Мариян Гоцев – Искам да съм момиче

Росен Тошев, One Bulgarian Rose, 2016 г., 90х90 см, маслени бои, платно

 

 

Искам да съм момиче

По Анди Уорхол

Славянска версия

 

 

Една баба, която продаваше зарзават на женски пазар,

използвА намалението да отиде на пазара за SVG файлове,

за да украси codeless Платформата си,

с което смяташе да умори от глад злобните си колежки.

Подобно на зукърбърг с калпавото му недоносче, бабата мислеше мащабно.

 

Доставчикът й на платформени решения нямаше това, което й беше нужно,

за това се налагаше да излиза навън.

 

От малка си беше башка чешит.

Подиграваха й се в онези времена, когато за идентификация ползваха инкрементал – тъпанари!

Те и сега май го ползват

 

Не, че зукърбург е мислил мащабно, но му се получиха нещата, заради смахнатото естество на човека,

мърмореше си бабата на път за пазара на SVG файлове.

 

От Findайкънс й предложиха 65% намаление ако се абонира за техния нюслетър бюлетин,

но тя им отказа и купи 10 по 2 долара парчето.

Половината не се мащабираха.

 

Вие знаете ли, че една проверка за паралелна обработка може буквално да ви съсипе проекта, ядосваше се бабата.

Беше започнала търговия на дребно в онези времена, когато още нямаше гугъл и нямаше кой да ти каже нещо за тази „сложна“ професия.

Тогава по площадите излизаха сини ченгета и крещяха „врeмето е наше“. Оказаха се прави.

Тогава бабата беше малко момченце и им се радваше, докато хапвайки гъста пилешка супа гледаше репортажите от „народното“ „събрание“.

По селския мегдан вървеше един господин, който външно приличаше на човек, и полит-коректно крещеше.

 

Един колега й каза, че капитализмът щял да купи гнилата му путка и бабата се опита да визуализира какво точно е гнила путка.

 

В далечната 1970 година, когато баща й цар Борис ходеше на лов без охрана,

умря по-голямата й щерка.

Бабата ви 2 седмици.

А майка й (по-малката й дъщеря) се кри като животно в ъглите на къщата уплашена до смърт.

Преди това майка й я беше била за една открадната саксия, а после майка й я би защото не можеше да брои до 10.

Умря от медицинска грешка.

Бог й беше казал, че ако до 18 не я оженят ще си я прибере.

 

Бабата беше вещица. Имаше свещ от божи гроб, с която прогонваше лошото време.

Когато бабата умря, бабата си запази свещта й и няколко снимки.

На погребението й пусна хубава музика от грамофонна плоча, за да не скучаят гостите, но й направиха забележка.

 

Хубавото на ставането в 3 часа сутринта е, че можеш да измислиш нова идеология преди закуска. Домейните са запазени.

 

Защо по дяволите трябва да те ядосам, за да си кажеш истината…

 

 

Меринджей от маалата

С посвещение: Добчев глей си работата 🙂

Постмортем

 

 

Крадецът на праскови

 

Кой сте вие, кой ви познава и кой го е еня за вас

Щом добре не сте се продал

И нямате ускар

 

Светли величия вече високо звезди

Лолова, Тасева, Коканова

Татяна, Леда, Невена

Кои сте вие, кой ви познава и кой го е еня за вас

Щом добре не сте се продали

И нямате ускар

 

Едно на милион

След силно надвикване

На пода на борсата

Новата смяна успяват понякога

Да се продадат

С номинация за ускар

Нисък кредитен рейтинг

 

 

 

 

Уморените дървета ги убиват нали

Кандидатура за конкурс за сексуална поезия

 

Оранжевото куче иска да оноди оранжевия котарак

Това е невъзможно

Оранжевият котарак си спомня че е искал да оноди други котки

Това е невъзможно

Гневен минувач ми повелява да убия умореното дърво в градината ми

Това е невъзможно

Умореното дърво в градината е вече мъртво

 

 

 

 

Посвещение на Ваня Вълкова

Физиологичен и транскриптомен анализ на хетероморфни листа и хидрофилни корени

Старостилно

 

 

Жената с хетероморфните котки

Храни своите електронни гълъби

Играе с електронни кълбета и нишки от прах

Нейното порцеланово вчера

Ухае на чай

Яростно отрицание

Меланхолия

Канела

И ябълков пай

 

списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X

Yangi ijtimoiy she’riyat uchun manifest

Венци Арнаудов, Юмрукът, 2018

 

1. Biz yaratadigan she’riyat o’ziga xos ma’noda siyosiy, do’st va dushmanni aniq ajratib turadi. Bir qator shoirlar sifatida tashkil etilganimizdan boshlab, biz uchun murosasiz dushmanlar: a) lifestyle adabiyoti barcha turlari bilan; b) universitet infratuzilmasida parazitlik qiluvchi adabiyotlar; va d) a va b kichik bo’limlar orasidagi gibrid qarindoshlar o’rtasidagi tijorat yo’naltirilgan tajribalar.

1.1. „Lifestyle adabiyoti“ deganda biz muallif ozmi-ko’pmi xabardorlik darajasi bilan bitta iste’molchiga yo’naltirilgan „o’zi uchun madaniyat“ tomonidan yaratilgan ehtiyojlarni qondirishga intiladigan qidiruv va taklif mexanizmlari bilan boshqariladigan mahsulotni tushunamiz. Boshqacha qilib aytganda, biz o’zimizni iste’mol mahsulotlari va xizmatlaridan „yasashimiz“ mumkin bo’lgan sahro sarobidir. Bunday yaratilgan mahsulotlarda muallifning vaqti vositachilik qiladi va taxminlar tufayli kamayadi, ularning bajarilishi estetikani rad etishni va ko’pincha ishlab chiqaruvchi sub’ektning etika avtonomligini nazarda tutadi. Shu ma’noda, lifestyle adabiyoti „muallifning o’limi“ postmodern tushunchasining tijorat ekvivalenti sifatida qaralishi mumkin, bunda ushbu turdagi adabiyot „yuqori“ (universitet) postmodernizm bilan uchrashadi va birgalikda yashaydi.

