The exhibition 'The Afternoon of an Ideology' presents a slice of Sofia City Art Gallery's collection as put together through the 'non-art' eyes of Georgi Gospodinov and Georgi Lozanov. Acting as art historians of sorts, they mined the gallery's store room seeking evidence of the communist period and also investigating how artists experienced that period. The concept the two curators put forward is two-fold: first, that artists used their own language to write microhistories of the period and, second, that artists participate in a 'double game': while they are representing reality, also reality is representing itself to them, becoming a work of art by both yielding to and resisting their will.
In pursuing their goal, Mr Gospodinov and Mr Lozanov discovered that aesthetic qualities were not the leading criteria for a work to qualify for the selection. By no means should this imply of course that such are absent – after all, the selection features pieces by some of Bulgaria's most prominent artists: Lyubomir Dalchev, Ivan Kirkov, Vaska Emanuilova, Pavel Koychev, Galin Malakchiev, Atanas Yaranov, Dimitar Kazakov, Milko Bozhkov, Lyuben Zidarov, Andrey Daniel, Nedko Solakov, Vihroni Popnedelev, Stanislav Pamukchiev, Tekla Alexieva, Vanko Urumov. All these are artists who had their own positions with respect to the communist period and to how art was made then... Viewers will follow how they thought through their work and will succumb to their creative attitudes.
The search for 'art clues' about the private person of the communist period produced four thematic fields, roughly represented as dyads: transport-city, window-contemplation, household-holiday and childhood-guilt.
The exhibition is part of The Other Eye, the long-term series the gallery has undertaken to present and socialise the abundance and variety of its art assembly as seen through the eyes of non-artist intellectuals.
The accompanying catalogue, in Bulgarian and English, features essays by the curators and plates of the selected artworks.
The project is made possible with support from the Ministry of Culture, Sofia Municipality's Kultura programme and Aurubis Bulgaria AD.
'The Afternoon of an Ideology' opens at 6 pm on 16 September and will be on view through 27 November 2016.