FLUCA – Austrian Cultural Pavilion presents:
“BELCANTO” solo show by Velizar Dimchev
August 13, 2021 – September 1, 2021
Curated by Valko Chоbanov
* Performance of August Metodiev at the opening of the exhibition.
“We buy old stoves, washing machines, water heateeeeeers.” This is how Sunday mornings sound, in Plovdiv, in bel canto. Bel canto is a term with a nostalgic nuance related to the Italian opera tradition. Its literal translation can be “beautiful singing” or “beautiful song”. In a general sense, it is a definition of a typical singing style, characterized by the lightness of sound and focus on its sheer beauty and grace, and the melody it creates. In Plovdiv, Belcanto is also an almost nominal name. It recalls a place where scrap metal is bought – because of the notable company for recycling and processing of metal waste having the same name: BELCANTO Ltd.
In his current artistic project, the visual artist from Plovdiv Velizar Dimchev seeks the correlations between the elite art of opera and the practices of recycling scrap metal. Far from the chivalry of the conscious ecological act, in which recycling is a common planetary cause, hundreds of people actively walk our city streets on a daily basis, practicing recycling out of necessity. Thanks to them, an enviable amount of household waste regularly reaches the waste recycling points, and a naturally structured urban ecosystem functions flawlessly. Grace from another essence.
Looking for the Plovdiv Belcanto, Velizar Dimchev reached the auto morgue and joined the act of recycling outright. The moment that interests the artist is the moment when the objects no longer perform their original function and finish their journey as waste material. Among the pile of scrap, he brings out the poetic: he selects objects that he uses in the creation of his current works of art. He approaches the thrown-out automobile parts as a collection of disintegrating artifacts, from which some, ones picked up are modified into art objects, thus (temporarily) stopping their disintegration process. Therefore, parts that have lost their factory purpose, including fenders, crankcases, and doors, are somewhat theatrically placed in the exhibition space. Illustrative pop art, in which images of angel eyes and stage curtains reflect the decorative state of things in which we happen to find ourselves. Recycling as an attempt for salvation.
Looking for beauty and synchronicity, Velizar Dimchev pulls objects out of their utilitarian function and creates meaning beyond the achieved purpose. His work redefines the relationship between high art and the scrap collectors – from visual conflict to surprising assonance. In fact, the morning shouts of those collectors are actually melodic and imply the sense of a song. And maybe their occupation is an intuitive execution of a higher calling.
For its sixth season in 2021 FLUCA – Austrian Cultural Pavilion, Open Arts Foundation and Vesselina Sarieva invite Valko Chobanov as curator. He is a visual artist who also practices as an independent curator. In 2020, on the stage of FLUCA, he realized the exhibition “particular impulse”. FLUCA – Austrian Cultural Pavilion is a long-term cultural project – an initiative of the Open Arts Foundation (Plovdiv), the Austrian Embassy in Sofia, supported by the Austrian Federal Chancellery and the Municipality of Plovdiv. In 2021 FLUCA is supported by the National Culture Fund – Annual Program for Support of Professional Organisations in the Field of Arts. Partners of Fluca – Austrian Cultural Pavilion are traditionally artnewscafe and Sariev gallery, Plovdiv.