Bonn

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, 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.

Bonn

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.