1.2. Ikki sherik: bir tomondan, lifestyle bo’yicha adabiyotlar, ikkinchidan, akademik postmodernizm nafaqat bir-birlari oldida, balki o’quvchilar oldida ham uyalish uchun sabab bor. Biroq, postmodernistlar tomonidan ilhomlanib, universitet infratuzilmasida parazitlik qiladigan adabiyotlar yanada nozik holatda. „Baland“ va „past“ yo’nalishlarga oid nazariy alibidan farqli o’laroq, juftlikdagi baland bo’yli sherik yomon vijdon qoldiqlaridan xalos bo’lolmaydi, ayniqsa, G’arb akademiyasida mavjud bo’lgan nutqlarga tayanish kerak bo’lganda. Oxir oqibat, ritorika chap bo’lsa ham, ko’proq nazariy sherik asosan lifestyle mahsulotlarini baholashga xos bo’lgan neo-liberal bozor qonuniyatiga murojaat qiladi: „eng ko’p sotilgan bolgar yozuvchisi“, „chet elda eng ko’p nashr etilgan bolgar yozuvchisi“ va boshqa reytinglar tijorat muvaffaqiyati. Bu muvaffaqiyat qay darajada tijorat maqsadlarida yoki umuman Bolgariya jamiyati uchun odatiy bo’lgan xususiy manfaatlar va xususiylashtirilgan davlat (oxir-oqibat jamoat) resurslarining oligarxik birlashuviga asoslanganligi haqida alohida savol tug’iladi.

1.3. „Universitet infratuzilmasida parazitlik qiluvchi adabiyot“ deganda, biz ta’rifning baholash soyasidan farqli o’laroq, „parazitlik“, avvalambor, yozuvchining iqtisodiy ehtiyojidan kelib chiqqan ijtimoiy-madaniy (va nojo’ya jihatdan) tushunamiz. O’qituvchilar uchun ish haqi (yoki aspirantura stipendiyasi) ko’rinishidagi past, ammo nisbatan ishonchli daromadga tayanib, bu amalda har kuni 8 soatlik ish kunini anglatmaydi. Agar siz yozganlaringizni va o’zingizni yozuvchi sifatida sotishga amalda tayyor bo’lmasangiz, unda universitetdagi ish yozuvchi uchun qonuniy va munosib tanlov bo’ladi. Raqobatdoshlikni buzish uchun universitet infratuzilmasi (binolardan bepul foydalanish, akademik malaka va unvonlar orqali ommaviy axborot vositalari va hakamlar hay’atiga kirish, oxir-oqibat tez-tez o’qitiladigan va hattoki imtihonlarni o’tkazadigan talabalar auditoriyasini jalb qilish) ishlatilganda qabul qilinishi mumkin bo’lmagan parazit moment aralashadi va qatlamga aylanadi, adabiy muhit bir vaqtning o’zida o’zini shoir sifatida namoyon qiladigan universitet professor-o’qituvchilari foydasiga.

1.4. Hozir, ehtimol, siyosiy do’st va dushman o’rtasidagi farq deb belgilashda paydo bo’ladigan eng muhim savol. 1 million dollarlik savol: dushmanlar nima uchun kerak? Javob oddiy, balki o’ta sodda: 90-yillarning oxiridan boshlab adabiyotda o’n yillik tinch o’tish, do’st-dushman tafovutining paydo bo’lishini adabiy sohada samarali keskinlikni tiklashning muhim harakatiga aylantirdi. Simeon II tomonidan boshlangan siyosiy tizimning parchalanishi adabiy tizimda aynan uning ekvivalenti bor: 90-yillar postmodernizmining radikal siyosiy salohiyatini siyosiy hayot tarzidagi adabiyotlar bilan, tinchlik bilan aloqada bo’lish uchun qulay bo’lgan siyosiy bo’lmagan martaba akademik-korporativ manbasiga aylantirish, tijorat jihatdan maqbul gibridlarni anglab yetish. Radikal siyosiylashuvni adabiy maydonga qaytarib, biz siyosatsizlashtirilgan akademik-korporativ postmodernizm / neo-avangard, yengil uslubdagi adabiyotlarni va ularning tijorat jihatdan optimallashtirilgan gibridlarni dushmanimiz deb ochiq e’lon qilamiz.

1.5. Biz har bir ketma-ket hukumat tomonidan astoydil o’stirilgan bir qurbonlik madaniyati doirasida yashayotganimiz sababli, biz dushman deb e’lon qilgan adabiyotdagi tinch o’tish holati vaziyati o’zini „qurbon“ deb atash imkoniyatini boy bermaydi. Haqiqiy va ramziy boy va qudratli odamlar qurbonning niqobini beradigan birinchi yoki oxirgi marta bo’lmaydi. Darhaqiqat, eski ijtimoiy elita tomonidan qurilgan tinch o’tishning butun madaniyati kelajakdagi „qurbonlar“ haqida qo’rqinchli vosita yordamida har qanday erkinlikning namoyon bo’lishiga to’sqinlik qilishga asoslangan. Bilamizki, ular o’zlarining imtiyozlarini himoya qilish uchun yolg’on gapirishadi va ular uchun qo’rqib, qurbon niqobini berishadi. Biz „qurbon“ niqobi ostida adabiyotdagi tinch o’tish holati, lifestyle va akademiklikning guruh buzuqligi, boshqacha qilib aytganda, bizning dushmanimiz yotadi, deb ta’kidlaymiz.

