Sunday, 27 January 2008

Nedko Solakov

At the BUREAU OF UNIVERSAL MERRIMENT (part of the Hayward’s 'Laughing in a Foreign Language' exhibition), Nedko Solakov gave a talk about his work. His stories - or interventions - are so minute, you really do have to get on your knees, stand on tiptoe and put some effort in to search out what's next. This gentle manipulation of the viewer, a humorous coercion perhaps, engages the viewer. Nedko's use of small toys, cartoons and writing to narrate his (absurd) stories of fictional characters is similar to that of a child when outplaying their intimate relations and desires.

The artists obvious enjoyment of 'Rivals' (2004), a competition played out on the gallery walls between himself and his curator to see which idea was to be shown (Ferran's favourite or Nedko's) was apparent in his explanation. The one who got the highest score would choose which project was to be done in the gallery (eventually). This idea of playing in the gallery, of game playing as art and for the competition itself to be the exhibition, appealed directly to me, especially within the context of our SKOLP approach to the Lab. There is a place for laughter!

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