Vladimir Mitrev


1972 born in Sofia, Bulgaria, lives and works in Berlin, Basel and Sofia


2003–2004 Meisterschüler at Universität der Künste, Berlin
2003 Graduation in Fine Art at Universität der Künste, Berlin
2001 Studies Fine Art at Wimbledon School of Art, London
1997–2003 Studies Fine Art at Universität der Künste, Berlin

Grants, awards etc.

2016 Nomination for the Videoart Award George Papazov, Sofia
2015 Artist talk, „Glocal (Hi)stories“, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
2012 ArtUP! Media Art in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, Project of the Goethe Instituts in Ankara, Athens and Sofia
2012 Artist talk at Webster University Department of Art, St. Louis/USA
2010 Award in the category Media Installation of the 14th International Video Festival VIDEOMEDEJA, Novi Sad/Serbia
2010 Nomination for the Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for New Bulgarian Art, Sofia
2010 Nomination for the 14. Marler Video-Kunst-Preis, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl
2008–2010 Studio-Grant of the Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft, Berlin
2008 Nomination for the Golden Cube, Monitoring, 25. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest, Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel
2008 Artist in Residence at Kulturkontakt, Vienna
2004 NICA Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University, Art College, Pittsburgh/USA

Selected Exhibitions and Screenings

20.9.14 – 28.4.18, Galerie Marek Kralewski, Freiburg

Splendid Isolation – Not in Our Name, Kunst Raum Riehen, Basel
Die unerträgliche Leichtigkeit des Seins, Kunsthalle Palazzo, Liestal

Video Town, Accélérateur de Particules, Strasbourg
Capri by night, Schauspiel, Koeln
Video City, Congress Center, Basel
Nachtflimmern, Projektraum M54, Basel
Das Esszimmer goes Weltraum, Basel
Sex Appeal, One Night Stand Gallery, Sofia
Mut zur Lüge, Exhibition Expanded Media, 300. Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Kunstbezirk, Stuttgart

Contemporary Video, Exhibition of the nominated works for the Videoart Award George Papazov, Contemporary Space, Varna
Scale in the Social, Exhibition halls Raphael Michajlov, Veliko Tarnovo/Bulgaria
Liste Total, Werkraum Warteck, Basel

Home, Kunstfenster, Heinrich von Zügel Haus, Wolkenhof in Murrhardt
Regionale 16, FABRIKculture, Hegenheim
Focus Bulgaria, viennacontemporary, Vienna
Save the Dreams. Contemporary Artists from Bulgaria, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice
Solo Screening „Glocal (Hi)stories“, Kunsthistorisches Institut, Freie Universität Berlin
In the Making, Oslo Night 2015, Haus der elektronischen Künste, Basel

Formalno, Aritstat prisastva formalno na Z/zemjata, Art Today Association, Center for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv
nachtflimmern – Projektraum M54, Basel
Und woran glaubst Du?, Electrohaus, Hamburg
Die Krim als Spielplatz der Geschichte, Solo Show, philosophicum im Ackermannshof, Basel
Potrzeba wolności, MOCAK, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Voir et Revoir. Regionale 14, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse/La Filature, Mulhouse

Voir et Revoir. Regionale 14, La Kunsthalle Mulhouse/La Filature, Mulhouse
goddamn! here I am. Regionale 14, Ausstellungsraum Klingental, Basel
Home/s. Media Art in Bulgaria, Greece and Turkey, Benaki Museum, Athens
Potrzeba wolności, MOCAK, Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow
Kritika ja kriisid. Kunst Euroopas alates 1945, Eesti Kunstimuuseum, Tallinn
The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945, Palazzo Reale, Milan

Berliner Zimmer. Künstler aus Südosteuropa in Berlin, in Cooperation with Goethe Institut, HDLU, Zagreb
XXX. Europaratsausstellung. Verführung Freiheit. Kunst in Europa seit 1945, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin
Research – Wirklichkeit als Material, Galerie im Ratskeller, Berlin
Contemporary Icons. Recent Art from Bulgaria, The Cecille R. Hunt Gallery, St. Louis/USA
Salon Sophie Charlotte 2012. Wissen ist Kunst – Kunst ist Wissen, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin

