Friday, 31 August 2018, at 8:00 p. m.
Exhibition + Films on Friday Night
On 31 August 2018, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art again offers an outdoor cinema and an exhibition on one and the same evening.
Curator: Nadezhda Dzhakova
Programme: 8:00–8:30 p. m. exhibition and meeting with the artists
8:30–10:00 p. m. open-air films
The exhibition is a continuation of the series of solo presentations of Bulgarian artists participating in the Autobiography Project of the Museum. It extends the focus on the individual artists by incorporating them into the general context of the museum space.
The artists are seven in number: Adelina Popnedeleva, Boryana Rossa, Lyuben Farzulev, Ludmil Lazarov, RASSIM®, Sasho Stoitzov, and Stanislav Pamukchiev; and their works are united by the differences in their approach to creating painting today. Specific creative pursuits have been researched, offering artistic models beyond the traditional concept of the medium. Apart from the developmental trends outlined, the individual artists’ positions in the contemporary art environment stand out clearly. A characteristic of all seven is that, working in different spheres of modern art—painting, art in urban environment, performance, video art, they view painting as a tool.
The selection of films includes video documentation of performances by Adelina Popnedeleva, Boryana Rossa, and RASSIM®; an interactive multimedia disc by Lyuben Kostov (Lyuben Farzulev); digital visualisations by Sasho Stoitzov; and a film about Stanislav Pamukchiev:
1. ‘Woman President’, 2011, a performance by Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti, 4’39”.
The video takes us back to President Kennedy’s assassination. It recreates the situation of his shooting, but in this case the role of the president is played by a woman. Are people in senior political posts always men? Can a woman too be behind the stereotypes of physical, intellectual and moral superiority?
2. ‘The Real Thing’, 2000, documentation of a performance by Adelina Popnedeleva with Michelle Beck, 3’52”.
The artist is wearing a topcoat, on which advertisement slogans have been stamped through transfer printing. The brand name was changed with the name Adelina, turning it into a moving billboard: from Sofia Airport to JFK, New York, and then to the most popular spot—Times Square. An ironic journey that actually took place in 2000.
3. ‘Nirvana’, 2005, documentation of a performance by Adelina Popnedeleva, Regensburg, Germany, 11’11”.
In this performance, the artist washes white clothes with muddy water, and is also dressed in a white shirt on which the mud leaves traces. The shirt is a mediator, a link with the world hereafter. A concept exists that the white shirt itself is the garment of nymphs, mermaids, the fates. Both the naked body and that wearing white clothing symbolise the removal or ‘tearing’ of the cultural framework of the one who has touched the ‘natural’.
4. ‘Drug Abuse’, 1995, video documentation of a performance by RASSIM®, 12’12”.
The video presents in a shortened version the artist’s reactions while inhaling glue for an hour and 30 minutes, transforming drug abuse into an act of art.
5. ‘Transition’, 2003, a film about Stanislav Pamukchiev, with director and screenwriter Stefan Dzhambazov, and cameraman Tsvetan Nedkov, 27’9″.
‘Transition’ was shot during the arranging of a major jubilee exhibition of Stanislav Pamukchiev. However, this is only the outer, scenario side of the film, which deals with the meaning of art and the relationship of the artist with the real world. These are revelations in the intervals of the effort called ‘arranging of an exhibition’. And that is exactly what makes them even more valuable because the artist only shares what is in his heart of hearts. There is no time for anything else…
6. ‘Images from New York and Sofia 2011–2012’, visual impression by Sasho Stoitzov, 23’6″.
The work is a look through the eye of the artist during his travels between Sofia and New York. Irrespective of the technique he engages in, the artist remains unconventional, insightful, quiet, but with a resounding sense of irony and humour.
7. ‘Salty’, 1998, a video clip by Lyuben Kostov (Lyuben Farzulev) from his participation in the Inter-Kontakt-Grafik International Biennale of Graphic Art in Prague, with the installation ‘Labyrinth’, 17″.
8. ‘Virus’, 1999, a video clip by Lyuben Kostov (Lyuben Farzulev) from his participation in the exhibition ‘Bacillus Bulgaricus’, at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Riga, with a multimedia installation, ‘Microbe’, 50″.
9. ‘Fuck You!’, 2000, interactive multimedia disc by Lyuben Kostov (Lyuben Farzulev).
The action begins with a video clip in which Bus No. 150 arrives in the Obelia district, picks up passengers and leaves. Against the background of swimming fish, expletives can be read. The fish are voiceless and can be compared to the notion of ‘a people’. ‘Fuck You!’ is a protest against the mass culture that floods us from everywhere.