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Pravdoliub Ivanov

The works of Pravdoliub Ivanov revolve around phenomena of spatiality in which norms are disrupted and trompe l’œil effects are inserted into an everyday visual vocabulary. By intermingling public and private moments, the artist transfers private matters into the realm of the gallery or art space, tying in specific architectural tropes as he does so. Ivanov plays with irritating elements: he uses ironic gestures taken from mundane and incidental everyday situations to evoke a heightened awareness for routine encounters that might otherwise often go unnoticed. The juxtaposition of unusual objects and materials forms the basis for Ivanov’s installations, which generally tend to produce uncanny moments for their viewers. In keeping with the Freudian concept of the uncanny, these are phenomena that seem familiar and foreign at the same time. Whoever experiences such situations feels uncomfortable and has to ask him or herself just where these strange feelings are coming from. Freud viewed such impulses as repressed feelings deriving from the id and forced upon us by the superego as a manifestation of the symbolic fear of castration or punishment as a consequence of neglecting traditional social norms. The paradoxical nature of being both attracted to and alienated from Ivanov’s art objects and installations gives rise to a state of cognitive dissonance; this makes it difficult to perceive his works of art as rational manifestations within space. His uncanny constructions of reality arouse the viewer’s desire for a detailed perception of our various everyday environments, which are usually given short shrift as we pass by all too quickly. Ivanov presses the “Pause” button on various everyday phenomena and creates ironic links of belonging, for instance patching up cheese holes with band aids or cutting a carpet in a shape such as results from a stone hitting a window pane. Such prank-like interventions in both public and private spaces characterize Ivanov’s artistic working method, which he has been applying in many different contexts for nearly two decades.  

W.S.

1964, Plovdiv / BG

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