Imagine an empty pool. Then imagine smashing everything into it – a totality that eventually overflows the centre, the periphery, the whole thing.
States of Flux evolves around four sites as its decentred stages: a hotel in the tourist resort Sunny Beach on the Black Sea; the rooftop premises of Swimming Pool in Sofia, with an empty pool; a hot spring in a mountain village near the city; and, far from the South of Europe, a self-service laundry in Frankfurt am Main. These semi-public places form the spine of an imaginary geography of flux.
We start at the periphery of the country – Sunny Beach, a mass tourism dream on the Bulgarian coast. Here we face a capitalism of excess, manifested by booze and trinketization. As such, it reels in vast flows of things and thoughts, money and bodies, each without a recognizable origin or destination. Reality wobbles in desire and exhaustion until it finds itself stifled in an odd surface. The Sunniest Beach encompasses weekend-long interventions at the premises of the all-inclusive complex Iberostar.
The second part of the project takes place at Swimming Pool in Sofia a week later. Titled After the Splash, it is set post-factum – after the occurrence of an unavoidable, all encompassing, all revealing burst. Here, we are immersed in a world haunted by the unruly effects of repressed selves. A parallel reality emerges – partly dystopian, partly fueled by fanatical romanticism.
One day later, we set off on a walk through the forest to a hot spring near Zheleznitsa. The woods, the water, the friendly sharing of thoughts are sources of pleasure and relaxation. We are the sanguine. In these peaceful surroundings we initiate forms of community within a timeless (pre-) apocalyptic setting.
The last stage, The Token, is in Frankfurt – a location with a thriving global late-capitalist economy. The mirror facades that surround us are those of a speculative financial apparatus that grows ever more elusive through its obsession with the production of fictions about the future. With such fictions governing our reality, how can we claim our vulnerable presence?
Artists: Florian Auer, Max Brand, Sebastian Burger, Stanimir Genov, Tiril Hasselknippe, Martin Kohout, Hanne Lippard, Luci Lippard, Michele Di Menna, Shana Moulton, Pakui Hardware, Kalina Terzieva, Tore Wallert, Anna Zacharoff and Dardan Zhegrova.
Venues: Sunny Beach, Sofia, Zheleznitsa (all Bulgaria), and Frankfurt/Main (Germany)
States of Flux. The Sunniest Beach. After the Splash. The Sanguines. The Token. is curated by Viktoria Draganova and Gergana Todorova and hosted by Swimming Pool, Sofia.
© Image: Hanne Lippard, Oops & Downs (2016)