The Bulgarian Period Of Vincent Van Gogh
(in co-operation with Alexandros Papamarkou)
Many rumours started to spread when the members of Tsarino Foundation first entered the region, expressing wonders about the purpose of them being there. Were they looking for gold, turtles, or into human trafficking? Even the word 'bodybuilders' went around. The explanation of running a residency programme for international artists proved too vague until someone coined the term ’landscape painters’. Although none of the members practised actual landscape painting, this term was kind of accepted and confirmed by the local community; the landscape was very beautiful, indeed! In return, Alexandros Papamarkou and I decided to bring a well known, Dutch landscape painter to Tsarino: Vincent van Gogh. Armed with a straw hat, field easel and oil paint I went to Tsarino and painted several landscapes. During the concluding exhibition in the Chorbadzjisko Community Centre, besides showing the painted landscapes, I performed as van Gogh by painting the Community Centre.
Preservation No 1
Bottled tomato juice, wood, metal, glass, salt
In one of the abandoned houses, I found a small collection of bottled tomato juice, probably homemade. The surprising thing was that the tomato juice still had a bright and attractive red colour, in contrast to the vague colours of natural decay, omnipresent in the village. The village is supposed to be abandoned from the end of the ’80s, so would this appealing tomato juice be over twenty years old? Inspired by a wooden container, which I saw at the Tsarino mosque (I believe it is used to transport dead bodies in a funeral procession, the mosque is still in service) I made a mobile casket for the bottles, with long handles at the ends. Inside, the bottles would rest on a layer of salt. Against the background of the white salt, the colour of the tomato juice would be even more contrasting.
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