Empty clothes tell stories

Renowned visual artist Gonul Nuhoglu shows in Sofia her installation The Ship of the Fools

The Ship of the Fools installation by renowned visual artist Gonul Nuhoglu has been officially presented to the Bulgarian public. It will be exhibited at the +359 Gallery until 11 August, BGNES reports.

One of the main themes of Gonul Nuhoglu's works is the “display” of the missing body - part of her installations illustrate the paradox that the realisation of reality can be stronger and more powerful not in putting the objects on display, but in marking their absence. “Empty” clothes tell stories that allude to various aspects of human existence - from the futility of parlour protocols restricting the personality to certain frameworks imposed from outside, to the rebellion and revolution constrained in the straitjackets of penalty regimes in human socium. Clothes can be both original expression and personal prison for human individuality. The “signs” of the body left by Gonul Nuhoglu create a new interpretation of the world we live in - personal belongings are not just belongings, but an emanation of the disintegration of the personality at a time when personal moral imperatives can generally walk past the messages sent by the political regimes.

The title of the art installation, The Ship of the Fools, points to a different perspective considering contemporary social analysis as the subject of Gonul Nuhoglu's research endeavours. Here the matter in question is to what degree our self-imposed censorship influences our free expression, and if such an act is the product of our social environment, which is a precondition for us, on an existential level, to restrict and synchronise all our thoughts and actions. Back in 1972, Erich Fromm predicts that the “passive consumption” will by all means destroy the social systems. Today, 47 years later, Gonul Nuhoglu's straitjackets, quietly hanging in the air, bring back the question whether the world-renowned German social psychologist's prediction is actually coming true in societies worldwide, which create all kinds of controversial messages, spoken in words, which are losing their meaning more and more until they become shallow political cliches.

In many of Gonul Nuhoglu's works, human presence is depicted only as a shadow, barely there, or there is a hint of it through abandoned personal belongings, just scattered around, which provoke the question if the common human nature could be visually captured in the works of art represented by a particular face or a body depicted through many artistic details. The artist poses the question if our physical presence here on earth is meaningful enough, unless we are able to bring change to the present through our creative energies, which we lose eventually, focusing our attention on the insignificant components of our existence. Thus, we gradually become members of The Ship of the Fools' crew, floating in a tempestuous ocean, no captain on-board, without purpose or hope to ever reach the shore.

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