Issue #17, 2004

Ioan Godeanu: Greatest Hits
Attila Tordai-S.

Ioan Godeanu is born in Bucharest, in 1974.

STUDIES: 2002–2004 Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste Frankfurt – Städelschule; 1993–1998 The Fine Arts University Bucharest, sculpture department. Major in sculpture. Presently Ioan Godeanu tries to survive and work like any other honest extracommunitarian citizen in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. Occasionally he dedicates some spare time to his hobby: Playing project manager for The Construction & Deconstruction Institute.


All the institutions tend towards corporate identity. The present form of corporate identity has been generated by the bureaucratically organized society that is headed toward liberal market economy. It is a convention that makes possible to hide the individual behind an artificial interface.

In 1997, four students were expelled from the University of Fine Arts, on the grounds that the things they are interested in have never been nor ever will be accepted in an institutional framework. In the end, the decision had to be withdrawn as the argument proved to be “unsubstantiated”. In 1998, the four students (Ioan Godeanu, Cosmin Grădinaru, Sergiu Nicolici and Dan Panaitescu) established a virtual institution, The Construction & Deconstruction Institute, in reaction to the rigid institutional principles that they have been subjected to a year before. The main objective of the Institute was the appropriation of bureaucratic language and the ironic comment, using this language, of day-to-day stuff. Taking for model other institutes, they organized various departments and sub-departments: The Installation College, The Cultural Reconstruction Program, The One-way Ticket Worldwide Travels, Post News Net, The Performance College, The Black Worker, Official Bulletin, The Art Departments, Weather Report, The Class Struggle, The .Com Department etc., that would serve the purpose of adjusting the institutional model also from the formal viewpoint and that of discussing and commenting current issues such as illegal employment, emigrant status, preservation of the cultural heritage etc. (Translated by Izabella Badiu)

The Greatest Hits that are presented here provide a selection from Ioan Godeanu’s work, who has been working for six years now as Project Manager of the Institute. In the labyrinth of identities highlighted by brands and logos, one can find something of a personality cult. Each registered brand provides a service; each step we take is an attempt to sell something, marketing ourselves, our multiplication. “Everything is put to the service of commercialization.” “We are all export-import agents” – the project manager says. The question so often asked – whothefuckisioangodeanu – could lead us into error as it is asked not in order to get an answer but only to sell an identity. Godeanu doesn’t separate the institution criticism from the people who work for it and, thus, they support and make the system function. By that, in fact, he points also to the responsibility of the subjects.

Translated by Izabella Badiu