• The turbulent times and controversial claims of years that we have to get over push us back to hopes or memories, to nostalgia and ambitions. I still remember the time that made my past useless and dismissed my future as shapeless. Deprived of them both I was left to the grim present, with its endless horizons. 1990-1992.

    The past and the future shrank and fused into each other , sinking deep there into the black whole of the present. The horizon of events was cut down to ‘today’, the blackness had a ‘tactile’ quality: darkness all around, no lights, with the only thought about what will come tomorrow.

    I reached out for ‘The Bible’. Searching for my roots and ends. I read ‘The old Testament’ failing to grasp it now and then. I saw how a nation named itself God’s elect. Desert, blood and sacrifice. I saw the ruthless face of Faith. I thought of death, I felt the agony, I went through the pain of lost identity, the pain brought by the acceptable world-order, the one that I know, the one which I got used to. A kind of world-order . .

    I had soon graduated from the Academy as a sculptor. All my artistic ideas and skills, ready to work, craving for work, got suddenly useless, irrelevant, void of content.

    I would sit at a cafe with a friend (Zhoro Ruzhev) in these early afternoon hours, and it was one of these afternoons that brought the question: ‘who told you to be a sculptor, anyway?’ (later I became quite good at substituting the word ‘sculptor’ with other words’). To cut the long story short I turned to doing the things that I needed to do, free of scruples, opinions, ‘evaluations’. Time was confusing and people were confused. The past was proclaimed irrelevant, there was no future, the present was void, a vacuumed society without rules, a vacuum pierced with relict rays (the astrophysicists will tell you they abide the lower red part of the spectrum), a vacuum in which I might have blown up out of my own pressures, yet a vacuum that I could set free, or maybe set myself free, free of my past self . . I reached out for blood. Later critics were late to draw their analogies with the ‘Wiener Aktionismus’, to juggle with Performance and with other terms. Yet we all went through the incomprehensible quality of these years, the ignorance and the confusion.

    I know the feeling one has turning back to these years, the feeling that we simply imitate the history of modern European art for the last forty years, and that we do it at high gear. . . It is the feeling we have when looking at the first silent movies, the feeling of fun, the naive feeling of romance, and tender sorrow, and the nostalgia for the true zest, the energy and the enthusiasm to make things happen . . .

    v zankov




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