Vestigial Structures


  • single-channel HD video,
  • Sound by Simina Oprescu
  • With the participation of Andrada Besliu
  • Camera: Tania Cucoreanu, Nona Inescu, Vlad Nanca
  • Text based on an extract from “A Land” by Jacquetta Hawkes
  • aprox. 6’30”
  • Produced with the support of Frac des Pays de la Loire

“The video Vestigial Structures takes its starting point from the concretions that are still considered to be a mystery of nature, a geological curiosity, due to their unusual shapes, textures, sizes and resemblance to human manufactured objects or fossils. These stones accumulated in time layers after layers of sedimentary minerals of different kinds, turning them into solid “portraits” of the natural changes occurring during hundreds of years sometimes. In the video, the stones found by Nona in Romania appear to be attached to a human body, which not only accepts this proximity, but searches for a common “ground”. In addition to the body “exercises” using the stones as nodular patches attached to one’s skin, Nona juxtaposes images filmed in black and white at the Carnac alignments in Brittany during her residency at Frac des Pays de la Loire. The Carnac stones cover more than 4 km of nearly 3 thousands of menhirs – peulvens, as they were called during Hugo’s and Stendhal’s time – dating back to the Neolithic period. Placed in rows, the Carnac stones were the subject of many disputed theories and traditional myths regarding their origin – from a hypothesis that they were erected by giants, to a belief that they are pagan soldiers turned to stone by Pope Cornelius, to a more recent theory on their astronomical alignment, as well as their architectural purpose. “When one looks at them steadily they seem to move, to bend, to become infused by life”, Guy de Maupassant stated. Identified with human beings, the menhirs were described by Jacquetta Hawkes in her book A Land, first published in 1951, as follows: “In all these legends human beings have seen themselves melting back into rock, in their imaginations must have pictured the body, limbs and hair melting into smoke and solidifying into these blocks of sandstone, limestone and granite.” Quotes from this remarkable book are used by Nona as a reference to the personal and visionary ideas of Hawkes on the individual as being dispersed into the whole history of humanity – “every being is united both inwardly and outwardly with the beginning of life in time and with the simplest forms of contemporary life”. In connection to this particular research, Nona Inescu presents an uncanny object titled Appendix, referencing the vestige organs,remnants from our evolutionary past.” (Diana Marincu)