The phrase ”the dustbin of history” (or "ash heap of history") figuratively refers to the place to where persons, events, artifacts, ideologies, etc., are relegated upon losing currency and value as history. A notable usage was that of the Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky.
The art produced in Romania during 1944-1989 is condemned to oblivion through its physical disparition, without any art history judgement. The official art which served to deliver the communist party’s ideology and propaganda ie literally wiped out from the recent history, its memory is destroyed, as if it never existed: metal and bronze sculptures are being melted, paintings and books are wasted, artefacts and memorial documents are thrown away.
In the present day, as of 27 years since the end of the Cold War, the art from communist times is considered so ”passé”, belonging to a retrograde historic narrative. But, as any other story, the history of art has more than one narrative which need a serious research of the argumentation.
Part of the DARE programme (Documenting, Archiving, Revaluing and Exhibiting the art produced in Romania in 1944-1990), launched by PostModernism Museum, the editorial collection History Dustbin Collection brings forward phenomena, themes, artists and art productions from 1944-1989.
One of the artistic destinies in the focus of the History Dustbin Collection is Nicolae Spirescu (1921-2009). While he was fighting in the WWII, he attended the Academy of Arts in Bucharest, with the professors Camil Ressu (1880-1962) and J.AL. Steriadi (1880-1956). In 1952 he was appointed honorific assistant at the Visual Arts Institute in Bucharest. He gave up the academic career in order to become an artist and a high school teacher at the Visual arts and music Lycee in Galați, where he stayed until 1983. Being drawn by the Dunăre river and its Delta, Spirescu tried to create a visual identity to the local people: ”I am convinced there is an individual specific to Danube Delta, another one to the mountain, other to the plain”. He was interested in the ”social aspect of the Danube world”, admitting the influence of his favourite writer Panait Istrati in his artistic formation.