Connected with the Earth

A German-Bulgarian exhibiton intertwines the tales of Man and Nature through art

A painting of Tolia Astakhishvili

“Earthbound: Tales of Man and Nature” is an exposition in which the works of the Bulgarian and German artists are brought together to explore the esthetic, political, ecological and psychological aspects of Nature and natural environment. The exhibition is to be opened on 28 August at the Goethe Institute-Bulgaria in Sofia.

The idea to stage this exhibition was born within the framework of the CLICK curator residency and was inspired by the visit of curator Marie Himmerich to The Earth and Man National Museum in Sofia which was opened only several years prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union with the idea to introduce to the public the rich diversity of minerals found in Bulgaria and across the globe.

Specially designed presentation structures for crystals and rocks, some of which of a man’s height, show museum’s attention not only to the geo-historical significance of the exhibits, but also to their high aesthetic value.

The museum frescoes, for their part, illustrate the universal bond between Man and the Earth and trigger a chain of associations – from the traditions in cosmological beliefs, through the art’s affinity with the geological forms and materials, to the ideological and economic exhaustion of natural resources. That is why it is not by coincidence that the museum was chosen to be a guest-location for the unique exposition.

Meanwhile, a reference point in many of the works presented in “Earthbound” is the human body as a natural crossing point with the materiality of the Earth, as a sensory center of intuitive or geographically oriented connection with the environment or aesthetic means of expression. If, apart from that, we take into account the significance and cultural value of subsoil natural wealth for the national consciousness of Bulgaria, the link between the history kept in the dark and human civilization can be interpreted in political terms, too. How the environment and natural space in terms of geography are related to the concepts of identity (individual, collective or national)?

Artists Tolia Astakhishvili, Danny Jacob, Albena Mihailova, Annie Schultze, Radostin Sedevchev, Dimitar Shopov, Martine Vacheva and Nico Joana Weber offer their own answers to this question within the framework of the exposition that will be open for visitors from 28 August to 20 September.

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