THE OTHER EYE PROJECT OUT OF TIME
“The Other Eye” is a series of exhibitions, where non-art historians and non-curators are invited to work with the Sofia City Art Gallery museum collection. The project aims to look beyond traditional interpretations of history and, possibly, “unearth” somewhat forgotten works, and also trace new links connecting the latter.
After artist Luchezar Boyadjiev, the Sofia City Art Gallery invited philosopher Boyan Manchev. He chose to name his exhibition “Out of Time” based on the conclusion that, contrary to his expectations, big tales from history, ideological canons, and the representation of monumental historical events are far from constituting either a large part of the collection, or its structurally defining center. Rather on the contrary – the representation of various aspects of people’s private world obviously prevails, there being, conditionally speaking, an “idyllic” thread running through the works, which unifies all those aspects through the representation of elements of everyday living, which are not directly related to either big moments in history and monumental events, or to essential existential and metaphysical issues such as life, death, birth, violence, suffering, etc.
Time seems to be the central issue in the empirical conclusions stated above: it is the possible organizing principle serving as the basis of the thematic nuclei described above. The said principle appears to be particularly productive for three reasons at the least: the issue of time is considered in view of the “ontology of the present”, and does therefore constitute the focus of a great number of political, economic and philosophical debates; time is also the meta-notion of the museum and the archive in general, and of the SCAG collection in particular. In other words, concentration on the issue of time would allow us to view the whole collection through the prism of the exhibition (which is one of the aims of this project); last, but not least, time is the most enigmatic object of painting – how is time represented in painting, how does it become the object and possibly the subject of representation? The curator hypothesizes that a specific notion of time, and a specific experience of it determines the very structure of interpretation of specific issues and the approaches to their modulation.
Why then out of time? How is time featured in painting – not historical, event-and-fact-laden, symbolically organized and ideologically oriented time, but time itself (the time of life and of the world) without any of its “surplus values”? The “idyllic” or pseudo-idyllic imagery, which attracts the curator’s interest, carries a specific image of time or experience thereof. Action and the passing of time related to it seem to have frozen in the idyll of the moment. It is this empty, indefinite, nobody’s, out of time, that Boyan Manchev is interested in.
Artists whose works have been featured in the exhibition include: Vera Nedkova, Vera Loukova, Lika Yanko, Sami Bidjerano-Sabin, Kiril Tsonev, Iliya Petrov, Naoum Hadjimladenov, Ivan Nenov, Bencho Obreshkov, Dechko Ouzounov, Georgi Bawev, Nadezhda Kouteva, Nikolai Maistorov, Vihroni Popnedelev, Edmond Demirdjian, Samouil (Suli) Seferov, Dimiter Voinov, Dariya Vassilyanska, Nadezhda Deleva, Andrei Daniel, Zina Yourdanova, Luben Kostov, Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Milko Pavlov, Sasho Stoitzov, Nina Kovacheva, Ivan Moudov, Boryana Rossa, Nikola Mihov, etc.