Nedko Solakov

By the way

5 - 20 April 1997

Nedko Solakov tells stories. This Bulgarian artist proposes a parallel universe in which fragmented accounts of imaginary incidents, as well as real or invented characters, intersect.

Questioning the art world system, the artist looks at the concepts of the exhibition, the museum, the artist and the curator in a trilogy: The Collector of art, Ludwig Museum, Budapest, 1994; Mr. Curator, please, Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, 1995; The Thief of Art, 1996 Arken Museum, Copenhagen .... In Shedhalle, Zürich, with The artist as curator, Nedko Solakov installed a flea market, thus raising the question of private collections and the art market.

At Manifesta (Rotterdam), in 1996, in an installation entitled "Here I am, too" at the Museum of Natural History, the artist imagined himself successively as a snowflake, an ammonite, a stuffed duck and a crystal. Instead of trying to be 'someone else', Nedko Solakov asked himself what would happen if he tried to be 'something'. The artist as a personality, or rather as a multiple “thing”, tries to immerse himself and adapt to his new environment, to the surrounding society. What if the artist became the floor?

Political and personal allegories, parables, caustic satires of the art world, or distant messages of a lost culture... these enigmatic narratives evoke the collapse of an ideology and the dysfunction of another equally incomprehensible one. The artist thus plays with time, inverts the belief system, constitutes an amalgam of facts, fictions and places in a total absence of truth.

Nedko Solakov's absurd installations are a way of testing the consequences of a choice with multiple possibilities. As if the narrative could propel a new story into a new future. As if, in the sudden absence of historical references, the artist is free to improvise and anything is possible.

artconnexion devoted several projects in 1996-1997 to the notion of art and domestic space in the flat that functioned as an exhibition space. For his first exhibition in France, Nedko Solakov presented a new project entitled By the way, an intervention on the floor, where questions of borders are posed and materialized by hundreds of coloured pins, and where the artist invites us to have fun "between the lines"...