Vernissage on Wednesday, 16 September, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.SAMCA, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd., Sofia
‘PURE (future)’, by Bulgarian-French artist Christian Bakalov, who has been living and working in Paris, Nantes, Lausanne and Brussels for the past 30 years, is the second installation of the ETERNIA trilogy, dedicated to Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza’s concept of eternity. Created especially for the spaces of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, it offers an unusual encounter with contemporary art by activating the senses and the sensitivity, balancing between various artistic forms through which the artist develops his specific language in communicating with the public.
The viewer’s physical ‘immersion’ in the matter of the artwork allows him to perceive the relationship with it as an experience, not merely as contemplation. Visitors will enter the installation one by one, every 10 minutes, which allows for individual inclusion in the exhibition and is in accordance with the recommendations for compliance with all anti-epidemic measures and controlled access. Bakalov and his performers will create the optimal conditions for a calm and pleasant passage through the galleries of the museum.
In 2013, Bakalov began work on BRIGHT, his first immersive performative visual installation, where the main role was played by the public. By blurring the boundaries between performative action and visual installation, Bakalov develops a series of immersive methods of leading the public into a parallel reality through the different senses.
From 9 to 99 years of age, from art specialists to people stepping into a museum, gallery or theatre for the first time, the original ‘artistic machines’, which Bakalov adapts for each space and into which he draws the visitor, succeed in stimulating everyone who attends them to rethink the way he connects not only with art, with himself and with others, but also with the eternal themes of the meaning of life and death, reality and its parallels, the world as a reflection in us that deflects us back into it and beyond its visible limits.
‘PURE (future)’ is produced by ArtEast Foundation, Sofia, with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, and with media support from the Sofia Municipality and Platform 0090, Antwerp.
Christian Bakalov graduated from the State Choreographic School in Sofia, before leaving for Paris where he was invited to join the Young Ballet of France with which he toured Europe, including Bulgaria, and Asia.
His development as a contemporary dancer and choreographer continued at the National Choreographic Centre of Nantes; he performed with it for eight years in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Australia.
After becoming a French citizen, Bakalov decided to establish himself as a freelance artist in Paris, which provided the opportunity for him to work with choreographers, directors and visual artists such as Jérôme Bel, Robert Wilson, Jan Fabre, and Ivo Dimchev with whom, in 2009, he opened the private performance space ‘Volksroom/Ivo Dimchev’ in Brussels.
A decisive moment in Bakalov’s creative career was his joint work with the Belgian visual artist, director and writer Jan Fabre, an emblematic figure of the transdisciplinary arts of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Meeting Fabre and Dimchev was decisive for Bakalov’s future interest in creating artworks that progressed through various forms of contemporary art and experimentation.