Working Together Stories
12-part series of drawings; sepia, white ink, black ink and watercolor
each 42 × 34 × 3 cm (framed)
Inv. No. 0156 a-l
Working Together Stories is the title Nedko Solakov chose for his 12-part series of drawings. Each sheet deals with a different form of community, which is usually characterized by means of a dialogue or by highlighting a certain situation: while #5 confronts us with God who is being asked questions by a man and #12 introduces a medium-size universe and one of its galaxies, #1 explores the relationship between a draftsman and the seven guards of an unfinished drawing by the artist. The sheets’ range of tones is reduced, yet the grain of the paper lends the colors a particular luminosity. A handwritten English text, which has a more than merely descriptive function, is to be found at the bottom of each work. The stories Solakov, a native of
The multi-media artist’s three-part video installation Domestic Limits (1998), for example, which is to be found in the evn collection since 2005, raises universal questions, too. Various Bulgarian everyday things are wrapped up into two compact balls in some kind of domestic procedure. The sphere is a symbol of completeness or, reminiscent of the cosmic egg, for the entirety of this world’s possibilities. Solakov’s Working Together Stories also explore issues concerning such complex subjects as man, the universe, divinity, and life on earth. The unity of image and text not least visualizes communication, which is the foundation for a social coexistence of even the most diverse species in this case and unfolds in a process of mutual understanding and learning.
Though sheet #2 of the Working Together Series outlines the relationship between two groups of beings with the words “Two communities work very well together. Luckily, neither of them knows about the other one”, the picture leaves no doubt that they are inseparably linked with one another in spite of their ignorance of the other’s existence. The viewer will not only derive comfort from this, though, but may likewise be driven to despair at it.
Heike Maier-Rieper, 2011 (translation: Wolfgang Astelbauer)Continue reading