Ich bin ein Berliner, Dezerschauhalle Miami, Florida/USA
Vom Zauber des Seitlich-dran-vorbei-Sehens. Zeitgenössische Videokunst in der DASA, Dortmund
4th Crosstalk Video Art Festival Budapest
Akademie zeigt Farbe, Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, Berlin
After the Flight, ICA Institute of Contemporary Art Sofia, ICA Gallery, Sofia

14th International Video Festival VIDEOMEDEJA, Novi Sad
23th Instants Video Festival, Marseille/France
Creative cities, artistic towns, and fantastic villages, 4 Tuned Cities, The Kosova Art Gallery, Prishtina
Gaudenz B. Ruf Award for New Bulgarian Art, Rayko Aleksiev Gallery, Sofia/Bulgaria
1st Facade Video Festival, ArtTodayAssociation, Plovdiv
3rd VIDEOHOLICA International Video Festival, Varna
Bulgarian Video Art, 3H+K Gallery, Pori/Finland
14. Marler Video-Kunst-Preis, Skulpturenmuseum Glaskasten Marl
Themenwechsel, Ausstellung der Atelierstipendiatinnen der Karl-Hofer-Gesellschaft, Forum Factory, Berlin

Time Machine, Jahresgaben, Kunstverein Arnsberg, Arnsberg
The Catch of the Day, Galerie im Regierungsviertel, The Forgotten Bar, Berlin
Taboo! Taboo?, CologneOFF V, 5th Cologne Online Film Festival, various locations
MICROWAVE – New Media Arts Festival Hongkong
After Ego, Center for Contemporary Art, Banja starinna, Plovdiv
Mehr als man erträgt, Imagecampaign, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna
Form versus Inhalt, Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin

Monitoring, 25. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest, Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel
Aaperto-Wilde Hasen, Tape Club, Berlin
Vladimir Mitrev - solo exhibition, Kunstagenten – contemporary art gallery, Berlin
It ist hard to be an artist, Gallery Art Point, Vienna
Video Monologs, Italia 08, Galatina, Lecce/Italy
Red, Video Salon 3, Gallery 10m2, Sarajevo/Bosna-Herzegowina

High Lights, Gallery Mikael Andersen Kopenhagen, Berlin
Dunkenreizen, Gallery Weißer Elefant, Berlin
Athens Video Art Festival, Athens
Viennafair, Kunstagenten – contemporary art gallery, Vienna
European re-Union, Gallery ArtPiont, Vienna

Rio, Artnews Projects, Berlin
10x5x3, National Exhibition Center „Shipka 6“, Sofia
emergency room, Gallery Olaf Stüber, Berlin
(re)view-identities, Kunstagenten – contemporary art gallery, Berlin

watch it, Kunstagenten – contemporary art gallery, Berlin
2. Berliner Kunstsalon 2005, Kunstagenten – contemporary art gallery, Berlin
Video Anagramm Lautgedicht Musik, Kunstsalon Wilde Gans, Berlin
Blue Hall – Marktplatz Europa, Kunsthalle Arnstadt

Public collections ursula blickle videoarchiv, Vienna/Austria

Vlad Mitrev’s Time Paintings: Waiting, Painting: Doing Time

by Sean Silver

The first thing that caught my eye about Vlad Mitrev’s Time Paintings was their audacity. On a purely allusive level, these little blocks of paint offer a striking answer to a basic problem of classical art. Western painting in oils has a long tradition of grappling with a sticky problem: the representation of the fourth dimension in a medium built for two. How is it possible to represent change in a form that makes everything present to the eye, all at once? Because time is essentially a metaphor anyways, various figural solutions have presented themselves. You might think of bearded father time, propped up on a scythe which is meant to remind us of growth and decay. You might think of the meditative heaps of the Dutch Golden Age, the genre pieces and still lifes which show us a clutter of vanities poised just before their decay. Maybe you are reminded of Salvador Dali’s melting clocks, or the fighting Temeraire, being towed to its last berth.

We all know that paint can be made to show time indirectly, as a figure. Mitrev’s bold plan is instead to show us that temporality is essential to the art in the first place, that slow progression is a fact of the art that was there all along. Anyone who has painted even a little bit knows that part of the process is waiting around while paint does what it does. We say that it dries, but really it’s more than this. We might say that it is transforming, irreversibly, from a sticky bulk to a pliable surface, and, like any transformation, in a way that can’t really be forced. Paint dries on its own time, and learning to wait is part of what it means to become a painter.

