R.A.P.I. Goes Underground

Generating New Landmarks, While in Search of Historical Treasures

The Romanian Archaeological Photography Index (R.A.P.I.) presents the current project of Bucharest-based photographers, Michele Bressan and Bogdan Girbovan, who are diving into the remains of Romania’s World War II historical sites.

excavation of a mortar shell in Fagetel forest area
Rumour has it that the inhabitants from Romanian villages near the areas that Michele and Bogdan are investigating, still profit from selling the remains of the battlefields to metal recyclers.

Far from being your typical archaeological excavation, Underground, is an artistic and performance-based project which aims to generate new landmarks, and explore how the remains of civilization are periodically absorbed and integrated in nature.

The project, which began in 2014 and runs into this year, will achieve those aims in three stages:
1. They start with presenting the landscape by photographing it.
2. The objects are localised in their work field, by being excavated and photographed in the place they are found.
3. During the third layer of the project, the objects are taken from their place to a controlled setting, where they will be photographed again.

remains of machine gun nests in Culesa Valley
details of ammunition empty tubes, excavated in Culesa Valley
military button, either German or Romanian, excavated from Culesa Valley area
front and back sides of 1 Leu Romanian coin, dated 1939, excavated from a Romanian trench, Culesa Valley
front and back sides of 5 bani Romanian coin, dated 1953, excavated in Fagetel area
wrench excavated from a trench in Poiana area, probably used for mortar fuses, unknown provenience
Brenneke hunting bullet, WW1/WW2 bullets, muskets bullets, all excavated in Oglinzi area
empty tubes, excavated in the forest near Romanian bunker, Poiana area
the remains of the Romanian bunker near Poiana, detonated before the retrait in front of the incoming Soviet assault
Bogdan Gîrbovan & Michele Bressan at the entrance of Fagetel forest, named by the locals “The death’s forest”

Go to bogdan gîrbovan’s website for more images.