Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia: SIMPLY A LINE

Vesselina Nikolaeva


14.05.2013 – 14.06.2013

All over the world, places become more and more alike as a result of electronic networks and the emergence of a ‘world system’. Simultaneously and in an almost paradoxical countermovement, more and more groups across the world are captivated by nationalism and local traditions (within Europe, for instance, the demise of national in favour of supranational power goes hand in hand with a rise in nationalism). Historic changes and ‘major events’ also appear to be occurring in rapid succession. History is hard on our heels and we feel (or long to feel, perhaps) more than ever that we are witnessing history in the making. We feel (or want to feel) that our own lives are somehow bound up with world history.
In a world where revolutions take place almost on a daily basis, history is increasingly used to understand the present. As we become more aware of the importance of history (not least because it is increasingly used in the social-political debate), we no longer seem to know for certain what history is: historical facts or historicizing fiction?
In my life, I have crossed countless borders between cultures and ideologies, countries and continents. I had always been familiar with the terms East and West but I could never quite position neither the geographical nor the psychological barrier between them. I had never walked on the border between any two sovereign lands, let alone political unions. I thought that if I set foot on no man’s land, I would understand the meaning of the barbed wire on either side of the thin line that is not impregnated with politics, but its only purpose is to be a blank spot on map of the world.
In different political environments and times, borders embody different meanings. It was difficult to define time in no man’s land. It was out of history; the past was the future. It was a different world, perhaps even a different country, populated with soldiers, who guarded laws and regulations only they understood. Soon all traces of the heavily guarded border will have disappeared underneath greenery. But this landscape will be guilty always.
‘Simply a Line’ is my journey to the unspoken past of Bulgaria and a story of an empty strip of land that once was the external border of the Warsaw Pact and now is the new outer limit of the European Union.
Vesselina Nikolaeva

Credo Bonum Gallery
2, Slavyanska str.
(Entrance from Benkovsky str.)

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