“Anybody who needed a picture had to come to his studio,” says Cezar Popescu, the one-time lawyer-turned-photographer who for several years has been painstakingly working towards digitizing the entirety of Acsinte’s archive with no institutional or state support.”
These people have lived about 70 years ago, around 1945. Sometimes the year when the photograph has been taken is scratched into the image, otherwise we couldn´t guess. If we don´t know anything about life in Romania at that time, we won´t know a lot more after having seen these images. We see burials, we see marriages, we see people working on the fields. Uniformed men, children in pioneer uniforms, women dressed up, they want to be pretty and they are, men and women, couples and kids: they all came into Costica Acsinte´s studio to get a picture taken, to commemorate something. Always a special occasion it was then.
We tend to forget about death. We have to forget about many things, otherwise life could be unbearable.
Looking at photographs we rarely are aware oft he fact that we are looking back into time. Confronted with Costica Acsinte´s deteriorating images it´s unavoidable for us to notice: these people have faded away, as these images fade and disappear, as we will fade and disappear too.
Life is fragile, and we are too.
That is what I see in these images.