video
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