The Brutality of Fact (Part II) shows the latest part of an ongoing research project by artist Tudor Bratu which focuses on the idea of ’otherness’. The ‘Other’ is a stranger, a loner who is kept at a distance by means of social, political and economic sanctions. Images from the personal archive of his family history, together with archival material of the former Eastern Bloc and testimonies of encounters with contemporary refugees are brought together in a single intimate, narrative installation.
The Bratu family has experienced the turbulent period of Romania since the Second World War first hand: his grandmother as a refugee during the Soviet invasion in 1945 and his father as a dissident and political prisoner during the reign of Nicolae Ceauşescu. Bratu emigrated to the Netherlands at the age of nine, where he personally experienced the position of being the ‘outsider’.
In addition to his own migration history, the artist examines how urban environments in the former Eastern Bloc are shaped, how they change over time, and to what extent they contribute to frameworks and views around outsiders. From here, the artist reflects on the current refugee crisis. Through descriptions of encounters with refugees during journeys through Central Europe, the artist gives insight into the ways in which they are made ‘outsiders’, and the obstacles they face in an attempt to gain access to a new society.
The exhibition invites the visitor to reflection and a longer stay in order to create an image of both a personal history and a more universal history of detachment, social unrest, migration and change.