Rachiu din Cacat si Pufoaica, video documentation, color, sound, 24:40 min., 2009.
“The desire to transmute elemental materials into more noble forms is at work in Rachiu din Cacat si Pufoaica, an alcohol manufactured with chicken shit. Based on an ancient recipe from Teregova, in Western Romania, Ciprian Homorodean arrived at a distilled, clear alcohol of 42°, a variant of the national beverage (Tuica). Through a process somehow reminiscent of the age-old alchemical quest to turn common metals into gold, excrements were transformed into a drinkable substance infused with unusual, magical qualities. A video documentation of the transformation of the fecal matter into liquid art describes this process in detail. But, as in most of the artist’s previous projects, the work is not confined to a singular expression nor to a particular form. The making-of of Rachiu and the alcohol itself, presented in individually labeled bottles, are but the visible part of a work that engages a larger story dealing with Romanian tradition, history, and social context. Which, ultimately, is a story about human experience and a reflection on the means of negotiating a better life.The target of the artistic research, in this case, is the social role of alcohol and its significance for different populations. While the wealthy may drink to celebrate, the indigent often gets drunk to forget. The former mingle in parties with a glass of wine or champagne, a liquid lubricant for social exchange; the latter drown their lonely despair in the cheapest alcohol at hand. For the poverty stricken, drunkenness offers a blurry state of mind where unfulfilled dreams and wishful thinking may be satisfied: an unstable, yet accommodating state of forgetfulness and euphoria. However, while cultural and economic context appear to clearly define drinking customs and patterns, no clear boundaries separate economic indigence from pauperism of the mind. Drinking also helps to conceal the vacuity of the drunk. In all cases, alcohol functions as a supernatural potion, a drinkable gateway to the ideal world.”

Rose Marie Barrientos

Rachiu din Cacat si Pufoaica, series of 100 bottles (each unique) filled with shit beverage, 2009.