Occasional Camping, 2022
 
        supported by 
               Occasional Pistolet Gallery, Eskimo Group (Sofia, BG) and ReBonkers Art Space (Varna, BG)

The project OCCASIONAL CAMPING situates artists from Bulgaria and abroad in an occasional, most ordinary panel apartment in Varna, located strategically between 3 industrial zones, a cemetery and a prison.
The process of conceptualizing/romanticizing of the ordinary, the industrial and the subcultural in the context of the hugely charged symbol that is the sea, reveals a face of Varna which, alien to the touristic context, is inevitably present, capturing the history of modernity – from the multicultural base remaining of the Ottoman Empire, through the gigantic leap towards europeization of royal Bulgaria, including early industrialization, academic development of economic science, organizing of industrial fairs, through the heavy industrialization and urbanization of communism that grouped monumental constructs of human destinies into peripheral districts. The industry and the sea are connected inevitably in a joint organism that defines the existence of everything else – the everyday regime of work and rest, Liliev, Vaptsarov, the ghetto rapper, the restaurant singer, the last punk; the weird people and sailors who import illegally music during communism; the artists who, again during communism, paint industrial landscapes (first of which is the Varna-born Maria Stolarova) in a fugitive attempt towards the “decadent formalism” of cubism, minimalism and abstraction. These layers of industrial and subcultural experience are the matter that makes Varna a big and global city with its unlit and doubting modes of existence.

Researching and experiencing the environment of the apartment, its surroundings and the sea, he artists build their own way of inhabiting the city as an ultimate mode of existence. They put their aesthetical sign, lost in the memory of the city. Nowadays the sea of Varna is shared with war, whose pieces float with the sea currents. The refugees of war, like the artists of the occasional camping, are out of the window display and inhabit temporarily the same class of occasional habitation. This fact of life inevitably leaves its nuance on an occasional camping.

Text: Leda Ekimova

Artists:

Alexander Gerginov (BG)

Anna Herms (DE)
Irina Valkova (DE)
Jurraj Rattaj (SK)

Karine Fauchard (FR/A)
Kveta Kazmukova (SK/DE/BG)

Leda Ekimova (BG)
Miryana Mihaylova (BG/USA)

Orlin Nedelchev (BG)
Stanimir Genov (BG)
Stela Vassileva (BG)

Programme:


28.10 – 4.11.2022 mini open gates: work phase in the camping space with artworks by Anna Herms, Leda Ekimova and Stanimir Genov
15 – 27.11.2022 open gates
Visits between 13 and 15 h by appointment with our assistant Kalina Zhecheva: kalina.zhecheva@gmail.com

26.11 – 5.12.2022 Occasional Camping Replayed

Multimedia installation with documentation from the camping ReBonkers, 4 Baruten Pogreb Str, www.rebonkers.com open Monday to Saturday, 16 – 20 h.

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          Occasional Camping kitchen with the work of Stanimir Genov
 
       

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The autonomous life of things in an abandoned space

Porcelain plate, raspberry jam made from local raspberries 

Irina Valkova, 2022

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The autonomous life of things in an abandoned space

Porcelain plates, painted, tea cup

Irina Valkova, 2022

The autonomous life of things in an abandoned space

Wool rug, various porcelain dishes, raspberry jam made from local raspberries

Irina Valkova, 2022

 

The project consists of two parts (dishes and rug) addressing the self-sufficiency of artefacts loaded with memory and human touch and adapting to changing environments.

 

The Dishes. 

Scattered around the empty flat and no longer in use, dishes carry with them some fossilised memory of how it used to be. They explore their new modality of existence without being useful, spending weeks without being touched by anybody. They slowly loose hope to return to the “normal” state of things and that is when their new life starts out of the blue; they rise like phoenix from the ashes and begin displaying the past in the present as if it has never been gone. 

 

The Rug.

The work on the rug began on the day of the Russian invasion of Ukraine as an intuitive attempt to get through the whole situation, endure omnipresent war footage and conversations with the refugees - and to find a new ground through “writing” this text without words.

 

Through the interweaving of land surfaces encountered (walked upon) by the artist in the meantime in various countries, this work reveals the continuity of war experience: the naive aim is to end the work on the rug with the last stitch on the day the war ends. Grounds of various origins grow together, loosing their abstract ornamentality and the sense of direction to the all-devouring materiality of the artwork, and stressing the aimlessness of war, the inescapable totality of its sensation. The Varna-patch (segment) of the rug is based on the wavy tile flooring of the Dormition of the Mother of God Cathedral and is made directly in the flat.

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The autonomous life of things in an abandoned space

Carpet, wool, detail

Irina Valkova, 2022