Ghosts are among us
Artists show modern interpretations on fighting dark forces
9 February, 2018
Boris Pramatarov, Shamanism.
The exhibition Exorcising Evil Spirits (There Are Ghosts among Us) was opened at the Rayko Aleksiev Art Gallery in Sofia on 7 February. The exhibition aims to show a maximum number of perspectives and interpretations of an age-old topic as the drive for self-empowerment through our struggle with the evil forces that has gone through various beliefs and rituals, their depiction and re-enactment. The selection of different kinds of medium is as varied as their manifestations in this untameable topic whose borders stretch from the tangible (visible) to the intangible (imaginary), from the forbidden and censored to the extremely deformed and spiritualistic. The idea is for the authors (and viewers, of course) to focus their attention on more spiritual pursuits. The project showcases multiple generations of artists inspired to present a contemporary take on the topic.
“Art, so it seems to me, represents the triumph of private feeling over public pressures, or at least the ability of private feeling to assert itself in the face of public pressures and public values. The essence of art, its significance is in defending meaning and values against the charlatanism of the modern market. Art is not a mirror of society but an essential part of the fabric of society,” says art expert Jed Perl in his book of essays Magicians and Charlatans Art. The current exhibition is informed by this view.
The performative aspect of the exhibition is a correlation between the show and its attitude towards/ impact on reality and fiction. On display is not only a series of images but a collection of social relations, an ephemeral social exchange of meanings. In the modern world they are often taboo mediators or taboo items, an aesthetic representation of the participants in the ritual act. They are the mask hiding real images.
Who are these images and can we recognise and banish them? The answers come from the nearly 70 artists whose works are featured in the exhibition. The names include Anzhela Minkova, Bistra Lechevalier, Bozhidar Bonchev, Virgina Zaharieva, Dimitar Yaranov, Dobromir Ivan, Donka Pavlova, Eslitsa Popova, Zoran Mishe, Iva Yaranova, Ivo Bistrichki, Iglena Russeva, Kaloyan Iliev - Kokimoto, Marieta Tsenova, Mathias Roth, Michaela Padeva, Momchil Genov, Monika Popova, Nia Pushkarova, Radoslav Muglov, Spartak Dermendjiev, Tita Dimova, Chavdar Gyuzelev, Yanko Velkov - Yanets, among others.
The exhibition, which will remain open until 28 February, is curated by Elena Panayotova, Irina Dakova and Yovo Panchev.