Yonko Vassilev, Sofia
Born on 10.03.1977 in Botevgrad, Bulgaria.
Lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Yonko’s Room Is Unlocked
Those who have crossed the threshold of Yonko’s Room are bound to make the all too natural analogy with the Wall of one of the founding fathers of the French surrealism André Breton known as the Wall in the Atelier (Le Mur de l’Atelier). Breton says: „And by the way, the true meaning of a piece of art is not the meaning we want to instill in it but the meaning it assumes when juxtaposed against the environment.”
In this work Yonko Vassilev is intrigued by the transformation of already existing objects and items into pieces of art. His artistry is inspired by the ready-made movement where as Breton explains in his Abridged Dictionary of Surrealism (1929), „an object with a practical use is elevated to the position of an object of art through the sole desire of the artist”.
Yonko Vassilev composes his own works in an interesting and memorable way which unwittingly leads to the creation of a present-day Cabinet of curiosities. Every one of its objects has a voice, a character and a life of its own, yet in combination with the remaining items it becomes part of one common piece of art that best corresponds to the term in situ.
It is a challenge to remove an object without risking to ruin the entirety if the exposition. And whenever this happens the author transforms some of the already created pieces thus rearranging his room. Yonko’s curious cabinet is indeed a continuation of his daily life and a vital part of his artistic existence.
The author’s uncanny collection is not deprived of a certain taste for the eclectic and a liking for the unseen. The signs and symbols of Bulgaria’s recent past, packaged in the austere and unfriendly socialist aesthetics are in direct contact with present-day materials and objects. Thus, Yonko not only brings the past back in focus and attempts to ‘”trade these objects off” the way the regime once bargained with human lives, but he also showcases the duality of our present – locked in between our memories and a new kind of mindset.
Please come in. The door is open…