Darina Peeva. nAtanas Totlyakov.

Marginalia

Main building

23.8.2023 — 29.10.2023

Curator
Milen Alagenski
Graphic designer
Georgi Sharov
Proofreader
Lora Sultanova
Translator
Dimitar Kamenov
Translator
Traci Speed

Marginalia – handwritten notes in the margins of a book or manuscript.

Darina Peeva and Atanas Totlyakov’s project Marginalia focuses on the literal perception of the Art Gallery – Kazanlak as an open book, the lines of which are the central, formal exhibition spaces in the institution. The artists, however, direct our attention to the informal spaces – the premises which are found at the periphery of the building.

This is how the centre-periphery conflict takes shape, unfolding to the point of uncertainty between symbolic systems accepted as significant and those that are rejected. In this direction, the artists complement the existing one with new semantic and aesthetic components. They rethink the symbols of the past in a new context (Darina Peeva) or look for a different way of direct contact with works of art from the gallery’s collection (Atanas Totlyakov). Secondarily, the exhibition is a metaphor for the possibility of marginalization. Regardless of what aesthetic positions they occupy, in which era or location they live, artists face the possibility of being pushed to the periphery. The topic is especially relevant on the eve of the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale. One of the leitmotifs of the forum is precisely “the outsider artist, who is on the periphery of the art world, becomes important.” From the example mentioned, borrowed from one of the most influential art forums, the a different trend is also notable – the marginalized and the peripheral in general can rise to the very top. Darina Peeva and Atanas Totlyakov’s project complements what has been said in an original way by changing the audience’s point of view. It makes the viewer direct their attention to specific places, symbolic values, and atypical situations. It makes visible the change of places in the formal hierarchy of art. This becomes possible because we live in the age of metamodernism, which is a continuation of postmodernism, but not its antagonist. Metamodernism is rather an oscillation (vacillation) between the cores of postmodernism and modernism. One of the main tenets of metamodernism is uncertainty and the constant possibility of transformation. It is in this context that the margins are simultaneously beyond what is perceived as important, but also a bearer of the most essential.

This is how the centre-periphery conflict takes shape, unfolding to the point of uncertainty between symbolic systems accepted as significant and those that are rejected. In this direction, the artists complement the existing one with new semantic and aesthetic components. They rethink the symbols of the past in a new context (Darina Peeva) or look for a different way of direct contact with works of art from the gallery’s collection (Atanas Totlyakov). Secondarily, the exhibition is a metaphor for the possibility of marginalization. Regardless of what aesthetic positions they occupy, in which era or location they live, artists face the possibility of being pushed to the periphery. The topic is especially relevant on the eve of the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale. One of the leitmotifs of the forum is precisely “the outsider artist, who is on the periphery of the art world, becomes important.” From the example mentioned, borrowed from one of the most influential art forums, the a different trend is also notable – the marginalized and the peripheral in general can rise to the very top. Darina Peeva and Atanas Totlyakov’s project complements what has been said in an original way by changing the audience’s point of view. It makes the viewer direct their attention to specific places, symbolic values, and atypical situations. It makes visible the change of places in the formal hierarchy of art. This becomes possible because we live in the age of metamodernism, which is a continuation of postmodernism, but not its antagonist. Metamodernism is rather an oscillation (vacillation) between the cores of postmodernism and modernism. One of the main tenets of metamodernism is uncertainty and the constant possibility of transformation. It is in this context that the margins are simultaneously beyond what is perceived as important, but also a bearer of the most essential.

Darina Peeva was born in Burgas in 1972. She graduated from the Academician Dechko Uzunov High School of Arts and Design, Kazanlak, after which she earned a degree from Veliko Tarnovo University with a major in Graphics. She has had several solo exhibitions throughout her career, mainly in Austria and Bulgaria: Holograms, Karl – Vienna, Austria (2014), Unnatural Catastrophes, Graz, Austria (2012), Pandora’s Box, Wels, Austria (2009), HOMO Machine, Burgas (2022), and others. She was awarded at the Litho-Kielce International Biennale of Graphics, Kielce, Poland (2019), and at the International Biennale of Graphics, Armenia (2017). In 2012, she received the Rector’s Award of the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland; in 2009, the Irene and Peter Ludwig Award, Vienna, Austria; in 2008, she was awarded the second prize for graphics in the competition of the Alois Senefelder Foundation, Germany, etc. She is a member of the Association of Viennese Artists.

Atanas Totlyakov was born in Pazardzhik in 1975. He graduated with a degree in Graphics from Veliko Tarnovo University in 2002, where he is now a professor in the Drawing department. Since 2014, he has had a doctorate in Art Studies and Fine Arts – Drawing, and in 2022 he defended his Doctor of Sciences degree with his dissertation A Modern Atomistic Model of Art. He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists, Graphics division, and the author of a number of curatorial projects, among which are: Metareserves (2023), Drawing and Interlude (2016), Free Ticket (2013), and others. He is the author of academic publications in the field of art theory and a participant in numerous group exhibitions. He has held the solo exhibitions Post-Pandemic Romanticism (2021) – Stara Zagora, Aesthetics(2018) – Plovdiv, The Bulgarian Gene Pool (2007) – Veliko Tarnovo, etc. He works in the field of installation, performance, and conceptual art. He deals with the problematic of tactile art, which is also known as sensory art and includes any physical interaction with art through the sense of touch.