2. Biz bu yerda manifestni e’lon qilgan yangi ijtimoiy she’riyat, birinchi navbatda, muallif „o’limi“ ning turmush tarzi-akademik iste’molidan keyin qayta tiklangan muallifning she’riyatidir. Bartning kontseptsiyasini ko’r-ko’rona tijoratlashtirish uning o’lim haqidagi buyrug’ini amalda imzolashni anglatadi. Amalda, lifestyle adabiyoti va „yuqori“ akademik postmodernizm o’rtasidagi tijorat jihatdan optimallashtirilgan gibridlar „muallifning o’limi“ g’oyasining inqilobiy anarxistik salohiyatini qaytarib bo’lmaydigan tarzda o’ldirdi va ko’mdi. Bunday vaziyatda biz muallifning tirilishini axloqiy xatti-harakatlar qilish imkoniyatining so’nggi kafolati sifatida e’lon qilamiz, ya’ni, bu erkinlik. Bizning ko’zimiz oldida muallifning adabiy maydonning chuqurligiga nazariy jihatdan itarilishi uning mahsulotlarini ommaviy axborot vositalari, hakamlar hay’ati, grantlar ko’rinishidagi hokimiyatning signal-to’q sariq do’konida joylashishi uchun alibi bo’lgan film namoyish etildi. , tarjimalar, davlat buyurtmalari. Ushbu muallif haqiqatan ham o’lik va hatto chirigan. Muallif erkinlikning so’nggi kafili sifatida yashasin!

2.1. Axloqiy mas’uliyat yuklanishi mumkin bo’lgan sub’ekt sifatida muallif figurasini reabilitatsiya qilish tinch o’tish rejimining zulmatiga qaratilgan. Haqiqat yo’q, shuning uchun biz harakat qilyapmiz, adabiy va ilmiy faoliyatimizni „amalga oshirmoqdamiz“, akademik adabiy tarixni yozmoqdamiz, shu bilan birga adabiyotni yaratmoqdamiz, ahamiyatsiz o’yinda o’ynaymiz va penalti tepmoqdamiz. Agar 90-yillarda „haqiqat“ tushunchasining relyativizatsiyasi eski rejim mafkurasining dogmatik „haqiqatlari“ ga putur yetkazadigan o’yin rejimida sodir bo’lgan bo’lsa, unda 10-yillarda ushbu akademik-hayot tarzidagi nisbiylik haqiqiy siyosiy va realga ega bo’ldi jamoat adabiy manbasini korporativ xususiylashtirishning iqtisodiy o’lchovlari. Bunday vaziyatda biz yangi ijtimoiy she’riyatni tushunishda umumiy tushuncha bo’lgan bitta haqiqat adabiyotini himoya qilamiz. O’yinni yaratuvchilar buni o’zlarining akademik apparatlari va lifestyle tasvirlari haqidagi haqiqatlari orqali yakunladilar. Haqiqat adabiyoti sifatida yangi ijtimoiy she’riyat – bu adabiyotga qo’shimcha ravishda akademik o’yinlardan va hayot tarzi uchun xafagarchilik va o’yin-kulgidan ozod bo’lish istagi.

2.2. 90-yillar she’riyatida Ani Ilkov va Zlatomir Zlatanovlarning nomlari bilan bog’liq bo’lgan yuqori yutuqlarida hech qachon zamonaviylikning tugallanmagan loyihasi sharoitida adabiy va siyosiy aloqalar sifatida ulug’vorlik estetikasi hech qachon tark etilmagan. Ushbu shoirlarni o’qituvchisi deb ataydigan akademik postmodernizm, birinchi navbatda, ulardan diskursiv o’yinlarni oladi va post-strukturalist jargon bilan o’ynaydi va fonda ularning so’nggi ekzistensial kafolati siyosiy bo’lgan ulug’vorlikning kuchli estetikasini qoldiradi. Simptomatik – bu shov-shuv bo’lib, 10-yillarga tinch yo’l bilan o’tish kuchayib boradi, yuksak estetikadan tortib to go’zallar estetikasining tobora ochiq tijorat quchog’iga qadar.
Akademik postmodernizm va lifestyle adabiyoti o’rtasidagi eng muvaffaqiyatli gibrid mavjud bo’lganda, go’zallik estetikasi tijorat holatiga aylanadi, bu esa zarur bo’lib qoladi va allaqachon haqiqatan ham siyosiy retseptlar taklif qiladi – „norozilik bildiruvchi odam chiroyli“ – to’g’ridan-to’g’ri PR kampaniyasiga kiritilgan Ichki ishlar vazirligining 2014 yil yozidagi norozilik namoyishlariga qarshi. Ijtimoiy she’riyat tijorat doirasida siyosiy radikalizmni adabiyot va jamiyatga qaytarish vositasi sifatida ulug’vorlik estetikasiga qat’iy va majburiy ravishda pul tikadi. Akademik postmodernizm va lifestyle bo’yicha adabiyotlarni gibridlashtiradi.