So, in the first place, the little stepwise gradations of Time Paintings are like invitations to imagine the layers of any painting you please: there is a base layer or starting surface, laid down and allowed to dry. Above it, a first attempt at form, what in another painter might have been an oblong shape to become the outline of a clock or of a face. Above that first try at form, allowed again to dry, is another layer, perhaps yet smaller, now maybe of a rough application of color—with successive layers laid on that, and so, so on and so forth. This is what, in the art, is called “layering”: Mitrev constructs a painting using this basic, temporal aspect of the art as his only guiding principle.

Each of these little squares is a little chemical clock, just like the kind which silently ticks in every painting. But because of the thickness of the application, the process is slowed down enough to watch. The painter waits for weeks, then applies paint, then waits; he can better be said to be a waiter than a painter. Time Paintings catch time in their doing. They congeal it, make it ductile, slow, and heavy. They catch time acting, freezing it or condemning it to a sentence. They do time, and they continue to do time even after they are done, each stepwise block of paint slowly, imperceptibly accreting itself towards mineral earth.

This is why I say that these paintings are ambitious. But they are also playful. Because chemistry is basically unpredictable, because paint at every moment always differs from the way that it was before (and because each batch of paint differs in this way from every other) Time Paintings develop something that can best be called character. Imagine, if you will, the artist, setting off on an adventure and a task, having thought of the concept but not yet laid paint to canvas. He imagines a perfect stair-stepping of paint, as though cut from stone by a CNC router. He is going to show us painting in its perfect essence, painting as the application of surfaces, which he will lay on artificially thick, to draw out this hidden fact of figure.

Years later—I mean, literally years, since each Time Painting takes years to congeal—his idea is no longer just an idea; it is becoming realized. But the canvases have become unruly. They begin to have ideas of their own, with quirks, idiosyncrasies, and desires. Some have opinions; others express what might be called skepticism. He is discovering that paint, even the most stable and ordinary paint—even paint which is just a bit of earth and oil, or oil and metallic oxide—is changeable at its very essence.

The trick is on him.

How is this possible? Mitrev foresaw every eventuality; he bought the paint for the whole painting from the same batch; he stored it carefully, protected from direct sunlight, and so on. But it isn’t coming out the same; it has been changing while he slept. Maybe there was the slightest of undetectable discrepancies in mixture or consistency, which is now showing up as a difference in viscosity. Maybe there was some unimaginable difference between tubes—some chemical residue or effect of shape or pocket of air—which is causing one tube to behave differently than another. Maybe it is just how paint ages. The vintner knows this about the grape: that it knows no timelines of human reckoning. It does not age in any mathematical way, limning a line from sweet to vinegar, say, or light-bodied to full. It tells in its own way.

In this sense, the Time Paintings are like the dig of a geologist, who peels back layers of sediment not in search of some hidden archaeological nugget, but out of love for the very stuff that accompanies the slow layerings of time’s passage. The topographical rendering is not for the topography itself; it is constructed to highlight the differences that have been gathered as if by accident. This is what we call “geological time,” rendered in human scale. So, if you tune your eyes just right, you may (geologist-like) trace in these monochrome blocks the emergence of sheer difference: layers where the paint was pliable to the knife; others, where it began to stick or pull; yet more where it is minimally darker, or lighter, due to the vagaries of the paint, the differences of the paint drying in air or aging in the tube, or maybe in its application in the morning or the afternoon, in spring or fall, June or December.

I said that each of these paintings was a little chemical clock. A more obvious title might have been Time Pieces, reminding us of that other sense of the phrase: a little device that keeps the time. But “painting” has a different virtue. It is a special kind of word, what is called a verbal noun, which means to remember the process that performed an object. When we say that something is a “building,” we mean to remember that it was built. When we say that something is a painting, we should remember that it was painted. But we should also remember that the paint is ongoing: it continues to paint, slowly hardening from the bottom up. Paintings paint—they do what paint does. They continue painting, as paintings, long after the painter has put down his knife. In this sense, these are time pieces that continue to tell, though the time they keep is only their own.

Sean Silver is Associate Professor of Literature at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He has written widely on the literature, philosophy, and sciences of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Britain. He is author of The Mind Is a Collection (2015), an award-winning exhibit catalogue and virtual museum of objects used to model cognitive processes in 17th- and 18th-century Britain and Europe. Please visit at www.mindisacollection.org. Currently he is working on a cultural history of complexity, a particularly modern way of thinking about the world. Sean Silver has been awarded the ASECS Kenshur Book Prize, and the BSLS Best Book Prize, shortlist, both for The Mind Is a Collection (2016). He has been NOMIS Fellow at Eikones. Center for the Theory and History of the Image, Basel (2018-19), Scholar in Residence at the University of Minnesota, Institute for Advanced Study, (2016-17), and Charles J. Cole Fellow at the Lewis Walpole Library, Yale University (2012-13).

