Flower Bridge

with Nicoleta Esinencu and Mircea Nicolae

Chisinau, 2008

[The flag of the European Union, the flag of the Republic of Moldova, two wooden poles 3,20 m x 8 cm, set up and abandoned on the banks of the small river that flows through the middle of the dry lake from the Valea Morilor Park, Chisinau, Republic of Moldova. The lake was emptied of water approximately two years ago, and it is said that it will be the place where a future residential complex will be built. The members of the local Comsomol (the youth organization of the Communist Party from the Soviet Union) built this lake at the request of Leonid Brezhnev. Nowadays the lake is a wasteland, full of bushes and small trees, a landscape out of use and in a way, out of history.

The Flower Bridge was created on the 6th of May 1990, within the “Flower bridge across the PrutRepublic of Moldova and the Bucharest-Chisinau Cultural Association. This was a symbolic gesture celebrating the liberation of Romanians living in Moldova from the Soviet rule. It also pointed out the possibility of an eventual union between the Romanian state and the Republic of Moldova. Citizens of Romania and of the Republic of Moldova met on the left bank of the Prut river in the border crossing points of Miorcani-Pererita, Stanca-Costeşti, Sculeni-Sculeni, Ungheni-Ungheni, Albita-Leuşeni, Falciu-Stoianovca, Oancea-Cahul, Galati-Giurgiulesti. They celebrated this event by throwing hundreds of thousands of flowers into the waters of the river. A period of time in which the citizens of these two countries could travel across the border only with their IDs followed. This was discontinued when Romania entered the European Union. It was also consequence of the events that led to the apparition of the Transdniestria region as an independent state. river” action, organized by the “Association of free Romanians from across the globe”, the Popular Front from the Republic of Moldova and the Cultural Association Bucharest-Chisinau.

Today, the Flower Bridge no longer exists in the symbolic imagination of these two countries, and Romanian or Moldavian authorities never mention it. Rather than being nostalgic about a past state of affairs, this intervention highlights the process of creating symbolic objects with abstract existence by the nationalist discourse. Once they have lived their lives and served their purpose, they are silently withdrawn from the collective consciousness, thus becoming mental relics, as they are no longer kept alive by the ideology that brought them into existence.]