2.3. G’arb tsivilizatsiyasi doirasida qayta ko’rib chiqilmaydigan qiymat sohalarini transsendensiyasi va farqlanishidan chekinayotgan ijtimoiy-tarixiy (axborot texnologiyalari, biotexnologik va boshqalar) sharoitida ulug’vorlikning estetikasi ilohiyotning dunyoviy himoyachisidir. Biz adabiyotga qaytmoqchi bo’lgan erkinlik, she’riyatning bozor, davlat va ilm-fan mafkuralariga nisbatan avtonomiyasini murosasiz ushlab turmasdan imkonsizdir. Ammo bu muxtoriyat biz izlayotgan erkinlik shartlarini amalga oshirish uchun yetarli emas. Muallifning axloqiy mavzu sifatida reabilitatsiyasi, shuningdek, haqiqat adabiyoti kontseptsiyasi transandantal asoslarsiz imkonsizdir. Qariganimiz sayin biz mavzu va haqiqatning o’ynoqi to’xtatilishi nimaga olib kelishini o’z ko’zimiz bilan ko’rdik, uning so’nggi poydevori yagona transandantal bo’lishi mumkin – akademiyalarda va savdo-sotiqda to’g’ridan-to’g’ri to’lov. Oxirgi poydevorlari transandendental bo’lgan axloqiy (mas’uliyatli) mavzu va haqiqatsiz ijtimoiy adolat bo’lmaydi. Adolat g’azabisiz she’riyat bo’lmaydi.

09.09.2016, Sofiya

 

Rus tilidan O’zbek tiliga Kabirov Islyam tomonidan tarjima qilindi.

 

Списание „Нова социална поезия“, ISSN 2603-543X

 

Tokio Hotel – Черно

Росен Тошев, Роден независим, 2009 г., 200х300 см, c-print, винил

 

Светът ни е вече друг
Обърнал се е до последния камък
Ала не се боим
Все още не
Бягаме към непознатото
На броени метри сме
Остава само още малко
Само още малко
Зад нас е мрак
Пред нас – лежи нощта
И няма връщане назад
Така е по-добре
Къде са всички, които бяха до нас?
Нима се изгубихме някъде по пътя?
В светлината е толкова тъмно
Тук е всичко и нищо
Но само тук
Принадлежим
Ще извървим последните крачки
И заедно ще изгорим пътя назад
Ела
Зад нас е мрак
Пред нас – лежи нощта
И няма връщане назад
Така е по-добре

 

Превод от немски Елизабет Йоскова

 

Tokio Hotel – Schwarz

 

списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X

 

Николай Олейников – Смъртта на хлебарката

Росен Тошев, Ich Liebe Kekse, 2012 г., 30х60 см, акварел, маслени бои, платно

 

Една хлебарка си намери майстора.
Кафка

 

Сгащена хлебарката натясно
Рижето краченце смуче
Тя намери си майстора
Чака екзекуцията си

И с тъга в очите ъх!
Хвърля поглед към дивана
Дето с брадви и сатъри
Вивисектори за работа се канят

Суети се фелдшер
Инструментите подрежда
И под нос подпява си
Песен по планета

Трудно мисли таз маймуна
Тананика мисли няма
Сгащена хлебарката натясно
Рижето краченце смуче

До стъкло притиснала лице
Дъх е притаила и се пули…
Да знаеше душата че е налице
Тя нямаше от смърт да се страхува

Но доказателство научно има
Че душа не съществува
Че джигер и скелет и сланина
Туй душата образува

Има само съчленения
Членестоного съчленени я!

На научно доказателство
Няма кой да устои
Кършейки ръце хлебарката
Се приготвя да боли

Ето че палач пристъпва важно
И опипва й гръдта
И намира под ребрата
За промушване целта

И промушил той поваля
Кат свиня хлебарката
Гръмко цвили зъбите оголил
Кат жребец тамън онодил

Спуска се тогаз тълпата
Вивисектори към нея о!
Кой с клещите кой с ръка
Тръгват да я кормят

Стоичетри инструмента
Късат на парчета пациента
От повреди тежки и телесни
И от рани пуква тя безвестно

И внезапно стине тяло ней
Веч клепачите не тръпнат
И опомнят се злодеите
Те назад отстъпват

Фсичко минало е вече болки и несгоди
Няма нищо вече нищо няма о!
И подпочвени водите
Тръгват да изтичат

Там в пролуката на шкафа
Сам саминко без надзор
Бъбли й синчето мамо мамо
Бедничкото то

Майка му не чува
Тъй като не диша

И стои надвесен и космат
Над нея вивисектора сърцат
Безобразен и обрасъл
С клещи и пила

Ти подлец си панталон навлякъл
Знай че мъртвата му майка
На мъченица на науката играе роля главна
Не на проста второстепенна хлебарка

Охраната пък грубо и с размах
През прозореца я мята
И на двора главоломно тя
Пльосва миличката ах!

Връз отъпкана пътечка
Досами самия вход
Тя ще си лежи навирила краченца
И ще чака край печален о!

Белички костичките
Дъжд ще да полива
Синички очичките
Пиле ще изпива.

 

Превод от руски Владимир Сабоурин

 

списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X

 

Владимир Сабоурин – Съобщение до Политакадемията на афроамериканския комсомол

Росен Тошев, For, 1999-2010 г., 250х110 см всяка, c-print, винил

 

Уважаема Политакадемия,

Обръщам се към Вас след новината за отстраняването на втория политически неправилен преводач, когото напълно основателно сте отстранили като бял и мъж.

Нека първо да Ви уверя, че съм афробългарин, макар и, уви, мъж и преводач на поезия. Но се обръщам към Вас в правилното си политическо качество на афробългарин.

Все още не знам дали каталунския преводач си е направил правилната самокритика и саомоотвод, както правилно постъпи холандската преводачка с оглед на бъдещи букъри.

