|Ventsislav Zankov on 11 Jan 2001 14:53:21 -0000|
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|[Nettime-bold] interview with prof. Antonio d'Avossa!|
Interview with Italian critic Antonio d'Avossa more you could find on http://www.freespeech.org/ctrl_z/magazine/events/D_avossa.htm Interviewed and edited by David D'Agostino 15/12/2000 Sofia Bulgaria DD: You came to Bulgaria with a certain intention or perception about the contemporary art scene. Now that you have met Bulgarian artists and seen their actual work, have your ideas been affirmed or have they changed? AD: This is the first time for me to visit Bulgaria, although I have visited other Balkan countries before. Last year I was in Sarajevo for one week. I feel a great energy among the young artists in this region of Europe. Yesterday in Sofia I saw the work of five or six young artists (and the more interesting were Ivan Kiuranov, Ventzislav Zankov with his ZetMag and Boryana Dragoeva and also the russian Oleg Mavromatti) and I think it's the same as in Sarajevo; the level of work is good, but here there is not a relevant system for the artist. You cannot find here a center for contemporary art, there is not a market, there are not galleries, there are not collectors, there are not critics, and young critics do not have opportunities to review. So, there is big energy, more than in Western Europe, but at the same time it is without legs. DD: Do you feel if there were more critics and artists from the west who were willing to spend longer periods of time here, it would make a difference? Let me share something, it is very rare to find an Italian artist or Spanish artist living in the East. This not only includes the Balkans, but also the Middle East -- it's very rare for them to perceive any reason to live and work in Sofia. AD: I don't think this is a problem. The problem is with artists who have to migrate from the East to the West. Last year I proposed, in the European capital of Brussels, an exhibition titled Europe Out Europe. I included artists from Russia, Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Estonia, between the ages of 30-45. So here we were, in the center of European political and economic power, and the commission that was responsible for the project defined it as a political project. The way this [exhibit] was treated in Brussels is a signal to me about how artists of these countries are obliged to emigrate. This is one of the first issues that I wrote on this exhibit: why are artists obliged to emigrate to Paris, to London, to Milan, to Frankfurt, to be artists? DD: Do you feel from your dialogue with artists here that Bulgarian artists want to be affirmed by Western art critics, institutions, museums, and galleries, and that there is a growing frustration because this type of recognition is missing? AD: I don't understand. DD: Do you feel that Bulgarian artists emigrate out because there is a lack of critical analysis or understanding by Western critics in Sofia. It is rare, for example, for an artist to receive a critique in Flash Art magazine. AD: Or Art Forum... DD: Yes, or any of these important periodicals..... so they feel this necessity to move, to abandon their own country and perhaps never return. AD: This is a big mistake. Before, I thought it was right, but now I think it is a mistake to abandon the roots, the culture, and the problems of the system. Every system has the same problems, in Sarajevo, in Warsaw, in Belgrade, the same problems. So I think now the artists must stay where they come from to help change the problems.