SARIEV Contemporary, Plovdiv
On the Wrong Side
11 November 2016 - 6 January 2017
Opening: 10 November, 6:30 pm in the presence of the artist
SARIEV Contemporary is delighted to present On the Wrong Side – Pravdoliub Ivanov’s third solo exhibition at the gallery in Plovdiv. The show will opened on 10 November at 6.30 in the presence of the artist. On the Wrong Side will be on view until 6 January 2017 at SARIEV Contemporary, 40 Otets Paisiy Str., Plovdiv
Pravdoliub Ivanov’s project at Sariev Contemporary bears the title On the Wrong Side.
“I realize more and more,” Ivanov says about his show, “that when I think of social, political and global problems, conflicts and dangers, I am actually thinking of my own fears. The elements of this project do not add up to a single unambiguous theme; they are, rather, fragments born out of my personal anxieties and hopes. It’s why I aimed at creating a sense of discomfort in the exhibition experience.”
These fears are the by-products of a dismantled world where stereotypes such as East and West can no longer explain and exhaust our present.
Before we enter, we are met by a neon sign on the gallery’s façade: On the Wrong Side, a work bearing the title “You are...”. Although the viewer sees the inscription lit up against the wall, the actual letters are spelled out in reverse and facing backwards.
The object “The Ladder” is the perfect metaphor for what we ordinarily might call socio-political life. How far up the ladder you get depends on which path you choose to take. But is it really as simple as that? Might it be that the ladder’s very construction predetermines your ultimate position in the social hierarchy?
In another work, the artist’s traumatic memories are embodied in a communist - era slide projector that brutally thrusts, drill - like, into the gallery’s wall. In the 1970s and 80s, gadgets like these were used to screen fairy tales to children, as well as for educational and propaganda purposes. Here, the one - time “toy” has been turned into a powerful machine that can destroy thick walls and demolish systems. Or it could, were it not stuck high up the wall, its power cord too short to connect to the plug below... A piece of technology that was once formative for a whole generation is now useless and thoroughly bewildering to the following generations.
Two brilliant drawings, “Truths”, which seemingly plays on the Modernist heritage of the 20th century, and ‘’After Dürer”, which tinkers with other history of art concepts, are also part of the exhibition. Ivanov’s daring allusions to the past become part of the unintelligible language of the present.
Finally, in the video “Natural Fear”, the viewer can choose to see and “read” this short film with or without a sound track. The two experiences are so dramatically different that they have the potential to create two separate, diametrically opposed publics.
Text: Boris Kostadinov, (full version on the text www.sariev-gallery.com)
Translation: Boris Deliradev