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Nedko Solakov’s video "Replacement" deals with Bulgaria’s communist past and its post-socialist present. The video’s protagonist is the former mausoleum of Bulgaria’s first communist leader Georgi Dimitrov. Following the news of Dimitrov’s death in Moscow in 1949, the mausoleum was put up in the record time of only six days—the time it took to bring Dimitrov’s body back to Sofia. In 1999, the administration of Ivan Kostov’s Union of Democratic Forces had the mausoleum destroyed, which took four heavy demolition attempts that were undertaken amidst heated debate on fascism and vandalism. This video was shot eleven years after the building’s demolition, with no new use having yet been found for the spot. The camera pans around the square where the former mausoleum once stood in one uninterrupted shot, looking for a replacement or alternative to the former national monument. The barking of stray dogs from around the site provides the voice-over for this topographic investigation. As the space is explored, miniature photographs of the mausoleum pop up in the center of the video, chronologically documenting both the building’s and the country’s history up to the monument’s destruction. In all this, Solakov questions transitional modes of political representation and the remains of Bulgaria’s ideological past.

W.S.


  • Artist: Nedko Solakov
  • Original Title: Replacement
  • Year: 2010
  • Material: video, color, sound
  • Dimensions: Duration: 8min, 6sec
  • Inventory no.: K390
  • Category: video
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