A rooftop installation of appropriated urban artefacts
Location: Swimming Pool, Sofia. Bulgaria
Type: Sculptural work, installation
Photography: Cédric Van Parys
Materials: Metal ducts, wood
New Ecologies (part 2)
New Ecologies (part 2)
This installation is part of “New Ecologies”, a three-part exhibition project that proposes a different approach to the concept of “environment”. Viktoria Draganova (curator), Jenny Decheva (assistant curator), and the selected artists — have been searching for different perspectives on fundamental questions: what surrounds us, what else are we connected to, what do we consist of? The questions are driven by our desire to understand the environment not only from the perspective of environmentalism, where nature is that idealized and romanticized image of the untouched by human hands but as a hybrid environment with different interactions within it, some in human control and others not.
Environmentalists traditionally focus on protecting nature against the harm generated by human action. However, many of us live in urban environments, and the technologies and infrastructures of modernity might be said in a deeper sense to "environ" us all. If wetlands are natural because of the aquatic creatures who live there, then why not call a city natural because of the (urban) creatures who live there?
In response to this theme, I exploited the gallery’s unique architectural and urban qualities — a series of interconnected rooftop terraces in Sofia’s city center — and appropriated the infrastructure from adjacent rooftops onto the terraces of the space. Facing the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, these chimneys stand side by side as a procession of urban artifacts, as if representing a forest of characters with a personality and a will of their own, ready at any moment to incorporate the chimneys of the immediate surroundings and march on together. In this way, the urban context gains expression and agency while questioning the biased, economically exploited, and hypocritical assumption of a value difference between the natural and the man-made.
New Ecologies – part 2: Martin Atanasov, Marina Genova, Cédric Van Parys
From May 23 until June 29, 2023, at Swimming Pool Sofia