Научих, че немската преводачка, макар и правилно политически жена, допълнително е обезопасена с 2 (две) политкомисарки с правилен произход и цвят на кожата.

Немците са си научили добре урока. Е, малко се престарават от гузна съвест, но гузната съвест е политически правилната позиция за белите и мъжете.

Искам преди всичко да изкажа възхищението си от пълния политически контрол, който вече успявате да налагате върху сферата на естетическото. Не може да има тотална власт без власт над изкуството, особено при тоталната естетизация на политиката в обществото на спектакъла.

Убеден съм, че всички бели и мъже могат да извървят пътя на превъзпитанието, описан от белия мъж, за щастие евреин, Франц Кафка, описващ очовечаването на една маймуна.

Тази маймуна пише до Академия на науките, за да съобщи как е станала човек.

Това е пътят, скъпи черни сестри.

С уважение,

Владимир Сабоурин

 

списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X

 

Христиан Вачков – Urban Enlightenment

Сн. Христиан Вачков

 

Christian Vatchkov is a Bulgarian artist, currently based in Suzhou, China. He holds a PhD in Cultural Studies and Anthropology from the Sofia University, and a MA from the Central European University, Budapest. He is the author of the book “Salvator Mundi Artis” and of articles on topics regarding contemporary art. He has been living in Nepal, Japan and China for the past four years, and draws his major artistic inspiration from East Asian cultures, contemporary and ancient alike.

His practice builds upon the traditions of abstract-expressionism and neo-dadaism, with characteristic use of elements from traditional and Mao era Chinese art. His latest series of paintings, titled “Urban Enlightenment” is the product of a year-long observation and creative work focused on the “Lightning Capital of the World” – the town of Guzhen, Zhongshan in the Guangdong province (Canton). The thirty pieces are currently being exhibited at the GAS gallery, Shenzhen (13.03-05.05 2021).

Christian Vatchkov, The Sea Shines Exposed to the Light

Christian Vatchkov, She Bangs The Drums

Christian Vatchkov, Half by Heaven Half by Men

Christian Vatchkov, Pleasures Au Revoir

The Cantonese town of Guzhen is best known for manufacturing all kinds of lighting. In recent years the town has grown into a place with thousands of small and big factories all related to lighting in one way or the other. Due to the rapid economic development of China, Guzhen’s lighting fittings industry has undergone unprecedented growth in the past two decades. The production of lighting fittings is its primary industry, accounting for nearly 90% of the town’s industrial output. The total annual exports exceed $1 billion.

Christian Vatchkov, Only Then the Smile is Not Tired

Guzhen is a town in the process of inventing and reinventing itself. It’s streets and buildings are in a constant flux, moulded by a stream of entrepreneurial advancement as much as by Guangdong’s scorching sun and ever present humidity. This “ancient town”, lives to its name in a peculiar way – by exemplifying a spiral of cutting edge tech innovation and abandoned ruin. For instance, this flashy lightning-only mall is but a street away from it’s abandoned and decaying twin, and the flowers, marking the daily openings of new stores and showrooms usually sprout straight from the rubble of the gutted-to-be-rebuilt venture of the past tenants.

Christian Vatchkov, Red Blooded in the Sky

Christian Vatchkov, Do a Little Dance

Christian Vatchkov, I Am Standing in the Wind

Christian Vatchkov, Une Bonne Fille

China is a land of festivals and fireworks. It comes as no surprise that even the opening of the smallest store deserves a proper ceremony – at least a red carpet and two long lines of flowers. As the days go by, the merciless sun of Guangdong withers the flowers, while the humidity makes sure they will rot by night. The fast paced economy of China is a game of trials and errors – usually the same store space will go through a full cycle of birth, death and rebirth within six months. In the town of Guzhen it means that a light storefront will spark in full glory, thrive for a few months and go to complete ruin… until the new owners come to start the fanfare-to-decay process all over again. The life cycles of flowers, businesses, people and their dreams and desires intertwine and mimic one another in the dance of reality.

As new shops appear and disappear, the ebb of ongoing competition leaves its marks on the walls of the buildings, where layers and layers of quickly written or stenciled phone numbers and their consequent erasures and over-paintings add up to create an ongoing artwork, where individual strivings and desires are gradually been reduced to unintelligible abstraction.

In China explicit erotic materials are far less prominent than in many other countries. You won’t see Playboy and Hustler magazines and definitely there is no dirty section in your local pharmacy (like in Japan). However, just like the flowers that push through the concrete skin of Guangdong, desire in its most primal form, literally sprouts from the streets of the city in the peculiar form of small printed cards advertising escort services. These pieces of cardboard, always sporting a phone number and a QR code, are scattered all over the town of Guzhen. The corridors leading to the still functioning toilets of the abandoned lighting mall display the history and evolution of the lightbulb, while the sanitary compartment goes back to the theme of sexual desires.

While the scattered cards draw one’s attention downwards, it is the expressionistic stains covering  the more industrial areas of town that capture the imagination. Rapid and simplistic in their evocative shapes, these spots vary from the size of a spilled coffee to gigantic Rorschach blots spanning over several meters.

Some of the streets’ walls still display images from the Mao era juxtaposed with new murals and posters, that keep alive the themes of filial piety and social cohesion. Indiscriminately all the murals are subjected to the ongoing “numbers game” – a haphazard interplay of stencils, erasures and frantic rewritings of phone numbers advertising everything from plumbing services to traditional treatments for STDs.

