Ivan Moudov

Ivan Moudov belongs to the younger generation of Bulgarian artists who started their careers in the late 1990s; he became known for his interventions in public space during the first decade of the 21st century. Moudov’s art deals with the transgression of legally defined spaces, especially those within Europe, all of which exhibit subtle differences in terms of the public-space conditions that prevail. The laissez-faire structures in many formerly Eastern European countries often contrast with the strictness which can be found in the former West, moving the artist to probe the modalities with which certain systems operate. Some of Moudov’s performances have been carried out in multiple countries, thus reflecting not only the legal circumstances imposed by the respective country or even the European Union, but also the differing reactions by each country’s population. Very often such performances are carried out in the midst of traffic, such as One Hour Priority (2000), in which the artist continued to drive around a traffic circle in Sofia for one hour only to realize that nothing much happened. The action was repeated a few years later in Weimar as a separate video work and was given the title 14:13 (2005), because that was how long it took until the police stopped the whole action.

The phenomenon of irritation reached a climax as one of Moudov’s artistic tropes in Sofia in 2006, when the artist announced the opening of a museum of contemporary art, something which has never really existed in Bulgaria. The simple announcement of the museum’s opening in a former train station on posters in the streets and on invitation cards caused a large crowd to appear on the suggested opening day and time to realize that the whole event was meant to be a fake. The artist’s ironic take on harsh political realities forces viewers to think about public confinements and political mechanisms of exclusion. The inclusion of his own person as the performing subject in many of his works turns him into a successful trickster-figure since, thanks to these works’ cleverly conceived execution, no authority can hold him accountable for anything in a legal sense.



1975, Sofia / BG


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