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exhibition of paintings, Elitsa Baramova – Baramó, March 21 – April 13, 2023, Rakursi Art Gallery, Sofia

Baramó about the project:

     The exhibition includes 21 mixed media compositions - acrylic and pastel on paper or canvas, created in the last two years. They are part of my long-term project ‘Sediment Process’ *, the exhibition in Rakursi Art Gallery being the fifth phase thereof /and my20 th solo exhibition as well/. Works from previous sub-projects are also presented to create a retrospective view.

     I would describe the current compositions as ‘concrete abstraction’ and ‘abstract images’. This deliberate contradiction is a creative approach to restore the original integrity between polar concepts /and marks the dialectical line on the poles of which they are located/. Recognizable details /in different scales/ are embedded in the works, and the connections between them are abstract, so a new context can be created.

The highest Vertex** point could be
another point of view
the inspiration to inspire
the joy of being aware of the present moment,
an aspiration without pathos,
the desire to rise on your toes,
the courage to reach out for what you like…
the right moment, the perfect timing,
the absence of discouragement, regardless of the circumstances

inflating the balloon, raising the tent...
It could also be a starting low point from which to look forward and upward with an effort of will. And then, with holographic lightness, it rises up to the top.

     The Vertex point is highest what comes to perception in conditions of gravity. Outside of this context, say in the noosphere where the Absolute resides, the highest point could be perceived as the deepest point, our Monad, the imperishable spark. Moving inward is related to self-knowledge. And namely, the spiritual effort to observe oneself in perspective and not in the past. Relatively, the Vertex could be perceived as the upward movement of the spirit within the body and the movement of the body within one’s personal fantasy and spiritual level.

     The Vertex is the topos, where the directions meet. A turning Point, a Top. This could be the zero coordinate, the point of interaction in the dialectical line. Bipolar concepts are driven to meetpoint and to form a faceted whole in the stardust.

     Verbal gradation is a direction with a clear vector. Gradation in degrees of ‘more’, ‘most’ is a part of comparative thinking. Is it possible to think beyond the comparison with past experience? Thinking beyond the subjectively experienced in the direction of absolute thinking, and things in themselves. There are many examples in history and acquis for civilization thanks to individuals who dared to take the path of intuition. Bright intuition is distinguished from the ‘experience creeping through the unconscious’ /sometimes also as unresolved traumas/. Increasing the volume of the conscious at the expense of the unconscious is a process, a spiritual effort and persistence. For example, the expansion of consciousness through meditative notions of simultaneous presence in two points of view - the one looking at the bird and the one from the bird's eye, the one looking from the horizon and the one looking to it.

     Regarding the practice of articulating the visual: some of the paintings in the current exhibition will "talk" to the viewer and to each other with short lines as in a comic book; viewer has the option of an active intervention, being invited to share what the painting tells him using a note on the wall. This idea is a development from previous projects: a diptych of conceptual text and painting: two means of expression in search of pluralism of perception without having a leading component (The Architect project); texts with a sequence of titles for each work that mark metamorphoses (Guardian Angels project).

The bird soars high,
the string of the rope is taut
to a deep anchor.

     The duality of the world and the synthesis of opposites create a unity of perception, and connect the highest to the deepest point under the music of the celestial spheres. The bird and the anchor may not be the ends of a bowstring, but of a fine thread playing with the wind.

     Notes on some of the compositions in the exhibition:

/ With the stipulation that creation is a sacrament - both creation and perception, there is no necessity and edification.../

‘The Skaian Gates /Palindrome’ ***

     ‘If you step through these gates, you change your world. Power, mystery, sacredness, indestructibility and divine symmetry.

      The main gates of Troy, the Skaian gates, are described by Homer. They are the metaphorical boundary between two worlds – war and peace, home and journey, knowledge and ignorance, truth and lies, and ultimately – life and death. They are so imposing, powerful and exquisite that one’s can't help but understand that they were built by gods /Apollo is one of the defenders of Troy and builder of the gates/. In front of them, Hector says farewell to Andromache, the Trojan horse enters (the horse was brought in from where people helped the gods in the construction, the rest was indestructible), and perhaps Orpheus loses Eurydice in front of them...’ /G. Malinov/ And we rediscover the modern European archetype, based on Greek myths…

     As a means of expression I use the symmetry of the Palindrome *** /located in the linear perspective of time-space/. It ensures unambiguity and independence of the access direction /and brings cosmopolitanism in relation to the logic of reading in different cultures/. Achieving symmetry is nowadays a criterion and, in a more general sense, allows for consideration of a phenomenon a priori or a posteriori /in both directions/, and this possibility of choice is already an attribute of the continuum. In the logic of the Palindrome, I create a silhouette of a symmetrical figure, its content is equal, but inverts the point of view and perspective. For this purpose, I use the ladder of honor as a form and symbol.

