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Nedko Solakov

A fervent follower of communism during his youth, Nedko Solakov (b.1957, Cherven Bryag, Bulgaria) adopted a more critical stance from the mid-1980s onwards when – at the advent of perestroika – he began to create works tinged with irony and sarcasm.

Historical Decisions (1987) is a series of seven drawings Solakov made two years before the end of Bulgaria’s communist regime. It was initially exhibited alongside two other series under the respective titles Past #1, Past #2 and Past #3, ‘so as not to take any risks’ according to Solakov. The drawings were made rapidly, on large sheets of paper on the floor of his studio, the title of each inscribed at the bottom edge of the paper. Solakov considers Historical Decisions to be among his most important works from this time. He describes it as showing ‘a group of people led by a politician who makes a full circle, 360 degrees. At that time, the mid 1980s, the communist party ruling Bulgaria only took “historical decisions”, as announced in the documents from the party congresses and in the official newspapers and media (there were actually no unofficial ones). Showing the decision-makers in a completely pointless action – returning to the place at which they started – was my main idea’.

The installation by Bulgarian artist, Nedko Solakov (b. 1957, Cherven Bryag, Bulgaria), entitled The Truth (The Earth is Plane, The World is Flat) (1992-2003), was created after the collapse of the Soviet empire and its satellite states. In this bric-a-brac of documents, manuscript declarations and recorded interviews, Solakov, supported by (fictional) characters, who are more or less famous, unmasks the mechanisms of propaganda which succeeded in diverting the most firmly rooted beliefs. His critique, a mark of absurd humour which is his own, aims, nonetheless, not only at ideologies. He is also skeptical of any naïve acceptance of these “truths”. Thus one discovers in The Truth, the letter from an opponent of the “Club of Friends of a Flat Earth” demanding that every certitude be cast into doubt: “Is it possible that people have become so mixed up as to challenge the obvious? The members of the club are warning us to never see things as absolute and to not be sure of anything.”

Artworks

  1. Nedko Solakov, "A Quiet Life", 2019. Collection Mudam Luxembourg. Donation 2019 – De l’artiste © Photo : Rémi Villaggi / Mudam Luxembourg
    Nedko Solakov A Quiet Life, 2019

    Ensemble de 12 dessins
    Sépia, encre noir et blanc, lavis sur papier
    19 x 28 cm chacun (sans cadre)
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Donation 2019 – De l’artiste
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

  1. Nedko Solakov, "Historical Decision", 1987. Collection Mudam Luxembourg, Acquisition 2019 © Photo : Rémi Villaggi / Mudam Luxembourg
    Nedko Solakov Historical Decision, 1987

    Ensemble de 7 dessins
    Charbon de bois, graphite et craie rouge sur papier
    70 x 100 cm chacun (sans cadre)
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquisition 2019
    © Photo : Rémi Villaggi | Mudam Luxembourg

  1. Nedko Solakov The Truth (The Earth is Plane,The World is Flat), 1992–2003

    Structure circulaire en bois, peintures, dessins, collages, photographies, cartes, globes terrestres obsolètes, animaux en peluche, vidéo, moniteur, lecteur CD, haut-parleurs, T-shirt, journaux bulgares, textes manuscrits
    350 cm x ø 450 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Vue de l’exposition Le meilleur des mondes (du point de vue de la Collection Mudam), 31.01.2010 – 23.05.2010, Mudam Luxembourg
    © Photo : Andrés Lejona | Mudam Luxembourg

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