From: Time Paintings. Vladimir Mitrev, ed. by Gallery Marek Kralewski, Freiburg i. Br. 2020, pp. 7–13.

Black Red Yellow

by Martina Baleva

To begin with, Vladimir Mitrev merely leaves a narrow path of colourful footprints behind him, each time he walks across the surface of the image on the floor. The more he repeats the process, and the longer he keeps walking, the denser the tracks become. Eventually they turn into broad black, red and yellow footpaths until individual footprints are no longer recognisable, but resemble saturated, painterly colour fields, reminiscent of the German national flag.

In an initial version of this installation, filmed on video from a bird’s-eye perspective in 2009, Mitrev separately recorded the process used in creating each of the three monochrome strips of colour. He then edited the three elements and brought them together, as a whole, for this revised version of the piece, in 2011. Here, we see Mitrev walking repeatedly, from left to right, across three strips of canvas measuring almost twelve square metres (450 x 250 cm) for a total of almost five hours, until they are completely covered with his footprints. Mitrev appears at ease and self-assured; the regular rhythm of his footsteps conveys resoluteness and soon takes on the pace of an experienced hiker. At the end of this painting process, Mitrev carries a ladder into the middle of his picture, climbs up it and looks across at the viewer. Only now do we see the signs of all the hard work he has invested in this: his black clothing drenched with sweat, his hands covered with thick crusts of colour, a paint-smeared cloth, and his trouser legs caked in paint up to the knees, indicate the physical effort involved and the traces this has left on his body.

Mitrev’s video installation demonstrates a form of painting, where the artist uses the soles of his shoes as a brush. The sounds have also been recorded. The viewer can follow the painting process with the aid of the video, and capture a sense of the time that has elapsed. He or she can imagine walking across the canvas with the artist, or can actually accompany him along a part of the painting that is projected onto the ground.

Vladimir Mitrev was born in 1972 in Sofia, Bulgaria. He moved to Germany after the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, in order to continue his artistic education. After being accepted by the Berlin Academy of the Arts, he had to struggle to receive a student visa, which the authorities in Sofia initially refused to grant him. Only once the German ambassador became actively involved, and after a delay of almost a year, was Mitrev able to take up his studies in fine art in Berlin. Throughout this uncertain and trying period, he worked on an installation that bore the pointed title, Illegal (2003). It harked back to an adventurous trip he had made in 1997, when he had travelled 2,000 kilometres secretly, in a large holdall on the back seat of a car, from Berlin to his home town of Sofia. The work consisted of the holdall, a series of photographs documenting the trip, and numerous objects, amongst which were two Bulgarian passports, a dress worn by the person driving the car, some German-Bulgarian dictionaries and a paperback of Grimms’ Fairy Tales.1

Ten years after arriving in Berlin, Mitrev has dedicated his video installation, Schwarz Rot Gelb (Black Red Yellow) to Germany, his new home country. However, the idiosyncratic creation of the German flag by a foreigner is not a simple act of identifying with the state, symbolised by its flag. It is a much more persistent and arduous process of examination, made visible by the gradual application of the colours black, red and yellow. Walking does not serve here to break down the physical distance between one place and another. Mitrev’s larger plan seems to be to appropriate a place, to scout it out. His pace is measured, conveying a seriousness further emphasised by his black clothing. He also starts off with a clean surface. Not concerned with what is happening around him, the artist steps into a space that is still ‘without experience’; with this in mind, his movements are physical, as well as psychological. Hiking as a means of slowly exploring a place, can also be interpreted as an internal dialogue with the different political reality of his new homeland, symbolised by the colours of the German flag. It can also be understood as a human approach to this place, and a desire to participate in the political system that he has evoked through the act of ‘painting in’ its national flag. This slow exploration and elaboration of Germany’s political reality, on foot, is reduced, in painterly terms, to the level of pure abstraction.

1. See Lothar Seruset et al., ed. Blue Hall. Marktplatz Europa, exh. cat. Panzerhalle Potsdam-Groß Glienicke, 2003, Potsdam, 2003, pp. 30–31.