‘Mirror images’

     The aesthetics of symmetry in nature, and symmetry of reflection, represents symmetry in force /leading/ lines. In other words, the search for symmetry could be a creative act if one realizes the apparent framework of the known answer: it is part of the conceptual aesthetics in which rational assessment is a recurring stage after the inclusion of intuition and pure imagination. In the composition, the logic of the reflection has been changed /with a reference outside the physical phenomenon/, in the direction of the idea of subjective reflection in the eyes of others. The reflections /and not the figures themselves/ have an enhanced spatial materiality, separating themselves in bas-relief from the pictorial surface and reinforcing the sculptural logics of my pictorial auto-concept. They convey the underlying metaphoric symbolism as ‘specific objects’****, dialectically relativized. They "mislead" us that it is simply a physical reflection. But such are the lies of the artist - they tell the truth instead of hiding it...

‘Freethinker’ makes visible the idea of non-stereotypical perception. The thinker distances himself from routine, conformity, circumstance. The silhouette of the ’active’ character detaches from the column of time and accumulation without losing them as an argument. He takes the risk of being to blame for success or failure. It is also equipped with elbow pads for better argumentation. With muzzled elbows, with care for the Other.

‘The Shell of the Dove’ touches on the theme of war absurdity. Something like a mantra for peace and reason, like militant pacifism, like the addresses of the unambiguous symbol of the dove.

I correlate the symbols of the dove, the shell and the abandoned helmet. The shell as a Vanitas symbol*****, a reminder that we are all mortal, passing through a common portal. This perspective reinforces the absurdity of a broken peace. In the composition, the two dwellings of the dove are the shell and the discarded helmet with the nest inside. The shell moves along the bottom of the ocean of world memory with a ‘gear‘, constructed from points of views of real and written history. The interrupted flight of peace sends the dove into the blue depths so that it could fly again.

‘Muse’ – The Architect project, conceptual text

     … about the creative process and its floors up to the peaks of Helicon and Parnassus.

     The creator is faced with a choice of author’s position on mimesis: to ‘imitate’ the Creation or the act of Creation, of the incomparable creation. The Muses choose who they visit. They are capricious, preferring to enter a studio with warm hands. The inspired artist acquires their prophetic gift and power over the human soul.

     Museums, as temples of Muses, keep preserving the responsibility of present and past times, assumed by the creators.

‘An Italian Style Family’ – The Architect project, conceptual text

     …about the family environment, in which conversation is а cozy room of words, where the miracle of closeness happens.

     All members of the family are presented in the sound picture as megaphones, standing freely, and each with his/her own voice.

If they function simultaneously, they’d rather play one and the same melody; if not, the conversation becomes a monologue…

‘Bucephalus’ - Guardian Angels project, title sequence
Bucephalus ● Jump in the Heart ● Mirror Gallop ● Undaunted ● Higher Measure ● Guardian Angel ● Timing (The Right Moment) ● A Clock with No Hands ● Heartbeats ● Resonance ● Rush ● The Heart's Mind


* The Sediment Process is my author's pictorial concept. This visual language has its own syntax and is based on mathematical logic and linear perspective. It recreates the feeling of movement and the message of slow motion aesthetics - an ethical opportunity to observe the phase of deviation.

** Vertex /from Latin vertere: turn/ - means turning point, top, apex; common point, node, a place where the directions meet. In theoretical particle physics / Feynman diagrams / the points of interaction where the lines meet are called vertices.

*** Palindrome means words or numbers that are read the same way in two or four directions.

**** ‘Specific Objects’ /1965/ is an essay by the American critic and minimalist artist Donald Judd /1928-1994/. The article lays out the minimalist platform for emphasizing the physical, phenomenological experience of the objects rather than presenting any metaphysical or metaphorical symbolism.

***** Vanitas (lat. vanitas, literally - ‘vanity’) - is a genre of painting from the Baroque era and conveys its messages through symbols; conceptually it is based on the biblical verse from Ecclesiastes: ‘Vanitas vanitatum et omnia vanitas.’

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