Nedko Solakov
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Nedko Solakov Image 1
  Nedko Solakov Image 2
Umetnost i život (u mom delu sveta), 2005
Art & Life (in my part of the world), 2005


Born in 1957 in Tcherven Briag, Bulgaria.
Lives and works in Sofia.

www.dvirgallery.com

Art & Life (in my part of the world), 2005
9th Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, 2005
Courtesy of the artist, Istanbul Biennale and Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin / Zurich
Photos: Nedko Solakov

Heritage (2006) – Project in the Legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković, Drajzerov prolaz, Belgrade

The history of the villa in Rodoljuba Čolakovića Street in Dedinje, known as the Legacy of Milica Zorić and Rodoljub Čolaković, is unique and typical in equal measure. The bourgeois villa, built in the 1930’s in the “moderately” modern architectural style characteristic of Belgrade at the time, was given to Rodoljub Čolaković, a prominent member of the new communist establishment, to live in; while there, he amassed a considerable collection of art works, which was subsequently handed over to the Museum of Contemporary Art in the form of a legacy. In the course of the 1980’s, the Museum used this venue for smaller research-based exhibitions and solo shows until, as a symptom of the Milošević-era transition and the situation at the Museum of Contemporary Art at the time, it was leased to the “Montenegro Harvest” company, and later subleased to A.D. Koleseum, run by the “controversial businessman” Darko Ašanin, who opened a semi-closed-type restaurant on the premises, which also evidently operated as a gambling establishment and a brothel, among other things. Ašanin was killed in the course of a gunfight in the yard of the villa in 1997, and his widow continued her late husband’s business activities for a while. The year 2001 marked the beginning of a protracted legal battle before a court of law between the new management of the Museum of Contemporary Art and Mrs. Ašanin and her team of lawyers; the court decided in favour of the Museum in 2004, as a result of which the venue became available for art projects again.

Nedko Solakov has been invited as the first artist to have this, as yet unadapted and almost empty space, placed at his disposal. This provides an opportunity to present the current activities of this artist for the first time in Belgrade with a new and site-specific project. This project could not be described appropriately as a “spatial intervention” (for this term carries the invasive character of a strategic-military operation); it is more in the nature of a “space analysis” through a visual-textual narrative about a certain space and within that very space. Although he is well-known for an impressive number of lucid and polysemantic conceptual projects (which can result in anything from paintings, through the creation of various “archives”, situations, to barely noticeable and seemingly marginal annotations), the work of this artist has lately been characterised by the fabrication of micro-narratives or plots within the framework of a specific environment containing traces of some previously existing life. Solakov sees himself primarily as a story-teller (who “tells stories in places that by definition belong to story-tellers”), and his “micro-narratives” are visualised by way of seemingly very modest means, mostly through brief notes pencilled on empty walls, small “doodles” relating to existing narratives or the history of a place, or simply to some forgotten objects or a mere crack in the wall, or by pre-arranging rejected objects encountered there. Still, his works are not connected to past events only, but also constitute a “reaction to a situation on a specific day”, the day these notes are made, so that they are also the result of some “momentary” intellectual or emotional “caprice”. In his works, Solakov combines his conceptualist approach with traditional drawing skills, thus creating new situations where the poetic and the ironic aspects of the artist’s personality overlap. Nedko Solakov’s irony is not aggressive and sarcastic; it is a subtle and unpretentious irony, ambivalent, open and aimed at everyone, including the artist himself, and not just at an already established object of ridicule. However, it would appear that Solakov is at his most ironic when it comes to his attitude towards the actual practice, tradition and institutionalisation of art, and his fabulations reflect a feeling of uncertainty and insupportability of further spectacularisation and mystification of works of art.

