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Shared Spaces - Art Film, in Which the Emotions of the Individual and the Artist Catch Up with Each Other

(an article in the bulgarian national online daily dnevnik.bg )

Elitsa Baramova-Baramó is known to the public as a painter and illustrator. This time she has come up as a broad-spectrum visual artist with the short art film Shared Spaces. In this project she is director, scriptwriter and actor, while the "protagonists" are her paintings.
The film has been produced with the support of Sofia Municipality, under the Initiative “Solidarity in Culture”.

 

A part of the film Shared Spaces is the Architect Project. Baramó has been working on it for five years now, it remains open and she shows it in different stages of its development. The first stage was presented in [a]cube Contemporary Municipal Gallery in 2018. At present the Architect Project has advanced to a further phase of its progress.
 

Mobilis in mobili - mobile in the mobile. After seeing the film, artists who are on amicable terms with Baramó, comment that this motto of Captain Nemo suits perfectly the Shared Spaces art film.

 

The paintings leave the static state and enter a new reality


The idea of Baramó about the aesthetics of slow motion embeds the film in this cadence, while her conceptual texts articulate it. They offer, as she remarks, “an ethical possibility to observe and identify the stage of deviation”.


The paintings are animated by the artist and develop in real time the kinetic key embedded in them. On the other side, the setting in motion and the framing of the image unfolds like a hand fan the different levels of interpretation of the paintings. Prof. Krassimir Delchev, PhD, defines the artist as neo existentialist. Her film Shared Spaces offers the viewer the option of a different point of view and reflections outside the ego. The paintings and the words are whirled in a conceptual whole and the film refers precisely to new existentialism.

 

The emotions of the individual and the artist catching up with each other
 

According to Baramó, the art film Shared Spaces hints at Fluxus fusion. Being asked for further explanation, she said: "For art interaction outside the Ego, for the opening of harmonies of different arts towards one center, because good ideas are applicable at many levels, they are universal. For the purpose of "animation" - and it is easier to animate what is already alive! - I unfolded the kinetics of the paintings in time, because such are the means of expression in cinema. In the painting compositions this movement is compressed. This new format of the Architect Project released the trigger and everything took its place. The circle was closed - in a good way. Little by little the emotions of the individual and the artist caught up with each other."
 

The technique of the paintings in Shared Spaces is acrylic and pastel on paper. The concept “Sediment process” is a visual language with its own syntax, founded on mathematical logic and linear perspective, explained Baramó.
 

The Architect Project focuses on existential problems
 

"I conceive our existence as a slow stone sculpture in the process of creation”, says Baramó. For this purpose the monolith stone was chosen as a metaphor for "the beginning" of every human life. "The sediment of time builds the personality as a test for free will. The stone gradually acquires individuality in accordance with our choices, and also with the plans of the Great Architect. The horizontal structure of the form reconstructs the illusion of gravity. In my compositions I examine the construction of the pictoral space."
 

The second part of the film thematizes the artistic invention with a video art - the theme of the negative will, the rejection of certain liberties for the sake of the idea. The title is "Noumenon" - a term coined by Kant, which signifies essence perceived only by the mind (contrary to phenomenon perceived through the senses), the thing in itself, or, to put it literally - a thing of the reason, a mental object.

While we are talking, Elitsa Baramó expresses her gratitude to Sofia Municipality, a-cube Gallery and the gallerist Enil Enchev, Nelly Tchalakova, Prof. Krasimir Delchev and other friends, who offered her their support in this initiative, unpopular for the mass taste.
 

The paintings enter a new reality

 

The aesthetics of slow motion is an ethical possibility to observe and identify the phase of deviation. It is an opening of space between the moments, a chance for interlining and self-control...

 

... for understanding of the other point of view, beyond one's ego
 

The continuation of the paintings with conceptual texts has started with the Architect Project. These are two parts of one "diptych". Although sometimes words come before the colors, says the artist.
 

Yet the conceptual texts don’t explain the paintings, nor vice versa. They rather interpret each other.
 

"Everyone is looking for one’s own Virgil"
 

"The existentialistic texts hit a nerve under the present situation, when we are faced with the challenge of self-knowledge. It is a way to integral communication with oneself, everyone is looking for one’s own Virgil...”, adds the artist.
 

