previews

  • Nedko Solakov, The Yellow Blob Story, 1997, yellow paint and handwritten text on wall. Installation view, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria. From “The Absent-Minded Man” project.

    Nedko Solakov

    Kunstmuseum Bonn
    Friedrich-Ebert-Allee 2
    September 20–November 16, 2008

    Kunstmuseum St. Gallen
    Museumstrasse 32
    February 28–May 10, 2009

    Curated by Stephan Berg

    Good luck separating Nedko Solakov’s upbringing in Communist Bulgaria from his art. As clarified by this survey of work since the late 1980s, the neo-Conceptualist’s postmedium practice mirrors instability, inhuman commands, and distrust of authority—with his pieces frequently conjuring two forces endlessly duking it out: Top Secret, 1989–90, an archive revealing Solakov’s history as an informant for the Bulgarian secret police, secured him pariah status at home; for A Life (Black and White), 1998–, one performer whitewashes a gallery’s walls as another obliterates his handiwork with black paint; 2007’s Discussion (Property) documents the artist’s fizzled attempt at arbitration between Bulgaria and Russia over the rights to the Kalashnikov. Do not expect conclusiveness in this exhibition or, as Sokalov would have it, anywhere else.