Walking around the streets of Guangdong is never dull. As China opens itself more and more to Western influence and its capabilities for machine translation grow evermore accurate there is hardly any everyday object that does not bear an English title.  Buildings, consumer goods, cars, food – everything has some auto-translated text attached to it. And if in most cases the crude translations serve a purely marketing purpose, there is one particular type of translation that has evolved into a pure enigma – the t-shirt prints. Every title of the paintings from this series has been borrowed word-for-word from such t-shirts. These mind boggling and sometimes curiously poetic mistranslation give a surreal twist to a foreigner’s experience in China. You can read more of the artist’s thoughts on that matter here.

All these various elements – lamps, lighting diagrams, numbers, flowers, murals, escort services cards and obscure phrases, find their way to the canvas in the same way they do on the streets of Guzhen – appearing and disappearing through veils of paint, simultaneously commanding the viewer’s attention and sliding away back into the uniform wall-like ground. Much like the vaguely related pictorial elements that construct them, the works don’t impose a narrative or convey some “message” to the viewer, but rather invite them to build and explore their own semantic networks and to search for possible relations or the lack of such altogether.

The artist perceives his work to be equally representational and abstract in its nature, both in terms of its plastic qualities and its subject matter. The paintings are intimately engaged with the very real phenomenon of the thriving industrial town of Guzhen. At the same time they relate to an utopian “City of Light”, a mind construct and object of meditation which strives to reconcile the classic buddhist dichotomy of enlightenment and desire, as it has been challenged by Taoits and Ch’an thinkers through the centuries. This is but one of the pairs of opposing forces that inspired the artist to create the series and which continuously engage his thinking. The unceasing cycle of creation and destruction, of meaning and obscurity, of ruthless and impersonal market forces and enduring social bonds are all embedded in the work, but not as statements or solutions, but rather as questions and starting points for further inquiries.

The materials and techniques used to produce the paintings are as eclectic as their semantic composition – pencils, markers, spray-paint, stencils and drip-pens evoke the scribbled walls and stained streets of Guzhen, while the photo-transfered collage elements range from personal photographs and found materials to classic paintings and posters. Layers and layers of liquid white acrylic paint both reveal and conceal the overlapping visual elements. The color scheme dominated by black and red and the strong use of negative space evoke references both to Chinese ink painting, as well as to American and European post-war abstraction.

Christian Vatchkov, There is no Planet (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, marker, drip pen and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, The Craze Swept the Country (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Just Cloud me (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, marker, drip pen and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Life was Like a Box of Chocolates – October – (2020), 40×50 cm. acrylics, marker, drip pen and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Paradise the Evolution Vibe (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Success the Easy Way (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, King Power (God Bless Jesus) (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Skills of the Player (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Unexpected – Lovely Little Mess (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker, drip pen and photo transfer on canvas

Christian Vatchkov, Keep in Mind Spring/Summer 1990 Never (2021), 40×50 cm. acrylics, spray paint, marker, drip pen and photo transfer on canvas

 

списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X

 

Стиф Лазаров – Can art be considered a form of political resistance or activism?

 

Art reflects reality through the artist’s point of view and perspective. Art, however, does not imitate nature and real life, but instead, it depicts the artist’s feelings, imagination and attitude towards nature and real life. Throughout the ages, though, art had different roles, such as a religious role. In Ancient Greece, for example, art was admired for its aesthetic qualities, but at the same time artworks majorly depicted mythological scenes, making them religious objects as well. The case during the Medieval Ages in Europe was similar. Since a major part of the people during that age were illiterate, they could not possibly learn about Christianity through books. Art was serving an educational role, making religion accessible for the mass. However, famous artworks were mainly in the possession of the wealthy, or in the people of control. This phenomenon continued after the Medieval Ages, making fine art a bourgeoise pleasure. Art was taken away from the common people since they were thought to not be educated enough and thus not able to appreciate art as such. The working-class had not had art targeting them. Even if the artwork depicted working-class or agricultural scenes, it was again bourgeoise art. The Church during Medieval Ages treated art as something available for the masses, but this availability aimed to maintain control over people using religion. If people do not have constant access to religion through various media, this would jeopardize the Church’s position in society. After abolishing Christianity’s control over society „for the sake of the people“, ironically, art become unavailable. I believe art is important to the cultural health of a society, just like food and water are important for the physical health, and a society without available art suffers from cultural sickness. The workers, and overall, the people who do not belong in the ruling or the bourgeoisie class are being underestimated and derogated by being thought they are not capable of simply enjoying art. Moreover, during the Dutch Golden Age, for example, art was mainly depicting the wealth of the Netherlands and its conquering achievements. Even still-life paintings showed the viewer only the most expensive commodities. This was, in a way, bourgeoise propaganda that showed the Netherlands in its brightest side, almost completely forgetting about the lower class of people. However, various artists from the 19th and 20th century used art’s impacting and engaging qualities to spread their ideologies. This essay will discuss the question of whether art can be used as a weapon of political activism or resistance. I will discuss the matter in relation to Mexican Muralism, specifically Diego Rivera’s art.