Martina Baleva is an art historian and professor of art history with a focus on modern and contemporary art at the University of Innsbruck. Her research focuses on the history and theory of photography as well as visual history.

From: The Desire for Freedom, Art in Europe since 1945, 30th Council of Europe exhibition, ed. by Monika Flake for the German Historical Museum / Berlin, 2012, pp. 334–335.

Steve Mcqueen

by Holger Birkholz

In his video installation „steve mcqueen“ Vladimir Mitrev segments the action onto two screens. According to the principle of cause and effect we see the image of a pair of hands stretching and shooting rubber bands on the one screen. On the other one we see a board of nails on which the rubber bands land. In both images the camera directly focuses on the action. Nothing unnecessary is to be seen. The hands appear in close-up against a dark background. The board of nails is white so that the nails and the red rubber bands visually stand out. The nails are all lined up in an orderly fashion, constituting a basic grid. The brad, even though the other nails are irregularly driven into the board, aligns and gives a minimal spatial extension to the image. As the nails are driven into the board more or less irregularly they transmit a certain casualness, which contrasts the artificial uniformity of the grid. The rubber bands are the other opposite pole of the grid, countering its organic form and hanging down from it. This rather mathematical matrix is filled with elements whose position has been chosen at random. Even though there is a certain opportunity to target particular areas of the nail board when shooting the rubber bands, the apparatus literally lacks aiming accuracy.

Such forms of randomly creating images have a long tradition in art history. Leonardo started this when he suggested to throw an ink-soaked sponge at a wall to be inspired by the (emerging) images. (Trattato della Pittura, Parte Seconda, 57). Also Surrealism, with its “Ecriture automatique”, needs to be mentioned here. Jackson Pollock, for example, tried to direct the paint but was unable to completely control it. Mitrev’s rubber bands form a painting, which, in its basic structure, refers to minimalism and celebrates fortune in the layer of paint on top of it as well as the performance in its media-artistic reflection. Due to its manifold art historical reminiscences the work might be likely to implode if it did not have a humorous aspect, as well. Shooting rubber bands remains a children’s game which is perfectly suitable for annoying parents and teachers. Apart from that, rubber bands are one of the simplest things we use in our every day life. Painting with them enhances its status in a way or, vice versa, the artistic process is put into perspective – comparable to Leonardo’s simple usage of the sponge.

Finally, I would like to point out that the video artist Steve Mcqueen exhibited his work “Catch” at documenta 10 in Kassel KulturBahnhof, in which a switched on camera was thrown back and forth between two persons.

From: 25. Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest, 2008, pp. 129.

Oil on canvas, 200×100 cm

Oil Paint, 2001-2019, 64×23×12 cm
Oil Paint, 2018-2020, 56×24×17 cm

Once Upon A Time / 2016, HD video, 10:40 min
My video "Once Upon A Time ..." is based on one of the most famous scenes in film history. It is from the film "Once Upon A Time In The West" by Sergio Leone (1968). The scene appears at the end of the film in the key gunfight between the mysterious Harmonica (Gunman) and the violent murderer Frank. They are facing each other, ready to pull their guns. The culmination of the scene is the close up of the eyes of Harmonica (Charles Bronson), which are visible for a few seconds between the black bars of the film screen. This cinematic skill has to intensify the dramatic of the scene to the utmost and to emphasize the positive features of the hero’s character. Based on this image, symbolizing the climax of heroism, the huge dose of pathos, and the need of justice after an injustice, I use my own eyes and stretch the duration of the frame to more than 10 minutes. In my sequence the narrative takes it’s own emancipated way and deconstructs the notion of male heroism looking for direct contact with the viewer.

Installation views:

Mut zur Lüge, Exhibition Expanded Media, Kunstbezirk, Stuttgart

Video City, Basel, Curated by Andrea Domesle, Foto: Dirk Wetzel

patience please

Mila Rodino / 2016, HD video, 1:32 min
YouTube project. Performing the national anthem of Bulgaria.

