Rada Boukova, Luchezar Boyadjiev, Pravdoliub Ivanov, Vikenti Komitski, Rudi Ninov, Nedko Solakov, Mariana Vassileva
With the project “Brittle Power”, Kunsthal 44Møen is striving to initiate a cultural exchange along the European north-south axis.
With the project “Brittle Power”, Kunsthal 44Møen opens the 2021 season with a cultural exchange along the European north-south axis between two countries outside the dominant art scene: Bulgaria and Denmark.
“Brittle Power” is an exhibition and visitor engagement program showcasing Bulgarian contemporary art.
The exhibition will show a selection of recent work ranging from drawings, paintings and sculptures to installations, video works, and a sound installation. This includes site-specific works and works on-site at Kunsthal 44Møen created especially for the show.
The works in “Brittle Power” give the feeling of swinging between illusion and reality. The viewer is shaken by dreams, assumptions and bizarre constructed utopias. Using a range of materials and concepts, the artists travel from the past to the present and playfully explore the principles, structures and vibrations of different roles, times, positions and characters.
Alongside the exhibition, Brittle Power’s editorial program includes an artists’ talk, book presentations, conversations and debates with the show’s curators and artists. Videos and texts about the Bulgarian art scene are presented on Kunsthal 44Møen’s website for the duration of the show.
Curated by René Block and Vesselina Sarieva
The project is supported by the National Culture Fund-Annual Bulgaria, Program for Support of Professional Organisations in the Field of Arts, Augustinus Fonden, 15. Juni Fonden and Vordingborg Kommune.
The curatorial framework:
Bulgaria and Denmark – the two relatively small countries located in the south and north of Europe do not have much in common, except for their slightly peripheral location within Europe. Culturally, they have undergone a very different development and have generated art scenes that are still relatively unfamiliar to each other. While artists in Denmark have received extensive state and private funding through the Royal Academy of Fine Arts and numerous museums, institutions, galleries and off-spaces for contemporary art, the contemporary art scene in Bulgaria has had to assert itself against massive political resistance and infrastructural deficits since the 1980s. It was precisely this lack of institutions and institutionalization – even after 1989 – that produced an extraordinary collective as well as individual creativity, which led to strategies of self-institutionalization and the founding of various “individual-isms”. While contemporary art in Bulgaria was mostly seen in the context of revolt and scandal, contemporary art from Bulgaria gained recognition internationally. starting with Bulgaria’s participation in the Istanbul Biennial in the early 1990ies, to several endeavors exploring the Balkan region in the early 2000s – namely in 2003 with two parallel large-scale exhibitions: René Block’s “In the Gorges of the Balkans” at Kunsthalle Fridericianum, and Harald Szeemann’s “Blood and Honey. The future’s in the Balkan” at Sammlung Essl in Vienna. With Bulgaria’s entry into the EU in 2007 (the year in which Kunsthal 44Møen was founded) the cultural scene in Bulgaria also underwent massive changes with the increasing liberalization; cultural institutions shot up out of the ground, and collective practices of networking replaced those of existential individualization. In Plovdiv and Sofia in particular, a vibrant young and cosmopolitan art scene has emerged that has is to be discovered in the North. The official system in Bulgaria also reflected on the grassroot developments and even not as consistent policy, the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture initiated few times national participation at the Venice biennale.
With “Brittle Power”, Kunsthal 44Møen aims to show different generations of artists, who are exemplary for this development in Bulgaria since the 1980s, and to present largely unknown positions for the first time in Denmark alongside established artists of the first generation.