In the 19th century, there were artists that started to stress on the working-class’ struggle and issues. Such artists are Honoré Daumier, Gustave Courbet, and later Van Gogh, for example. Daumier, despite himself being a bourgeois, had focused on paintings which showed the workers, or paintings which parody the bourgeoisie. One of his major and famous caricatures with a political message against the rulers and the wealthy is Gargantua (Figure 1) painted in 1831. In the artwork, we see King Louis-Philippe, who was the ruler of France at the time Daumier was an active artist. The ruler’s head was drawn in the form of a pear, which was a common form of depiction of the king in Daumier’s art. There is a stepping board which leads to the king’s mouth, and on that board, we can see the king’s servants carrying sacks of money which end up in the ruler’s mouth. The money is gathered from the taxpayers which are depicted on the left, emptying their pockets and giving their money to the servants. This is a straightforward depiction of the monarch’s ruling methods, meaning that he makes wealth off the common folk’s labour. Daumier perfectly shows how cruel was the exploitation of the working-class, and how the ruler was the only one benefiting from this situation. The way the people who give their money to the king are depicted in the picture – the woman with a child in the bottom right, for example – show us how unfair is the king’s ruling is to the people. Gargantua has a message that could make the viewer actually think about the unjust situation in France, and not only admire the artwork for its aesthetic values. Daumier emphasizes on the message and social awareness in some of his paintings, rather than on the aesthetic quality of his art. Namely this fact, I suppose, made Diego Rivera look into Daumier’s art and discuss it briefly in his The Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art. Rivera says that Daumier definitely produced revolutionary art, without actually painting in a revolutionary character. Daumier’s art was not actual leftist propaganda, but, as Rivera notes, the viewer can see that he depicted the world through his „class-conscious“ eye. Diego Rivera says that there is no need for one to be from the working-class in order to realize its problems, and give voice to them. Daumier used art to reach the people.His class-conscious artworks were not suitable for installing in a palace, or in a bourgeois mansion, but were meant for the mass. His art was not „pure art“ of which critics like Greenberg talk and praise. Daumier’s art was meant not only to be enjoyed but also to be understood and to be used as a tool for the awakening of the working-class. That type of art can be considered as peaceful activism, since it does not promote violence against the rulers, but makes the viewers realise their situation.

As we can tell by Rivera’s The Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art, artists like Daumier played a major role in influencing Rivera’s own art. Rivera said „Every strong artist has been a propagandist. I want to be a propagandist and I want to be nothing else. I want to be a propagandist of Communism… I want to use art as my weapon.“ He simply says that bourgeois „art for art’s sake“ or „pure art“ is not as valuable as activist and propaganda art since it cannot be used as a weapon. Rivera wants to use art to reach the people and spread his leftist political views. Such art is also a form of resistance against conservatism and right-wing ideas as a whole. Rivera sees art as the easiest and most accessible way to promote ideas. Art is probably the most impacting form of message since it can be both entertaining and educational and it can be straightforward as well. All these characteristics are combined in the muralist movement in Mexico, occurring in 1920-1940. Diego Rivera is one of the leaders of this movement, along with José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. Muralists wanted their art to be as reachable as possible, that is why they installed it in public places. They did not want their art to be sophisticated and private and perhaps did not want to make a profit out of it. On one hand, muralists wanted people to have bigger access to art, since until then art was meant only for a small group of people and it was not fair to the mass of people who were not wealthy enough to afford artworks, and/or were not born in high-class families, whose members are thought to possess an inborn ability to appreciate art. On the other hand, muralists wanted to spread their political views as wider as possible and wanted everyone to be educated about Communism. Let us imagine that the muralists, instead of painting frescoes publicly, gave away copies of the Communist Manifesto. Part of the people may actually take the book, read it and become affected by it, but the chance is that most of the people would not engage with the Manifesto in a proper way, since it is not as reachable as art. Although activist and propaganda art may not be as detailed, concrete and exhaustive as a theoretical work like the Manifesto, it has a wider reach and bigger impact on the masses as a whole and may even make people more interested in further education on the matter. Muralists knew this and chose to use their talent as the weapon of their propaganda. Public art is a fast, easy and a rather successful way of spreading an idea. The muralists also wanted to show people that they are on their side as part of their propaganda. With muralism, those artists wanted to show to the people an image of modernized Mexico. In their art they mixed European aesthetics with local culture and traditions, making their art both admirable and comfortable. Diego Rivera held the believe that art is as important to one’s health as it is food and water. The latter keeps the body in a healthy condition, while the former is important for one’s psyche and soul. Without access to art, the mass is spiritually crippled and their lust for life is fading.

