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The wizards from “Merlin” street

01 May 2010 / 08:05:41  GRReporter
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In his message to the visitors the authors of the project “Balkan modernism” asks the rhetorical question if this term does not contain a certain contradiction. As usually the modern art is seen as a "trademark" of the industrially developed Western nations. Maybe so, but only for those unfamiliar with the art of South and Southeastern Europe. One of the objectives of the project “Balkan modernism” is to rebut the negative load of the Balkans as a terminally backward part of Europe rather torn by political strife and “bloodletting” than committed to the creation of a progressive art region. To unbewitch these preliminary thinking attitudes, by revealing the many levels of art in these latitudes of Europe. In the early twentieth century Bulgaria, Greece and Romania are involved in a deep transformation of local aesthetic searches throuth the introduction of ideas, forms and techniques developed in the cosmopolitan metropolises of Western Europe. Views and experiences of artists, most of whom spent some time there, awakening the sensitivity to the importance of modern art as a factor forming the European identity.

With the establishment of national states in the second half of the 19th century on the Balkans starts to stand out the demand and the establishmen - the picturesque arts as well - a national cultural identity, as the stylistic and ideological trends are accompanied by an attempt to achieve a modern artistic expression. Understanding of space is a characteristic difference in each different period. Modern painting focuses on the independence of color, line and light. If until the World War One in the landscape and cityscape paintings dominate the post-impressionism coupled with elements of symbolism, in the twenties the importance has shifted to the place of the space in landscape, elements are taken from the Orthodox tradition and popular art. At the end of this decade the return to the object space is a common feature of the trends in the major art centers: the new objectivity in Germany and the subsequent neoclassical wave across Europe.

Curators inform us that in Bulgaria the charm of the memory of past, forgotten, pre-academic systems and the recognition of their reality is reflected in the movement for native art, in Greece during the Byzantine period and neoclassicism, in the program for “Romanian art”, as well as gravitate towards “Balkan expression”, characteristic of the circle “Zenith” in Belgrade and Zagreb. They all demonstrate the demand for a Balkan, authentic expression not imported from outside. The human image in modern art is also subject to changes and the human body as expression and creation of the imagination appears in several incarnations. Converted into "smoked meat" during the first war, and at the same time in a killing machine, it now requires new interpretations alienating from the simbolistic visions towards the anticipation of a nightmare and ruin. The eternal subject in the creative arts for the body as an object of desire is marked in a new way by the things lived through during the war; in the early twenties the foundations of human relationships are subject to trials and doubt and the way for new searches is opened.

Tags: Balkan modernism foundation Teoharakis art
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