This is how Elitsa explains her aesthetic goal: alignment of values between the physical act of creation and the artefact itself. In fact, this is a continuation of the Fluxus practice, known since the 60-s of the last century, relying mostly on the sense of humor and the dialogue between artists of different fields. "I think that the moment has come for a new Fluxus wave, which might attract once again audiences to galleries and saturate the virtual space" - this hope gives wings to Elitsa Baramó in her vanguard project.
 

You can see "Shared Spaces" on Elitsa Baramó's web site or YouTube channel:
in Bulgarian:  https://youtu.be/HLOnV8NkmHM>  
https://www.baramo.art/video-art-bg?lang=bg
in English:  https://youtu.be/tbeqUmX6Gek
https://www.baramo.art/video-art

 

For those who don’t know yet Elitsa Baramó: she lives and works in Sofia, and is a graduate of the National Academy of Arts, a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists.
Activities: participation in group exhibitions and symposia; national representative in the Francophone Games in Canada; participation in the Mitte project of EU Mitte in Germany, the project Art Meets History - Grimbergen - Brussels/Belgium etc.
She finds inspiration in nature, cinema, theatre. And also, as she says, in the committed individual, in everyday life, big cities, books, Eastern philosophy and practice, as well as modern aesthetics and philosophy.

 

During the period 2000-2006 she exhibited her works mostly in Germany. At that time German expressionism was close to her artistic nature. She was integrated in the German art scene and received awards for painting, made experiments with different forms of expression, happenings (gallery "Studio Wasserscheune," Erbsen/FRG).
Numerous solo exhibitions in galleries and museums in Bulgaria and Germany

 

Since mid-2010s until now she has been actively working in the field of graphic design. She has designed numerous book covers, catalogues, posters, logo signs, corporate identity. Work on projects under the Sofia Municipal Library (exhibition on the occasion of its 90th anniversary - 2018), the Sofia Municipality (Herbert von Karajan annual festival - 2001-2008), Ergo Publishing House, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (logo concept for Bulgaria’s participation in the Europalia festival 2002).

Petya Vladimirova

Translated from Bulgarian by Nelly Tchalakova

The movement of the figures in the short art film "Shared Spaces" by Elitsa Baramova - Baramó suggests a sense of space.  The images warn of something that has no word invented for it yet.  The sculptures are monumental, surrounded by air and extraterrestrial mystery.

 

The reflections of art are interesting, especially at this time during COVID-19.  Time is a piece of our personal space that has changed worldviews, values, human relationships in a way unthinkable until recently.  Elitsa Baramova's new appearance - Baramó as an artist is her transformation into a director, scriptwriter and actor in the art film "Shared Spaces".  It was created with the support of Sofia Municipality, under the initiative "Solidarity in Culture".  The project has brought together as "actors" her paintings and video art. But as in the initial explosion they were given a boost, they are moved.  The potential energy has been transformed into kinetic one to push them like human plants along the path through the labyrinth dominated by our inner Minotaur.  Her project "The Architect" (part of the short film) was presented at Gallery [a]cube contemporary in Sofia two years ago in another phase of its development - a thematic painting-exhibition, a serie of symbolic paintings with acrylic and pastel on cardboard.  Her themes, chosen with intuition, recognize the future. Her signature style is "Sedimentation in Process" - rotation of bundles of light-contrasting white and black threads.  Built in "layers", the images-symbols condense their dynamics and provoke numerous associative connections in the viewer.  In this way, they awake an emotional chain reaction in the memories, provoke the accumulated from what is happening during the day, hurt the horizons of the future.  The visual language is minimalistic, monochrome. 

 

The time of the pandemic not only developed, but also changed the meaning of the figures-symbols, the puppets of the meaning work in a new way.  The human encapsulation pushed them down the path of the inner labyrinth, to seek balance with their Minotaur.  And he is double-faced - the fear and freedom. Their dialectical connection resembles a quantum state, their simultaneous existence in one another.

 

The film is voiced with conceptual texts in Bulgarian and English, which prove that the artist masters no less skillfully three tools - in addition to the brush, words, but also philosophy, as a search for a point of view beyond the ordinary.  The music and post-production are by Enil Enchev, and the translations are by Nelly Chalakova.

