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GROUND WORK


installation, shown at gallery Vaska Emanoilova in Sofia, Bulgaria in 13.10. – 01.11.2009
and in January 2010 at Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb

The solo exhibition “Ground Work”(2009) in Vaska Emanoilova Gallery
in Sofia is a result of the artists research into her personal heritage
and her relation to heredity lands in Bulgaria (that has undergone rapid
changes of social values in the period after 1989). The research process
lead Margan into extensive field trips to the lands, documenting not only
the state of lands as they are, but also marking what changes happened
to them in the transition period and how does this illustrate a picture of a
social change in general. A fragile thread between private positions and
state economy politics is exposed in a somewhat humorous way of an artist
examining her own heritage and the link with her art education. For the
occasion of the group show in MSU Zagreb, the artist once more transferred
parts of this work from one context in transition into another.
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The research process lead Margan into extensive field trips to the lands, documenting not only the state of lands as they are, but also marking what changes happened to them in the transition period and how does this illustrate a picture of a social change in general. A fragile thread between individual position and state economy politics is exposed in a somewhat humorous way of an artist examining her own heritage ( lands had to be sold) and the link with her art education ( money invested in education). The installation contains a series of photographs of the sold heredity lands in their current state (“Waiting Spaces”), paired with simple drawings showing individual human figures engaged in a specific field work action- where the work action it selves appears almost as a symbol of an extinct practice or a performance. Short textual explanations are another part of the work, giving objective information about the history, name, and position of the land and the time-line of its change of ownership, revealing the artist's private link with the land (the financial support for her art education through the land sales). “Mouth on Mouth” is a floor to ceiling pillar made from empty glass jars for pickling. Displayed on a table one could see an assemblage of thin and fragile objects in wooden-glass top boxes. These contained thin roots of plants collected from the lands, which the artist re-constructed with thin pencil graphite refill leads, therefore transforming the ‘roots’ into fragile sculptural objects.
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“The works for the “Ground Work” are examining the artist’s Bulgarian heritage and the hereditary land as a symbolic category, namely land as a symbol of social identity, a consumer product, potential capital or something of a personal value. The idea was triggered by the relationship between the artist’s art education and her Bulgarian heritage. Like many families of ex-communist countries, her family too was able to reclaim their land after the fall of the communist bloc in 1989. By the further transformation of values, namely through the rapid social changes followed by facts of globalization, the lands had to be sold. The money earned was shared between the many family members, partly also helping the artist to further finance her studies in the art. Margan, directly influenced by this transformation of economical and symbolical values deals with the possibilities of further transformation, of the critical social situation on one side, and the possibility of the artistic intervention on the other. Featuring objects, installation, photographs, drawings, videos and stop motion animation, the exhibition comments upon both political and personal history bringing up the issue of the contrast and relationship between material and intellectual values.”text by Daniela Radeva, Sofia City Art Gallery