EIBANK Gallery

This new exhibition from contemporary artists Ergin Çavusoglu and Konstantin Bojanov at EIBANK Gallery, Sofia, focuses on the role of music in communicating cultural identity. In 2006, Çavusoglu and Bojanov commissioned five virtuoso Roma musicians from the small border town of Kesan, Turkey, to perform several pieces from traditional repertoire. Kesan is the centre of a Roma (Gypsy) community and is in an area referred to by Çavusoglu as “the end points of the European idea”. The Romany population of the town was forced to settle in the region in the 1923 population exchange and is subsequently steeped in Greek, Turkish and Bulgarian musical traditions and history. Çavusoglu and Bojanov asked the musicians to choose an “ideal” location for a performance in or around Kesan where their music would resonate best. The locations included an old brick factory, an abandoned children’s swing by the beach, the forest in the outskirts of town, a pigeon coop, the ruins of an 18th century house and the small bedroom of a Roma house. The artist produced several films which reflect the joyful and melancholic expressions of a generation of nomadic people – a generation who, until recently, have been restricted from traveling and relocating. Çavusoglu and Bojanov also created several bronze and aluminum sculptures based on traditional musical instruments and everyday household objects used by the Roma in Kesan. The focus of the installation is a multi-screen video projection that was presented earlier this year at Haunch of Venison, Zurich. It brings together footage of the individual musicians to create a harmonious audio-visual piece that synchronizes both sound and imagery. Shot separately, each musician plays their part in the surroundings and context of their choice. The music travels through a range of styles including Turkish, Greek, Roma, Jewish, Bulgarian, Armenian and Arabian. In the current exhibition Çavusoglu and Bojanov will show two sculpture pieces and two single channel video pieces which show the solo performances of the musicians, as well as footage that reflects the artists’ own experiences during the creation of Quintet Without Borders. Çavusoglu is known for his poetic and unsettling video installations that explore our relationship with the space we inhabit and live in, the borders we live with, and how we create them. While producing personal portraits of his subjects, his work often examines the border between East and West, place and non-place. Çavusoglu combines multiple projections and viewpoints, filmed in diverse, often marginalised locations. More ‘poetic description’ than documentary, these works reflect upon shifts in the global geopolitical order, often drawing upon the artist’s own personal experience of migration. By capturing a poetic rhythm of light and movement, both individually through editing and collectively through the juxtaposition of screens, Çavusoglu’s work reframes our sense of space and reality. Çavusoglu uses darkness and sound as means to unsettle our sense of our surroundings and evoke the presence of the unseen. Bojanov, as an artist and filmmaker, is known for his unflinching and uncompromising eye. His films and photographs are eye opening, fearless, sensitive observations – incisive yet respectful. He allows the viewer to empathize with his subjects, without preaching, judging, or sensationalizing them. For his film Invisible, Bojanov was hailed as “an artistic humanitarian, who has created one of the more realistic and informative explorations of drug abuse ever filmed.” The musicians lead by Selim Sesler have also been featured in the films Head-On and Crossing the Bridge by German/Turkish filmmaker Fatih Akin. Selim Sesler has been playing clarinet since childhood and was named “one of the greatest clarinettists in the world” in The Guardian. http://film.guardian.co.uk/features/featurepages/0,,1716377,00.html For further information and images please contact: Svetlana Kuyumdzhieva Call +3592 9399 280 or e-mail skuymjieva@hq.eibank.bg or fax +3592 981 25 26 Image above: Ergin Cavusoglu and Konstantin Bojanov Quintet Without Borders (Clarinet) 2007 Single channel video, stereo sound 10:08 min, continuous loop and Monumentum Kesan I (Drums) 2007 Bronze 137 x 58 x 54 cm Installation still Courtesy the artists and Haunch of Venison London/Zurich Copyright: Photography by Jon Etter 2007
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