Beyond All Reason. In the Mirror of Surreal Times
curated by Gregor Jansen
13.04.2023 - 03.06.2023
Aaron Roth. Curved Screen (slot machine), 2023, oil on canvas, inserted into faux leather, upholstery plastic elements, metal, and wood construction, 55 x 482 cm (height variable)
Aleksandra Chaushova. Slender-billed Starling (Onychognathus tenuirostris), 2023, pencil on paper, 51 x 34,5 cm
Dimitar Solakov. Natural Flow, 2021,watercolour on paper, 23 x 31cm
Krasimira Butseva, Julian Chehirian, Lilia Topouzova. The Kitchen: Scaffold of Intimacy, 2022, wooden furniture, cast iron sink, fridge, tiles, wall filler, liquid latex, plants, sand, and others; video projection (15’), audio recordings (20’), dimensions variable
Kiril Prashkov. Sitting Places I, II, III, 2011, barbed wire, wood, plexiglass, 46,5 х 39 х 39 cm each
Krassimir Terziev. There Are Winters Nobody Is Prepared For (Spring), 2023, linden bark, polyester resin, dimensions variable
Leda Ekimova. Jason, sometimes I imagine you live here (a house on my street), 2022/2023, photograph (20 х 30 cm), drawing of an installation (pencil on paper, 80 x 60 cm)
Lyoudmila Milanova. Tree of Vision, 2021, kinetic light installation
Martina Vacheva. The Train is Running Years Late, 2023 - , acrylic, collage on canvas, 25 x 354 cm
Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova. Globally and on a Long-Term Basis the Situation Is Positive - Corner 1, 2007, 2’ 17’’
Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova. Globally and on a Long-Term Basis the Situation Is Positive - Corner 3, 2008, 1’ 04’’
Nedko Solakov. Brook, 1985, oil on canvas, 54 x 81 cm
ninavale (NINA Kovacheva & Valentin Stefanoff). I Am - I Am - We Are - ninavale, 2018, neon, mirror, glass and plexiglass, 50 x 50 x 100 cm
Pravdoliub Ivanov. Childhood, 2014, slide projector, drill, 20 x 10 x 60 cm (size without the cable), 2+1АР, courtesy of Sarieva Gallery, Plovdiv and Le Guern Gallery, Warsaw
Radostin Sedevchev. Shelter, 2020, found photo album, pencil, paper
Sophia Grancharova. The Mirror Is a Trigger and Your Eye's a Gun, 2023, mirror, digital print on foil and plexiglass
Stefan Nikolaev. Business, Model, Sculpture, 2015, bronze, 55 x 105 x 47 cm, 5+2 AP. Courtesy : Michel Rein, Paris / Bruxelles & Sarieva, Plovdiv
“Hotline“ is a project that tries to open Bulgaria to the world, attracting the attention of renowned international curators. It is based on our conviction that the local art scene has enormous potential, which, however, remains unrealised outside the country.
We approached Gregor Jansen, long-time director of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, experienced art historian, curator, critic and professor, to explore the accumulations in the field of contemporary art in our country, to meet and talk with artists, to feel the different layers in the life of the city and to reflect his impressions in an exhibition.
He himself writes in his text for the forthcoming catalogue that in Sofia he has often and gladly felt at home, like finding a birthplace and a land that is foreign and yet somehow familiar. “It was like being in a dream, like being in a new realm of signs or references.” The idea for this exhibition was born from his experiences of encounters with people, culture and art in Sofia, but also from the many problematic situations here and there, as everywhere in the world. The exhibition covers a large enough period, but also shows works from his own world of contemplation, but mostly from the continuum that artists provide him with advice and support. “As is often the case in life, it is the unplanned, the unforeseen and the surprising that ultimately makes the exciting and often beautiful.”
“Beyond All Reason. In the Mirror of Surreal Times” wants to build a relationship that looks at the magic of reality alongside its tragic; it has to go alongside the factual, as concrete and as inventive, fantastic, unreal, dreamlike as possible. In new and new metamorphoses of things and bodies, prevailing definitions of man and the human being must be questioned. Gregor Jansen: “I was interested in using this atmosphere and this fluidity for the exhibition, dealing mostly indirectly with the reflection of the historical, the surreal, the local and the present, a kind of posthumanism and repoliticization of ecology. The exhibition brings together many different generations, genres and issues. At the same time it aims to redefine the artistic craft while keeping in mind Jacques Lacan’s psychoanalytical concept of the mirror stage, which describes the formation of a self-image and its functions for the ego. The surrealistic idea of fluidity and hybridity of identity is linked to contemporary reflections on global politics, but also to the conflict of East and West that was thought to have been overcome.”
Gregor Jansen is since 2010 the director of Kunsthalle Düsseldorf. He studied art history, architectural history and philosophy at the RWTH Aachen and received his doctorate in 1998 on the subject of “Eugen Schönebeck. A German Legend”. Since 1991, he has worked as a project manager, curator, art critic, and author, and has taught in the departments of image science and media theory at several universities of applied sciences and art academies in Germany and the Netherlands. He worked as project manager for the exhibition “Iconoclash” with Bruno Latour and Peter Weibel (2001/02) at the Karlsruhe Center for Art and Media (ZKM). In the same year Jansen was co-curator for the second media art biennial “media_city seoul” in South Korea. In 2005, he was appointed curator for the BEIJING CASE fellowship program, jointly run by the German Federal Cultural Foundation and the Goethe-Institute Beijing, to research international urban developments in megacities. The project and the final exhibitions “INFORMEL CITY?” in Beijing 2005 and “totalstadt. beijing case” (ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2006) deal with the explosive growth of the city and its influence on urban culture in the field of tension between tradition and modernity. From 2005 to 2009 he was director of the ZKM | Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe. Gregor Jansen is the curator of numerous national and international exhibitions, as recently in Brazil, Leipzig, Shanghai or South Korea. He is author of numerous lectures and essays on contemporary art as well as of artist monographs, interviews and editor of many exhibition catalogs. At the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf he has realized exhibitions on Capitalist Realism, Digital Data, Museum and Economic Values, mirrors, and numerous solo exhibitions with Hans-Peter Feldmann, KRIWET, Tomma Abts, Chris Martin, Koo Jeong A, Tal R, Yin Xiuzhen, Marijke van Warmerdam, Song Dong, Liu Xiaodong, Carroll Dunham and Albert Oehlen, currently on Martha Jungwirth, and Peter Piller. Gregor Jansen lives and works in Dusseldorf, Germany.
The project is realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund and Gaudenz B. Ruf.