Branislav Dimitrijević

Rođen 1957. godine u Červen Briagu, Bugarska.
Živi i radi u Sofiji.

www.dvirgallery.com

Umetnost i život (u mom delu sveta), 2005
Deveto istanbulsko bijenale, Istanbul, 2005
Ljubaznošću umetnika, Istanbulskog bijenala i Galerie Arndt & Partner, Berlin/Cirih
Fotografije: Nedko Solakov

Nedko Solakov: Baština (2006) – Projekat u Legatu Milice Zorić i Rodoljuba Čolakovića, Drajzerov prolaz, Beograd

Istorija vile u ulici Rodoljuba Čolakovića na Dedinju, poznate kao Legat Milice Zorić i Rodoljuba Čolakovića, koliko je jedinstvena, toliko je i tipična. Predratna građanska vila za Beograd karakteristične „umereno“ moderne arhitekture tridesetih, je, nakon Drugog svetskog rata, data na korišćenje važnoj ličnosti nove komunističke vlasti, Rodoljubu Čolakoviću, koji je u njoj stvorio značajnu zbirku umetničkih dela, a ona je kao legat kasnije pripala Muzeju savremene umetnosti. Tokom osamdesetih, Muzej je ovu lokaciju koristio za manje studijske i samostalne izložbe da bi, kao simptom miloševićevske tranzicije i tadašnjeg stanja u MSU, ova vila bila data u zakup firmi „Montenegro Harvest“, a zatim i u podzakup A. D. „Koloseumu“ iza koga je stajao „kontroverzni biznismen“ Darko Ašanin koji je u njoj otvorio restoran polu-zatvorenog tipa, sa primetnim primesama kockarnice i bordela. Kao žrtva oružanog obračuna, u dvorištu ove vile ubijen je 1997. godine i sâm Ašanin, a njegova udovica je neko vreme nastavila muževljev biznis. Godine 2001. počinje dug sudski spor nove uprave MSU sa gospođom Ašanin i timom njenih advokata, koji je Muzej 2004. godine dobio, tako da je ova lokacija ponovo postala dostupna za umetničke projekte.

Nedko Solakov je prvi umetnik kome je stavljen na raspolaganje ovaj još uvek neadaptiran i gotovo ispražnjen prostor. Na taj se način pružila i prilika da se, upravo jednim site-specific projektom, rad ovog umetnika po prvi put značajnije predstavi beogradskoj publici. Ovaj projekat se ne bi mogao nazvati „prostornom intervencijom“ (jer ovaj pojam ima invazioni karakter neke strateško-militarne operacije), već pre „analizom prostora“ kroz vizuelno-tekstualno pripovedanje o tom prostoru, u samom prostoru. Iako je poznat po mnogim lucidnim i višeznačnim konceptualnim projektima (koji za rezultat mogu imati sve: od klasične slike, preko stvaranja različitih „arhiva“, do tek primetnih marginalnih zabeleški), u poslednje vreme je karakteristika rada ovog umetnika stvaranje mikro-narativa, ili fabula, u okviru određenog ambijenta u kom su zatečeni tragovi nekog prethodnog života. Solakov sebe prevashodno doživljava kao pripovedača (koji „priča priče u prostorima koji, po definiciji, pripadaju pripovedačima“) i njegovi „mikro-narativi“ se vizuelizuju pomoću naizgled krajnje skromnih sredstava - najčešće samo kratkim beleškama olovkom na praznim zidovima, malim crtežima koji uspostavljaju vezu s postojećim pripovestima, ili istorijom nekog mesta (bili oni neki zaboravljen predmet, ili, tek zanimljiva pukotina u zidu), ili pre-aranžiranjem škartiranih predmeta zatečenih u njemu. Njegovi radovi se, ipak, ne vezuju samo za neke prošle događaje, već su i „reakcija na aktuelnu situaciju određenog dana“, onog dana kada beleške nastaju, tako da su oni rezultat i nekog „dnevnog“ intelektualnog, ili emotivnog, „kaprica“. Solakov u svojim radovima dovodi u vezu sopstveno konceptualističko umetničko opredeljenje sa klasičnim crtačkim umećem, i stvara nove situacije u kojima se preklapa i onaj poetički i onaj ironični pol umetnikove ličnosti. Ironija Nedka Solakova nije agresivna i sarkastična, već je to ironija jedva primetnog zahvata, ambivalentna, otvorena i upućena svima, uključujući i njega sâmog, a ne samo nekom već utvrđenom objektu podsmeha. Pa ipak reklo bi se da je Solakov upravo najironičniji prema sâmoj praksi, tradiciji, i institucionalizaciji umetnosti, i njegova fabuliranja odražavaju osećaj neizvesnosti i neodrživosti dalje spektakularizacije i mistifikacije umetničkog dela.

Branislav Dimitrijević