 

The opportunities brought by the film add new connections and offer the viewer a reserved place in the virtual journey-adventure.  The artistic space acquires a stereo format with additional dimensions - the movement, volume and multiplication of the meanings.  The movement of contemporary painting in this format is not animation in its classical form.  The figures are taken out of context on a dark background, which may contain everything or a completely absent background.  The narration has been removed.  "Movements make sense, they are not just aesthetics. Pictures from an object become a subject. According to Prof. Delchev, this is a pioneering act, which he denominates "art re-surrection" - the resurrection of the artistic image. 

 

"The continuation of the paintings with conceptual text is a core of the project - two parts of a diptych, sometimes the words come before the colors.  The texts do not explain, but interpret the visual suggestion.  The opposite often happens.  The preconceived composition reaches the final stop of the creative act”. The COVID-19 situation challenges us to get to know ourselves.  Baramó shares: "It is a way to communicate with ourselves, to look for personal Virgil ... The kinetics of slow motion, which I set in the paintings, released the trigger and now everything is in the right place…" According to her, the artist is a doctor of the soul, and for to heal, he must first heal himself.

 

Here we can draw a parallel with the recently published book of St.  Zhelev "On slow living and enjoyment of life."  The writer G. Gospodinov says about it: the soul has its speed (its slowness) and literature is the one that knows more about it.  When we tell a story, we stop for a little sand clocks, go out of the current time and build another, in parallel ... Every reader knows that while reading, he resides at the same time in two times - the real current and that of the story.  Multiplying times is one of the miracles that even physics can't explain… Remember… Scheherazade - every told story postpones death day after day…"


Unlike in literature, Elitsa Baramó as an artist does not rely on the narration.  According to her, narrative tools are another area of ​​knowledge - she seeks in the aesthetics of slow motion, in the human-plant - an ethical opportunity.  "It's a way to observe, to recognize the phase of 'deviation.'  It opens a space between the moments, gives a chance to find meaning in the sub rows and self-control "... It inspires hunger to understand the other's point of

view.  Tolerance is going beyond the ego, reaching beyond personal. Baramó sees it as a development of the practice of the Fluxus movement, which existed in the 1960s (relying on a sense of humor and dialogue between artists from different fields).  "I think it's time for a new wave of Fluxus to refill the galleries and saturate the cyberspace. " - explains Baramó.

 

In its initial impulse, Svetlozar Zhelev's literary appeal coincides with that of the painter: find and enjoy the beauty of life, create it if you don't have enough… “But in the next moment the two take their own path.  While the literary appeal is “hug and kiss a loved one, love.  … Read a few pages.  Slowly and with pleasure, Baramó guides us through the inner labyrinths of man through the idea of ​​a human plant - a choice between fear of self-destruction and the mystery of being free by breaking the shackles of self-preservation.  They dominate until the meeting and the battle with their own monster - the Minotaur of the beyond cognitive.  As commented in one of his reviews Prof. PhD Krassimir Delchev for her painting exhibition - the paintings collect dangers and warnings about our time, loaded with social explosion and quakes.  The "rebellious man" is sometimes a funny figure where we find ourselves as individuals thrown "together-with-others-in-the-world," immersed in mass culture and society.  Delchev says “the rebels do not turn into "angry young people" or "escapists" running away from others;  they are not "alienated", but joined the common mass-crowd or create small "cheerful societies" - cohesive and non-alienated.  There is missing dramaturgy for ancient tragedy and personal plots are reduced to tragicomedies;  (Baramó's text to Chronotopos: "There" and "where" are sufficient coordinates - the action is a change of perspective, a new connection between already known facts ... the trinity of "theater" is without drama and tragedy).  Often the pacified man is incapable of even "gentle revolt" that characterized the New Leipzig School group.  Fear remains for the timid, despair only for the mentally ill - the absurd dominates, suicide becomes meaningless (a reminder of Camus's Myth of Sisyphus).

 

Elitsa Baramó's existential symbols oppose the aged Freudism, which turns man into a mass goods and a mass "lifestyle".  Negentropy of the erotic.  Existential messages refer to Beckett, Kant, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marcuse, Kundera, and a number of other postmodern touches, but generally mark a path that is sufficiently distinctive, reflective, and persistent.