In his artworks, Rivera wanted to show the rise of the proletariat and the workers’ triumph. One of the most important murals regarding this topic is the vast mural cycle he painted in the national Secretariat of Public Education in Mexico City between 1923 and 1929. In the mural cycle, Rivera wanted to show the evolution that indigenous people of Mexico would go under after education, industrialisation, and most importantly, revolution. The paintings show the transformation of labour and lifestyle after certain political changes in Mexico. With this mural cycle, Diego Rivera spreads the message of the positive outcome from a leftist revolution. The paintings show how the people will no longer be oppressed and that Rivera and other Mexican communists’ ideas are in favour of the people. The mural’s main message is shown in two parts, named by the artist as the Courtyard of Labour and the Courtyard of Fiestas. Metaphorically, the former is executed in the first floor of the building, while the latter is painted in the second floor. Here, Rivera uses architecture as a metaphor for the people’s rise. On the first level, we see traditional practices of production like weaving, depicted next to other forms of labour like mining. In this panel, there’s a painting called Tehuanas (Figure 2), in which we see a woman bearing a basket of fruit on her head, another woman by her side which also carries fruit on her head, and a kneeling woman in front of them. This painting shows the indigenous people’s everyday life and traditions. In the Courtyard of Labour, we see various scenes of indigenous Mexican traditions – festivals, dances etc. Ascending to the third level of the Courtyard of Fiestas, we see a painting called Our Bread (Figure 3) that represents the triumph of the proletariat. In Our Bread we see the woman from Tehuanas who was carrying a basket of fruit on her head standing in front of a table. Behind her, we can see clear skies, which is a utopian metaphor of triumph and prosperity. Next to her, we see what might be a military general or a soldier, who, now that the proletariat have prevailed, is free to join the celebration. Behind the woman, we see men with traditional Mexican hats, who are probably workers. In front of her, we see a table, and in the central seat there is a man who is breaking a loaf of bread. On the chairs around the table, there are various people, men and women, from different age groups. They are waiting for the man to give away the bread. The painting shows that after the proletariat’s victory there will be no restrictions regarding age, gender or ethnicity. Everybody is welcomed in the Communist classless society, and namely this is what Rivera wants to show in this painting. The proletariat’s triumph will lead to harmony. Our Bread also shows the Tehuana’s rise. In Tehuanas she seems isolated, while in Our Bread she has joined the celebration and the careless, utopian life. Thus, the mural’s name – Courtyard of Fiestas. On the same floor as the Courtyard of Fiestas, we see the painting Wall Street Banquet (Figure 4), painted in 1928. It uses a similar model to Our Bread, and just like it, it can be considered as both political resistance and activism. But, while Our Bread shows us the positive outcomes of a Communist revolution, Wall Street Banquet criticises the enemies of this ideology. Again, the painting depicts people sitting around a table. In the centre of the painting, though, it was not depicted a person, but a vault. This shows us that the people in the painting value wealth more than humans, and the centre of their lives is money. We do not see any food on the table. Eating with someone is a sign of warmth and propinquity. Usually families and close friends eat together, and in Our Bread, the idea is that everyone in the classless society will be part of one big family. The case of Wall Street Banquet is different. There is champagne on the table, which is a sign of wealth rather than of closeness and warmth. The people in the painting are gathered by business interests rather than sympathy. Everyone’s facial expression is rather cold and evil, unlike the people in Our Bread which look calm and happy. The capitalists in Wall Street Banquet are too serious and too busy to be happy and one can assume that they do not enjoy each other’s company. They read a golden ticket tape, but we can see that only the men in the painting have access to it. This also tells us about the patriarchy and sexism of the Western capitalist world. The woman on the nearest left seems more like holding the tape, rather than reading it. Another juxtaposition between Our Bread and Wall Street Banquet is that there are no children in the latter. In the cold capitalist world, there is no place for children and their joy and carelessness. Among the people depicted in Wall Street Banquet are John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, and J.P. Morgan. Ironically, Rivera was invited by Rockefeller to execute a mural piece in his tower. In 1934 the artist executed Man at the Crossroads (Figure 5) for Rockefeller, which was destroyed afterward because of the Communist message in it. The murals from the Courtyard of Labour and the Courtyard of Fiestas are included in the ballet H.P., composed by the Mexican composer Carlos Chávez in 1926-32. 

By the time muralism was prospering and Diego Rivera was already a significant artist in Mexico, in Europe Modernism and Formalism were the established artistic movements. Modernism was very critical of paintings with political messages and Formalism focused on the paintings’ forms, lines, and flatness, rather than the story and message behind them. Thinkers like Clement Greenberg and Roger Fry had noted in their works that message in paintings was irrelevant and useless. In a 1969 interview, Greenberg said that art „solved nothing, either for the artist himself or for those who receive his art“. For Greenberg, political art was „poor art for poor people“. In his work Modernist Painting, he stated that message and story belonged to literature, and in Modernist paintings all the elements taken from other types of art should be excluded, since they concealed art’s quality and purpose. Greenberg also said that the artist’s role was to make good art, and social awareness had not helped in the making of good art. The Modernist movement thought that the artists did not have the right to raise social awareness and that art had to be apolitical. Roger Fry also admitted that art’s main qualities come from „pure form“. Pure form produces a unique aesthetic feeling in the viewer, and other feelings that come from the artist’s background, or from the artwork’s theme and concept were secondary or irrelevant. Rivera completely disagreed with those statements and thought that a powerful artist necessarily needs to be part of the contemporary social struggle of his time and needs to raise awareness with his art. Ironically, Rivera adopted European Modernist art in his artworks, which was moved namely by Formalism and Modernism.

Rivera managed to use art as a weapon and a tool for the spreading and amplification of the Communist ideology. He thought that the most viable way to be heard is through art since it is straightforward, reachable and amusing at the same time. Moreover, he painted his artworks in public spaces, making his art and his message even more available to the people. His art was influenced by the leftist movement and spread propaganda about the people’s prosperity and well-being after an eventual Communist revolution. Art, as he proved, can be considered as both forms of political activism and political resistance. However, the times during which Rivera was active were critical of such art, and Rivera was not critically acclaimed by the European standards of Modernist art. Rivera was not concerned about this fact and kept filling his art with messages about social awareness and class struggle. His art was a manifestation of the working-class’ issues and at the same time possessed certain, unique aesthetic qualities, which was the result of combining European Modernist style with traditional Mexican culture.

 

Bibliography:

Belnap, Jeffrey. „Diego Rivera’s Greater America Pan-American Patronage, Indigenism, and H.P.“ Cultural Critique, no. 63 (2006): 61-98.

Ferrari, Marry A.. The Use of Path Dependence to Explain the Representations of United States Industrialism in Mexico in Diego Rivera’s Murals. The Pennsylvania State University, Schreyer Honors College, 2015

Greenberg, Clement. “Modernist Painting”, 1965, in Francis Frascina and Charles Harrison (eds.), Modern Art and Modernism. A Critical Anthology, London, 1982

Rivera, Diego. “The Revolutionary Spirit in Modern Art.” The Modern Quarterly Vol. 6, No. 3. Baltimore: Autumn 1932: 51-57. Reproduced in Anreus et al, Mexican Muralism. 322-330

Wolf, Virginia. Roger Fry, A Biography. London, 1940

 

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списание „Нова социална поезия“, бр. 28, май, 2021, ISSN 2603-543X