International Biennial of Contemporary Art Ljubljana,
23 June - 24 September 2000
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Pravdoliub Ivanov
  *1964, lives in Sofia

Transformation Always Takes Time and Energy, 1997-1998, installation

The installation Transformation Always Takes Time and Energy touches on the problem of the absurdity of contemporary existence. The post modernist subject is placed in the realm of apparent truth, simulation and virtuality; here the capacity for awareness of reality is brought into question, and the "essence" is abolished or forgotten. The artist takes account of this situation and suggests it in his art, but prefers to consider it from a distance. He seems to be telling us that he has no intention of solving these intricate problems, because life is a game whose essence we shall never completely fathom. His installation offers to the viewer approx. 30 receptacles - teapots and pots placed on cookers in which water is boiling lazily, wasting time and energy. The artist borrowed all of the exhibited pots and pans from his relatives and friends. "The difference between change and transformation is that change does not exist. It is only transformation which is overburdened and overexposed by our expectations, dreams and everyday obligations. "With this ambiguous statement Ivanov points to the absurdity of some of the fundamental achievements of Western civilisation, such as scientific advances or the manner of establishing social relations. Its abstract rhetoric could just as easily refer to both of these areas of human endeavour. Coincidence, the apparent and the absurd appear in this context as the fundamental referential points of contact of the conceptual background of Ivanov's installation. The second level of the exhibited work which is of particular importance to the artist concerns the problem of "ownership" of readymade objects. As he puts it, at issue here is the return of the right of ownership of readymade objects to themselves. Artists owe it to them. After all, these so-called "pre-prepared" objects have been robbed of their context for almost a century. They are in fact used for purposes which are far from identical to those for which they have been created.

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