Drinking Ceausescu's Wine

Thomas Nicolaou

A conversation on Romanian everyday life, in what was, the 30th anniversary year of the Ceaușescus capture and execution. The setting for the conversation is domestic, over a meal, in an apartment block built during the Ceaușescu regime, in a Bucharest suburb. The meal was accompanied by some of Ceaușescus wine (from his cellar), now in the possession of ‘Lily’ who acquired the wine as a gift from her former boss, a Japanese businessman.
This work is about among other things, the nature of documentary (be it a short film or photography) to evidence events and narratives when 'official' documentation is missing. In this case, certificates to certify that the bottles of wine had belonged to Ceaușescu were long gone. What we do have though, is a conversation, captured through film and some photographs that document the story of the provenance of the wine.

Artist biography

Thomas Nicolaou is a British, Oxford based visual artist, graphic designer and tutor. Thomas studied printing, publishing and graphic design and worked for a number of years in publishing as a designer. The first book he made was the artists’ book Pensées with British artist Jeremy Deller. In 2008, his ‘Camden Chip Shop’ photograph was selected and screened as part of Street and Studio exhibition at Tate Modern. In 2016, he graduated from the MA Photographic Studies (now MA Photography Arts) course at the University of Westminster. His first London solo exhibition was at the Hellenic Centre, London, 2017.


Drinking Ceausescu's Wine, Thomas Nicolaou