Events Calendar

Kiril Cholakov FRA/BETWEEN

Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art
Kiril Cholakov entitles his exhibition at the museum, FRA/BETWEEN. Not only because the artist lives and works, travelling between two places—Rimini in Italy and the village of Izvor in Bulgaria, between different languages and cultures; but also because he places the viewer in a position FRA/BETWEEN the artist’s personal history, private recollections, the whims of consciousness and the reality we are involved in, our collective memory and common biography; between the anecdotes that sneak into his journal of drawings, to universal truths.
Kiril Cholakov’s solo exhibition includes two personages: first, that of the artist and, second, a character from a book-phantom. Led by their curator, the pair embark on a strange game even before having met. Nadezhda Dzhakova invites the writer Irina Batkova to compose text that responds in an unusual way to the artist’s oeuvre, to appear in the exhibition as excerpts from book-phantoms. In addition to Kiril Cholakov’s drawings, site-specific works, and paintings, and the extracts from book-phantoms by Irina Batkova, a video portrait of the artist by director Milena Kaneva can also be viewed.
In literary passages, Kiril Cholakov discovers visual images for his drawings. Thus, the hero of the book suddenly sneaks into the large-format entanglement of drawings that the artist makes on the museum walls. The image of the man-stork, having woven a nest of his thoughts and ideas, walking in the fog and snow, turning into a lonely bare tree, follows his creator, the artist, from one gallery to the next. The author-artists in the exhibition become more than one, while the tale transforms into multiple narratives that often have no beginning or end.
The hero in the book-phantom speaks of those places of new possibilities in which the chain of connected events, where one thing turns into something else, is perceptible. The seemingly chaotic directions resemble a labyrinth, which after a long, winding trail leads you back to the beginning…
Such is the large-format drawing on the wall: a place for observation that, with prolonged staring, loses its clear outlines—the silhouettes of objects, animals, plants, and people become emptied of narrative, disintegrating to form ‘a new web’, an all-consuming or, rather, an all-embracing vision. FRA/BETWEEN is the special space for shifting the layers, for breaking down and rebuilding the images. A transitional space generated by the encounters or brushing together of different worlds, a border point of disintegration, a farewell to watching the images of the material world and building new ones.
This drawing on the walls of the museum will gradually fade and, when the exhibition ends, it will disappear, just as our memories are obliterated with time.
The exhibition is the sixth in the Autobiography Project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art programme.


Thursday 15 December 2022