The idea about the Bronze House originated some ten years ago and naturally evolved in the works of the Bulgarian-Austrian artist Plamen Dejanoff. This is his most large-scale, renowned and commprehensive project that involves a lot of European museums, foundations, galleries, collectors, patrons, and experts in the field of modern art, history, architecture and urbanistics.
The Bronze House focuses on various aspects of art in social environment and its inter-relatedness with social processes, problems of modern cities, attitudes to hisotry, memory and cultural heritage.
There is a compound of houses in Arbanasi that host impressive wood-carvings, metal works and stone details as well as rich records of some 20,000 documents related to Bulgarian history from 13th to mid-20th century. The records include further several texts by Le Corbusier dedicated to the details in the Bulgarian medieval architecture.
Inspired by all this, Plamen Dejanoff sets about restoring missing details from the houses‘ decoration and turning houses in individual works of art that are in the heart of the project.
The Bronze House is the largest sculpture-house in the world made entirely and only by massive bronze. It is 14-metre high, and the foundations are seven metre by seven metre. It is made by more than 1,000 hand-cast and processed massive bronze elements.
The precious colour of the metal and its fine processing refer to the archaelogival monuments found in Bulgaria. The structure of the sculpture is made by alternating rectangular elements whose composition is inspired by the wood-carvings typical for the Bulgarian Revival. The overall plan inevitably calls for associations with the Tower of Hrelyu of the Rila Monastery.
At the same time the stylistics of the Bronze House is markedly modern and drawing on modern urban environment and modern technologies. Thus the sculpture turns into a powerful symbol of the symbiosis of past, present and future.
It is envisaged that the Bronze House will be erected at the end of 2017 and opened in the beginning of 2018 at the place of the former mausoleum in Alexander Batenberg Square in Sofia, a key place for Bulgarian post-liberation, new and modern history. After the mausoleum was destroyed in 1999, nothing significant happened in this area of the city. The square appears desolate and empty from any content. It often provokes debates and disussions, but not a single adequate urbanistic concept could be identified for it during the last 20 years.
The Bronze House is a functional architectural object. Inside the building there is a large space (a hall) that is open for the general public and is envisaged to serve as a stage for various events such as concerts, theatre performances, exhibitions, congresses etc. The Sofia City Municipality may use the Bronze House for its annual cultural calendar. This is precisely the social significance of the Bronze House. The cycle modern art – modern urbanistics – social significance will be successfully accomplished producing a side-effect for the general public.
The Sofia City Art Gallery presents Plamen Dejanoff’s newest work – a model of the Sofia City centre and the location of the Bronze House. The artist further created a special limited circulation of posters dedicated to the project. They will be presented side by side with various covers of international magazines that published articles about the Bronze House.
Curator Boris Kostadinov
The European Union declared 2018 a European year of the cultural heritage. Bulgaria and Austria will hold the EU presidency in the same year.
The Bronze House and its erection in Sofia is the official proposal of the Republic of Austria to Bulgaria in connection with the cultural cooperation between the two countries during their presidencies.
Born in 1970 in Veliko Tarnovo. Works and lives in Vienna and Veliko Tarnovo.
Graduated the National Academy of Arts in Sofia and subsequently studied in Pratt Institute, New York. In 1997 he graduated Akademie der bildenden Künste in Vienna with a master’s degree in sculpture in the class of Prof. Michelangelo Pistoletto.
H e was awarded by Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna as early as 1992. Then followed awards by Goldenen Heinrich Friedrich Fuegerpreis der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna; Meisterschullpreis der Akademie der bildenden Künste, Vienna; Kunstpreis der Stadt Hamburg, Hamburg, etc., as well as fellowships such as MAK Rudolph M. Schindler, MAK Centre, Los Angeles, MOMBUSHO, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, IASPIS, The Royal Swedish Academy of Arts, Stockholm.
Plamen Dejanoff has had more than 300 exhibitions in the last 20 years, 60 of which individual.
The larger individual exhibitions have been in MUMOK Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, MAK Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna, MAMBO Museo d ́Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, 21er Haus Museum für zeitgenössische Kunst, Vienna, MSU Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, GFZK Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Leipzig, L’ELAC, l’espace lausannois d’art contemporain, Lausanne, NAK Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aahen.
Plamen Dejanoff has participated with his works in group exhibitions in various museums such as Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, MOMA, New York, MOT Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Shanghai, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Kunsthalle, Zurich and many more.
He has also participated in bienials in Berlin, Shanghai, Prague, Melburn and Cairo as well as in the European biennial Manifesta.