On 9 November 1989, the Berlin Wall was destroyed by the Berlin citizens with hammers, pickaxes and anything they had on hand. However, 25 years after its falldown, such similar “wall” still exists in people’s minds on both sides of the former Iron Curtain’s countries and it is not possible simply to destroy it using just hammers. Where is Bulgaria after all these 25 years – the small country on the edge of Southeast Europe, which has recently signed a contract for cultural exchanges with North Korea? The selection does not attempt to answer directly this question, and it could hardly be possible to generally give a definite answer since Bulgarian society itself is divided by an invisible “Iron Curtain”, which lately, after raging political scandals and the subsequent street protests, becomes more distinct. And although Bulgarians have recently attempted to lift it, the change did not happen as we expected. For this ¼ century, more than 1 000 000 people emigrated, especially young generation. Many Bulgarian artists migrated too.
Does art bear or, in particular, the individual artist responsibility for this? And if so, what kind is it? Where is the Bulgarian video art in this situation? Can video art be a full-value- corrective or even its desperate cry of protest remains anechoic? Maybe video art does not resonate in the Bulgarian politics, but politics affects directly or indirectly Bulgarian video art, though this is not a “political” selection. The participating artists do not directly answer these and other issues but rather indirectly offer their artistic methods and ways to purify human minds from „Berlin Walls” and “Iron Curtains”. Bulgarian video artists handle without complex visual, performing and computer generated effects, have no filming crews, have no huge budgets, but they rely on simplicity of expression and a strong idea. The little says more.
For these 25 years, the number of people, who discovered out the video as their way of expression, have increased up slowly but consistently and now there are a lot of people who work in that field. On this stage, it is difficult to talk about specific national face of Bulgarian video art, because in the worldwide processes, which are running now, it is difficult to talk about national specifics and characteristics at all. There are tendencies but they are international – the picture is very colourful: The artists have different approach: from a purely irrational, irrational-documentary and documentary to poetic and technocratic. Bulgarian artists do not make exception, they peer into the blue sky, run in the fields, sing opera in abandoned buildings, have silence conversations, and etc.
In conclusion, we can say that there are many people who pretend that in the Balkan’s value system rakiya (the Balkan alcohol drink) has higher position than politics, watching this selection, we should agree that there are also many people, for whom art has higher position than rakiya.
The selection by Neno Belchev has been made from videos, which have been taken a part in the festival VIDEOHOLICA since 2010 onwards.