 

The movement of the figures in the film "Shared Spaces" suggests a sense of space.  The images warn of something that has not been yet invented the word.  The painting-sculptures are monumental, surrounded by air and extraterrestrial mystery.  The verbal envelope is a possible interpretation, but not obligatory - a provocation in the dialogue with the viewer.  "I like the polyphonic concept - polyphony as a property of a sign to have several meanings," explains Baramó about her visual ambition.  The accompanying text relieves the tension of the unspoken inherent in the abstract and makes it more accessible, more democratic.  It often shows the familiar antagonism of life - the spirit of Apollo in the Dionysian state. "The struggle is between their bipolar essences: statics against dynamics, moderation against passion, law against freedom, etc.  I am inspired by natural "symmetry", the moments open to contemplation, through which I deconstruct and re-construct nature so as to transform it into a subjective balance-harmony.  Baramó's texts sound like a philosophical essay & like verses in prose, they are kept to be a plot or a story, they do not want to duplicate their literary equivalents.  The sum of the specific "collectibles" - the words and the visual monument, are a new synthesis of creative space, multiplying the emotional impact available to the two arts separately.  She is constantly developing its projects.  She also finds movement where it is inaccessible to everyday eyes.  It is constant in our body, even when we are motionless.  Man is the top of the food pyramid, but the slow movement shapes an image – the human plants.  An illustrator by education, the metamorphosis to a verbal engineer of a monumental tower (perhaps not entirely ivory) goes through several phases of creative rethinking and clearing. 

 

In general, her film "Shared Spaces" is a challenge to the cultural elite (composed of many human plants), but also addressed to the general public, focusing on the modernization of means of expression, self-knowledge and the evolution of spiritual values.  After the forced insight into the internal human offal, the mutated values ​​are wandering along the curves of unknown existential labyrinths.  Probably the questions of where we come from and where we are going will never find their final answer, but this will hardly prevent us from feeling the thirst all our lives to seek their intimate presence.  It is a challenge to move forward in the territory of the unknown.  And look for weapons to tame it.


Luchezar Lozanov

Translated from Bulgarian by Ivailo Baramov

(an article in a Bulgarian online media frognews.bg)

Review of Elitsa Baramó’s Art Film “Shared Spaces”

In this film I sense new creative intentions, retentions and protentions ([1]) :

         а/ An appeal for "negative freedom“ ([2]) from the underground seductive

depersonalization, which increasingly obliterates selfness.

         b/ An artistic attempt for soteriological ([3]) meditative detention of excessive hectic hurry in contemporary societies, which has become unbearable for the soul - societies  dissolving as if in a “centrifuge” in the technological and scientific acceleration, the uniqueness of individuals (if they have it), or frustrating its appearance.

         c/ An artistic opposition against the replacement of spontaneous personal authenticity with controllable types of selfish identity: familial, sexual, ethnic, religious, linguistic, subcultural, types according to minority, age, company - in the discussions between them the role of the"referrer" is occupied by the super-powered rich, they have become financially invincible, technicalized, alternatingly dominating élites-pseudo élites, which stereotype assiduously the "mass" of citizens, who have demonstrated trust in them / "elected" them/, insolating them in a "human park" ([4]) reared in separate "cells" with show-windows, chips, plates, "surveillance".

        d/ In the center of the "centrifuge" are the most developed countries, while the others are in the periphery.

        e/ An appeal for re-sublimation of the de-sublimated vital energies from the "affirmative culture", which is getting control of them, by opposing it with outbursts of "negative liberty" according to Adorno and "oppositional aesthetics" according to Sartre.f/ A revolt against the repressions of the "collectivized Super-Ego", which surreptitiously oppresses the Self, eroding the exclusively personal identities.
 

Setting in motion contemporary paintings in this format is innovative. “One cannot classify it as animation in the classical sense, taking into account the universal contextuality of the composition (namely,  dark background, which may contain anything, or total absence of background). The artist has chosen to remain out of the narrative. The movements are already present in the original compositions, they are charged with meaning and do not pursue just the aesthetics of motion. “The film transforms the paintings from object to subject“ (cit. Baramó). This is a ground-breaking act, „art re-surrection ([5]) - a rebirth of the artistic image.

 

Prof. Krasimir Delchev, Ph.D.

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[1] Phenomenology of Husserl; a description of perception, which can be described not only as a line, but as motion.

[2] Adorno, on one side in aesthetics, and “negative dialectics” on the other

[3] *soter - savior

[4] Discusses “Rules of the Human Park” by P. Sloterdijk

[5] Surrection – a term used in the set theory (every image from a set A in a set B, whereby every element of B is an image of at least one element from A. The element does not need to be necessarily unique – the function f can impress one or more elements from A on one and the same element from B)

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ELITSA BARAMÓ