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“View to the West," Nedko Solakov.
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In 1989, a Bulgarian artist, Nedko Solakov, installed a telescope on top of the building that housed the Union of Bulgarian Artists. The installation was called “View to the West.” The telescope was aimed at a Bulgarian Flag flying atop the former Communist Party House. It is an uncomfortable looking installation. The tall, thrusting spire of the building is topped by a narrow flagpole. The attached flag seems woefully inadequate for the majesty of the structure. When there is no breeze, well, it is impossible not to think of all sorts of bad puns about limpness and, yes, size. It is like you need a telescope to see it.
Not far from the former Communist Party House is the building that once housed the TSUM, a mall that was reserved for the communist party. In its place stand several luxury stores, stores that are probably out of reach for the average Bulgarian, just as TSUM was in its time.
In the National Museum we see a show by a young contemporary artist, Zoran Georgiev, who has created objects he calls “International Treasures” and then buried each treasure in a different location in Bulgaria. No art or artifact in Bulgaria can be classified as a national treasure unless it was created more than 50 years ago. One of these treasures is called “And the Winner is…” It is “a medal for first place for disappearing Bulgarians.” A tribute to 2013, which was the year Bulgarians could finally take advantage of the EU travel regulations and leave Bulgaria.