Installation view

Мащаби в социалното или изкуството като реакция, Велико Търново

The Inner Life of My Wardrobe / 2013, HD video, 12:27 min
The wardrobe is an everyday piece of furniture. As storage, private or public, the wardrobe is a protected space whose content is not accessible to everyone. In the video, however, the wardrobe of the artist opens in rhythmic intervals and allows the viewer to look into its inner. Each time when the doors open the contents of the wardrobe is different: empty, on their own moving shelves, jiggling wine bottle, clothing and personal items, old private photographs, children's writing, excerpts from propaganda films, the fall of the Berlin Wall, an old Sofia tram. So the wardrobe turns into an idiosyncratic place of remembrance of the time of the transformation of post-socialist society. Like memory that is formed by fragmented, disparate parts and pieces of images and sounds into a harmonious whole, the wardrobe keeps different media and found footage materials that are integrated in a homogeneous audio-visual narrative. Thus the wardrobe turns in to a place of memory, in which objects, images, and films from the personal history of the artist mingle with those collective memories that are shared by most East Europeans of his generation. So the intimate space always interlaces with the collective archive. The two places of memory constantly complement and intersect each other, and turned out to be interchangeable.

Playing Boule in the Valley of the Shadow of Death / 2011, HD video installation, 6:07 min, sound: Sibin Vassilev

The videoinstallation is based on a historical image. It is one of the earliest and most famous war images in the history of war photography. It was made during the Crimean War in 1855 by the British photographer Roger Fenton. The place where the photo was made is called "The Valley of the Shadow of Death“, which is also the title of the photo. It shows a boring landscape with a country road in the middle that is littered with about 250 cannonballs. The reason to make a work about this photo is a scientific discussion, whether the photographer has staged the cannonballs on the road for his aesthetic purposes or not. My intention was to set the photo in motion and to let the cannonballs move on the battlefield. I wanted to see, how much the chance placement would influence the image and how much manipulation would be needed to make the image attractive.

Installation view:

Ratskeller, Berlin

Schwarz Rot Gelb / 2009-2011, HD video, 22:00 min

The video installation is dedicated to a national symbol of Germany. Walking and leaving colored footprints on a white field I created the German falg in the course of about three hours. The creating of this image is an expression of my long way to another national and political reality.

Installation views:

Home/s, Benaki Museum, Athens

The Desire for Freedom, Palazzo Reale, Milan

Illegal / 2003, installation, travel bag, nine photos, four books, one dress, one knife and CV as a wall text

Oktober 1994
Ich komme zum ersten Mal nach Deutschland mit einem Touristenvisum für drei Monate, um meine Freundin zu besuchen. Sie kam im Jahr davor mit einer Aufenthaltsbewilligung zum Studium nach Berlin.

Dezember 1994
Mein Visum läuft aus. Ich versuche, es zu verlängern. Ohne Erfolg. Also bleibe ich in Berlin bei meiner Freundin und dem Kater Speedy.

Januar 1995
Meine Bewerbung an der Hochschule der Künste Berlin wird abgelehnt. Ich bekomme zum Geburtstag ein Taschenwörterbuch in zwei Bänden – Bulgarisch-Deutsch und Deutsch-Bulgarisch.

Juni 1995
Meine Bewerbung für einen Studienplatz wird abgelehnt. Ich lese die Märchen der Brüder Grimm.

Januar 1996
Meine Bewerbung für einen Studienplatz wird wieder abgelehnt. Die anderen Bewerbungen auch. Dieses Mal bekomme ich ein Taschenmesser zum Geburtstag.

Juni 1996
Meine Bewerbung wird wieder einmal abgelehnt.

Januar 1997
Ich werde zum Studium zugelassen. Mein Visum ist schon lange ungültig. Ohne Visum kann ich mich nicht für das Studium einschreiben. Ein neues kann ich nur in meiner Heimat bekommen.

Februar 1997
Meine Freundin und ich kaufen uns einen weißen Opel Corsa. Wir haben beide keinen Führerschein. Meine Freundin übt zwei Wochen mit dem Corsa Autofahren.

1. März 1997
Wir kaufen eine große Reisetasche. Im Geschäft kann man sie nicht anprobieren. Zu Hause passt sie doch. Die Verkäuferin schenkt uns einen Talisman aus buntem Holz und bindet ihn an die Tasche fest.

3. März 1997
Um 7.00 Uhr fahren wir los. Vor uns liegen fast zweitausend Kilometer. Aus einem Bettlaken macht sich meine Freundin einen schwangeren Bauch.

3. März 1997
Um 12.00 Uhr erreichen wir den ersten Grenzübergang Zinnwald. Wir halten am Wegrand an. Meine Freundin packt mich in die Reisetasche ein. Es schneit.

