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“The Endurance of a Nation” consists of seven drawings that depict gatherings of and acts by people who conjure up projections into the past and future. Created two years before the fall of Communism, this work epitomizes the avant-garde notion of the artist as one who anticipates social phenomena. Solakov’s distinct drawn figures, which, in this work, can be viewed as being prophets or demons, or party or family members, bring together several of those social and mythical levels so essential to storytelling with content derived from real life. This series is chronologically ordered and begins with anger, thereafter continuing with contemplation, thought processes and hopes for the future. The work’s overall title also references Bulgaria’s longevity within history—Bulgaria being the country where the Cyrillic alphabet was originated in the 10th century, but also a place that was ruled by the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries. The constant changes within history are alluded to in drawing No. 5, in which one of Solakov’s characteristic creatures is seen cutting some undefined material while a text over its head reads “to reshape/recut history.” The fact that the final drawing bears the word “hope” attests to the notion that the expectation of improvement has always been at the core of the people’s thinking with regard to sustainable efforts.

W.S.
  • Artist: Nedko Solakov
  • Original Title: The Endurance of a Nation
  • Year: 1987
  • Material: series of 7 drawings; charcoal, graphite, red chalk on paper
  • Dimensions: Original Size: 70 x 100 cm (27 9/16 x 39 3/8 in.) Framed: 74,7 × 104,2 cm (29 7/16 × 41 in.)
  • Inventory no.: K389
  • Category: drawing
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