Box of Negatives presents the photographic archive of Galina Yotova, who has taken pictures of artistic campaigns, festivals and exhibitions in Bulgaria from the late 1980s to the beginning of the 21st century.
What is in this box?
Films of the first activities of a group of artists and friends associated with the artist Dimitar Grozdanov.
Films from the Process—Space Art Festival, from its creation in 1992, to 2002.
Films and individual footage shot by unknown people but given years ago to Galina Yotova and preserved by her.
During the scanning and digitalisation of the negatives, new ones appeared, which had been consigned to oblivion in the corners of cabinets and drawers.
There are rehearsals at the Dora Gabe Puppet Theatre, Tolbuhin (now the town of Dobrich), from the 1987–88 season: plays staged by Stefan Moskov, with Maya Novoselska and Krastyu Lafazanov, among other actors.
Box of Negatives is part of the life of former times, but it is also an encounter with the history of art in Bulgaria, which, with its distancing, inevitably loses the luminosity of the memory but brings back confidence in the power of the imaginary past.
‘The photographic image in this sense is an occasion for activating memory, but not a determinant of its content.’, Prof. Tsocho Boyadzhiev says in the book ‘Philosophy of Photography’.
Thus, the photography in Box of Negatives does not embalm time, but restores enquiry, asking questions that never have only one answer.
Box of Negatives may be small; however, it is an opportunity to provoke a different interpretation of the period, to illuminate the names and personalities of those who have created and marked the path called ‘contemporary art in Bulgaria’.
The Box of Negatives exhibition is the final sequence of Galina Yotova’s donation to the National Gallery.