Let’s assume that we have missed the opening of the exhibition of Krassimir Terziev but it has happened despite our absence. Our thought is busy trying to work out how our absence is seen through the eyes of the others. What did they think, what did they see, what if I had been there? The inversion of the point of view compels us to form a sense of self-awareness through the other beings and objects outside of us – the things we see, they see us. The screen on which these images are presented by Krassimir Terziev is the canvas.
Amidst his paintings, we feel unsure of what we are looking at. A small bear standing on its rear feet against a green background is looking at us from the wall across but the painting suggests other possible interpretations of the image. The unusual background of this stage hinting at the idea of the “green box” and the painting saying: I see the bear this way because I am a human and I give the animal anthropomorphic characteristics by depicting it as posing for a portrait and I don’t see the bear in the green forest; it is rather set in a synthetic movie image, cut, in 3D.
Beside the bear hangs another image of nature – a bird. The appearance of the dead animal is disturbing, the words tell us that this is a “continuation of the flight”, hence we imagine a movement, a flight, a fall and then the lifeless body of the bird, now on the ground. The sinking feeling of irreversible loss is ceased by the painted background and leaves a hesitation about what we really are not seeing.
In the three canvases, each portrays an abstract color splotch accompanied by a graphic silhouette, the mind compensates the lack of a three-dimensional image and our imagination reconstructs the missing parts by combining the silhouette with the painting, the flat with the volumetric, laying the energetic splotch beside the careful lines of the drawing. Though the result is a contradiction between images which cannot complement each other, a promise lingers for this to happen somewhere else.
The analytical eye of Krassimir Terziev turns looking into seeing. And the painted canvas as a type of representation, highly conventional in its own language, highlights the manner of seeing and the manner of representing things and so painting in a way analyzes itself. This is emphasized even more with the painting Cleaning Black where the images and the manner of painting continually challenge each other in the space of the painting.
Let’s take the swimming pool full of people in the middle of the forest – Project: Vanishing Point Without Horizon. All the figures situated in the swimming pool create a sort of choreography, relationships of gestures, looks happen between them, one can almost hear the clamor of the multitude – a real crowd! At some point the eye automatically registers the repeating figures – this woman and that man are copy-paste “masks” set in the concrete parallelepiped in the middle of the forest – an assemblage of images – thoughts. They are not holidaymakers relaxing in a pool, but annoying clones who fill an absurd space to an intolerable breaking point…or maybe they are both.
Another proposition of insight is the painting Session. Are the two lying figures on the couch the same or are they similar, are they under hypnosis or are they dreaming or maybe they are dead and what is the role of the male figure in preserving their peace of mind – we can speculate on each detail on the screen. At the same time we are an involuntary witness to something disturbing, i.e. a voyeur because we are placed behind the male figure.
The act of seeing and perceiving become transparent, the images thrust themselves from us and scatter into a multitude of possibilities, into different ways of representation invariably passing through the digital media and their sterile constructs, through the auratic nature and matter of painting, as well as the theoretical perspective offered by the works of Lacan and others. At the same time these are intriguing images which involve our senses and our thought precisely because Krassimir Terziev has mastered the hesitations of perception in the art of representation.
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