utopia

series of 5 paintings

 oil on canvas

120 x 81 cm each

2011

The project Utopia is a series of paintings and drawings which question the idea of utopia and its relations to the political changes of a country. What would happen if utopian ideas are turned into reality? Would they remain utopian? Some utopian ideas create a history of circles that repeat themselves again and again. They start with the demolition of an old world and complete with their own’s world demolition.

 

The first component is a series of 5 paintings (120 x 81 cm each, oil on canvas).

 

Claude-Levi Strauss finds functional resemblance between ancient myths and present political ideologies. Myths required to be understood as a nature, not as a cultural creation. Myths are anti-historical. Socialist ideology also claims to be anti-historical, to create a perfect world that will last forever. In my country these utopian ideas became a reality, a history of circles which repeat themselves again and again. The communist era started with the demolition of an old world. And it ended with a demolition. Was this a revolutionary demolition of old ideas, or their repetition?

 

The second part the project Utopia represents narratives of personal spaces during and after the communist era in relation to history of the public spaces depicted in the paintings. Is there a place for art in this political situation? Is it possible for art to survive in a context where nothing personal was allowed? This part of the project includes two ‘visual diaries’ made by two fictitious artists, displayed along with short ‘biographical notes’ for the both artists. Inspired by the work of Ilya Kabakov and his project An Alternative History of Art, as well as his worksTen Characters, I have chosen to create different characters. These different viewpoints provide not only an opportunity to question the idea of authorship, but also to move away from a suggestion of a ‘true’ knowledge about the communist era and the idea of utopia in a broader sense.

 

The first person is an artist who passionately believes in the utopian ideas of socialism. He does a diary consisted of ink drawings (size A3) of imaginary buildings and spaces, reflecting his belief in the bright future. He is interested in relations between economics, social equality and myths in his attempts to describe the future ideal world.

 

The second character is an artist who sees communism as a destructive ideology. He wants to be a dissident and to take part in underground movements, but he cannot find followers and he is not prepare to risk everything. He does a diary of his imaginary life as a dissident (size A3, acrylic on paper). In it he draws his exhibitions’ openings, speeches and even his arrest as a dissident.

diary of a fictitious artist 1

series of 12 drawings

 ink on paper

29 x 42 cm each

2011

diary of a fictitious artist 2

12 paintings

acrylic and pencil on paper

29 x 42 cm each

2011

 © 2023 by Nina Pancheva-Kirkova

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Nina
Pancheva-Kirkova