4. März 1997
Es bleiben noch vier Grenzübergänge. In der Tasche ist es dunkel und sehr heiß. Weil ich keine Luft bekomme, schneide ich mit meinem Taschenmesser ein Loch in den Stoff.

5. März 1997
Um 0.00 Uhr überqueren wir die letzte Grenze.

Installation view:

Berliner Zimmer, HDLU, Zagreb

This Never Happened / 2010, video, 4:3, 10:27 min.

With the call "Baleva – on the scaffold“ Bulgarian politicians invoiced in 2007 publicly to the murder of a curator. The Bulgarian art historian Martina Baleva wanted to show in an exhibition, how art can influence the national imagination. For this she chosed the painting by Antoni Piotrowski "The massacre of Batak“ (1892), depicting an historical event, which is one of the founding myths of the Bulgarian nation. The politics and the media foiled the exhibition and put out a bounty on the curator, who since then lives in exile. The video is based on visual material from the banned exhibition. The painting "The Massacre of Batak“ serves as a naturalistic setting for historical photogrpahy and cinema footage as temporal, medial addition of the iconographic stereotypes of difference as Self and Otherness, victims and perpetrators, Christians and Muslims, established in paintings of the 19th century.

The work was awarded in the category Media Installations of the 14th International Video Festival VIDEOMEDEJA 2010.

Push it! / 2009, video, 4:3, 5:49 min

patience please patience please patience please

The Lovely Color / 2009, video, 4:3, 3:54 min

Close-up of the hands of a black hairdress behind the window of a cheap hair salon in East London. The hairdress does not work with scissors or comb, but with needle and thread and sews the head of her black client until she gets blond hair.

Étude Red Blue / 2008, video, 4:3, 3:31 min

The video-installation presents the artist boxing with himself. His two roles are distinguished only by the color of his boxing gloves in red and blue. The two figures are viewed from a bird’s eye stepping into the picture that is also the boxing ring. In spite of the continuous and systematic punch exchange none of the two figures is injured or knocked-out. On the contrary, by the end of the film the boxers part as unharmed and safe as they were upon their initial meeting.

Installation views:

Capri by night, Schauspiel, Koeln, Curated by Daniela Radeva

It ist hard to be an artist, Gallery Art Point, Vienna

Creative cities, artistic towns, and fantastic villages, The Kosova Art Gallery, Prishtina

patience please patience please patience please patience please patience please patience please

Steve Mcqueen / 2007, two-channel video installation, 10:59 min

Installation view:

Monitoring, Kasseler Kunstverein, Kassel

Drei Variationen mit Ronden / 2007, three-channel video installation, each 4:3, 5:44 min

Installation view:

Galerie Weisser Elefant, Berlin

Our Correspondent from / 2007

33 analog photos each 19 x 12,5 cm from news correspondents taken from an old tube TV screen

patience please

Checkpoint / 2006, video, 4:3, 6:34 min The work explores the strategy of the mass media, the way how it shows us the horror of war and conflicts and brings it in our living rooms. It is also a try to understand what is the impact of these images on me and my environment. The work is based on found footage from the most prominent news channels of the western world.

patience please patience please patience please patience please patience please patience please

Sunset 2-11-03 / 2003-2004, video, 4:3, 47:36 min

Autopainting / 2004, video, 4:3, 3:44 min

A sport car with paint reservoir attached to it circles in back motion around its own axis leaving a red trace. Each time the one that operates the car /the artist/ comes into frame to fill in the reservoir, the concentric trace increases. While in the first part of the video the car dictates the form of the trace, in the second part it constantly looses balance and derails from its self-outlined trajectory.

Red Painting / 2003, video, 4x3, 0:54 min

The video is part of the series „Studio Movies“. One of the main themes of the video series is the painting as authentic abstraction. The refusal of the use of brush, paints and canvas, the classical technical devices of the painter, and their substitution with the digital video lens is a basic motive in the studio movies. This motive is most radically expressed in the video „Red Painting“. It lasts only 54 seconds and contains three actions: quadrangular red form, a stone dashed into the frame from the direction of the painter/spectator, an image destroyed into pieces. The act of rejection of the classical painting and its „modernization“ through the video is sublimated here not only temporally but symbolically. The references to the history of art – from the ikonoklastic wars in Byzantium through the monochrom squares of Malevich to the concrete painting – are only part of the semantic levels of the studio movies.