“TRIUMPH OF EMPATHY” project; December 2018
Earlier this year I got surprisingly invited to participate in a group exhibition alongside some of my country’s most intriguing contemporary artists.
It was valiantly themed with the now present fading of human virtues in danger of future extinction.
Those were communication, imagination, kindness, connection to nature, empathy and friendship and other elements such as physical contact, play, sex.
The artists were expected to provide a tangible work, particularly based on these virtues and their hypothetical extinction.
The theme was defined as “futuristic and visionary” , and it was stated that it could also be considered from the artists to be, as an impugnment of this endangerment. It was around the same time when I stumbled upon a Facebook “fan” page of the capital city protective services aka Sofia city police.
A photo album of wanted individuals had just been posted to the feed. Convicted criminals of various ages, all looking straight into the camera’s eye. Intimidating faces.
It was a bizarre moment.
The absurdity of a Fan page showcasing the local police as somewhat small-scale national heroes and the chills you get from seeing 50 scary real men staring at you from the screen.
I’ve always enjoyed such a contrast of sense.
I did a separate screenshot of each picture with the Facebook and smartphone tabs around them and left them in my phone gallery. In a few days I knew I wanted to submit a work to the invitation that was an opposition to the theme, (since that was also an option) because it would have made the process much more fun. So I decided to work with these men, draw each one a character and put them in an all positive euphoric atmosphere laughing and hugging each other on a meadow with bees and flowers. I imagined I’d really try to make it more beautiful than grotesque and name it “a triumph of friendship and empathy”. Eventually on mutual agreement I did not part in the show. And I was happy I didn’t when I visited it. It was nice and classy and my work did turn out to be rather rough and grotesque after all so there you go.