Curated by Katia Anguelova
Welcome is the title of the first personal show of the Bulgarian artist Ivan Moudov, which will be inaugurated on the 19th of September at the Prometeogallery by Ida Pisani in Milan.
Ivan Moudov will present the documentation of a series of performances entitled Traffic Control, the performances were realized in Graz in 2001 (Traffic Control, Graz 2001, sound, 06’01’’), in Cetinje in 2002 (Traffic Control, Cetinje 2002, sound, 05’13’’), in Thessaloniki in 2003 (Traffic Control, Thessaloniki 2003, sound, 03’26’’), in these performances the artist, dressed as a Bulgarian policeman, directs traffic while he investigates the reactions of the drivers. This documentation also includes two action videos, examples of the civil sabotage where Moudov, using the priority system at a roundabout creates exaggerated situations and analyses the differences of the reactions according to their cultural context (One Hour Priority, Sofia 2000, sound, 60’; 14:13 Minutes Priority, Wiemar 2005, sound, 06’54’’). As Moudov says, his performances “are a way of acting on the laws and the regulations without breaking them (…) it’s a question of the subtle difference between the legality and the illegality of the actions.”
Fragments box#2 is the title of a project which was started in 2002: Moudov collects pieces of art’s works. We’re talking about fragments that have been stolen over the years by the artist from different institutions, museum and galleries and put in a case similar to the Boîte-en-valise of Marcel Duchamp or the boxes of Robert Fillou. These pieces in the case become the personal traveling collection of the artist. Removed from their place of origin their form and meaning change. Here the idea of the mort de l’auteur is consolidated, as announced by Roland Barthes it was already started by Fuluxus or later by Minimal Art: the artist is only a script writer and the role of “carrier of passions, moods and feelings” is given uniquely to the reader. With this project Moudov follows the investigations in the institutional critic mode, the museum condition of the representation, the meaning of collecting and the symbolic games of power. Creating a pirated collection is without a doubt also tied to the personal story of the Bulgarian artist who is trying to build a Noah’s Arc on his own in a country where there isn’t a contemporary art museum.
Moreover, Ivan Moudov is presenting the works Welcome, which is also the title of the show, Plus three hundred and ninety three billion two hundred and seventy five million three hundred and thirty thousand six hundred and twenty four and Back and Forward, a kind of continuation of the idea of Fragments, put together with a series of packages mailed to the Prometeogallery, the result of new stolen pieces of art that we still know nothing about.
The artist, chosing to reduce and refine the work of art again focuses on the dematerialization of the work, therefore the primacy of the idea over the artistic object (Lucy Lippard, Six Years: the Dematerialisation of the Art Object).
The projects in the show are also marked by a lightness and a sense of humor, the works are not representation, but rather translations of a way of perceiving the world through slides and installations that question the power of organized forms, be they traffic or contemporary art, indicating the ease with which we adhere to conventions of any type.
As Robert Barry states in 1983 in a meeting with Robert Morgan: “I use basic elements like words, forms, space and color. These are the things that we react to. These are the elements that we are constantly working with. These are the things that occupy our conscience and our ability to feel”.
The world that surrounds him becomes for Moudov a base of reflection and artistic practice.
Il n’y a pas à choisir entre ce que nous voyons (…) et ce qui nous regarde (…) il n’y a qu’à a s’inquiéter de l’entre, (…) un moment qui n’impose ni le trop plein de sens (que glorifie la croyance) ni l’absence cynique de sens (que glorifie la tautologie)” (Georges Didi-Huberman).
Ivan Moudov is one of the most interesting artists of the new generation. He lives and works in Sofia, in Bulgaria, where he was born in 1975. After having studied at the Art Institute, he took his degree in 2002 at the National Academy of Arts in Sofia with an MA in art and mural painting. He usually works using expressive instruments such as video, photography, installation and performance. Among the shows: 2008- Moderna Museet, Stockholm; 2007- “Already Made”, Siemens ArtLab, Vienna; 2006- “Rond-point”, La BF15, Lyon; 2007- 52nd Venice Biennale, Bulgarian Pavilion, “Dialectics of Hope”, 1st Moscow Biennial of Contemporary Art, Moscow; 2003- “In the Gorges of the Balkans”, Fridericianum Museum, Kassel, “Blood & Honey”, The Essl Collection, Vienna – 4th and 5th Cetinje Biennial, Montenegro- Manifesta4, Frankfurt/Main.