New life by Alexander Valchev (at the Goethe Institute Sofia, January 2016)

New Life at the Goethe Institute 2015

When I was invited to do an exhibition at the Goethe Institute I began to think of how it can be linked with the place. I wanted to make a connection with the institute and the country it represented, their relations with Bulgaria and that which was currently happening in our countries. Just then there was a lot of fuss about the wall that was being built on our southern border. It reminded me of the Berlin Wall. We recently destroyed one, now we were building another. It seemed like déjà vu. Continuous repetitive actions, situations, stories with a predetermined outcome are happening in the world, in Bulgaria, in our personal lives. This awoke one idea that excites me for years. Construction – Deconstruction. I have worked with this phrase for some time. I developed it in a sculpture series with that same name. The idea of shifting between different dimensions in space, from two-dimensional to three-dimensional works also excited me. Later I began to reflect on the social aspects set out in those two words. Why do we repeat the same mistakes? Why do we deny and destroy that which is constructed before us in turn to construct something new which will also be taken down. Why don’t we learn from our mistakes? Isn it possible only to build, to add and not to destroy?
Meanwhile, events took on their course. I could not realize a video which was planned to be the central point in the exhibition and then the refugee situation escalated. I was in a dilemma – to completely change my idea or strengthen it in the direction that I was taking it. In the first case, there was a risk of being accused of wanting to be “modern”, in the second, I once more was going to betray my ability to timely communicate very current issues before they have become platitudes and statistics.
And then the theme that unified everything dawned on me. A NEW LIFE! Everything is concentrated in it – the dream of a peaceful and secure life. Each one of us is ready to do anything: to overcome obstacles and endure hardship to escape unresolved fundamental problems and to turn a new page. Only to discover once the dreamland is reached that many would compromise their principles and ideals to make it stay because they are already there –on the other side of the wall.

New Life at the Goethe Institute 2015

New Life at the Goethe Institute 2015