• Poetry & Performance / The Eastern European Perspective
    22 December 2017 − 10 March 2018

    Nová synagóga, Žilina, Slovakia Poetry & Performance / The Eastern European Perspective 22/12/17 –  10/03/18 Loans by Kontakt: Vlado Martek: Ciklus Soneti / Sonnet Cycle, 1978-79 Raša Todosijević: Znak / Sign, 1971; Skulptura / Sculpture, 1971; Was ist Kunst, Patricia Hennings? / What is Art, Patricia Hennings?, 1976; Was ist Kunst, Marinela Koželj? / What is Art, Marinela Koželj?, 1978 Tamás St. Auby: Kentaur / Centaur, 1973-1975/ 2009 Curators: Sabine Hänsgen, Tomáš Glanc, Daniel Grúň Nová synagóga in Žilina presents the exhibition Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective curated by Tomáš Glanc, Daniel Grúň and Sabine Hänsgen. The exhibition brings together more than forty artists, poets and creative groups from the countries of the former Eastern Europe as well as contemporary artistic positions. The exhibition will be opened on December 22nd from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. by a series of several performances and will run until March 10th 2018. In the second half of the twentieth century, poets and artists in particular took up the challenge of reflecting on and investigating the instrumentalization of language for communicative and political-ideological purposes. They did so by drawing attention to the “made-ness” of language, its material and medial dimension, and by creating performative situations for themselves and their audiences within which possibilities of verbal expression could be tested and acted out. In Eastern Europe, poetry and performance played a significant role in the unofficial or partially tolerated cultural scene. The writing practice of samizdat and its relation to the devices of concrete and visual poetry have been treated and presented in a number of previous projects. Until now however, less consideration has been given to the circumstances of performance. In addition to the typescript literature of samizdat, subcultural milieus attached particular importance to the oral recitation of poems, exhibitions, and poetry actions. The interrelation between text and situation in poetic acts functioned as a trigger for performances and happenings. The exhibition presents authors from subcultures in socialist states along with contemporary positions that continue the legacy of combining poetry and performance. It shows the efforts of poets and artists to break free from controlled language and normative communicative now and then. Poetry & Performance. The Eastern European Perspective thus confronts the current social challenges in the post-socialist countries through the prism of language and ideology and looks back at their points of departure. Artists: Milan Adamčiak, Pavel Arsenev, Babi Badalov, Bosch+Bosch (Attila Csernik, Slavko Matković, László Szalma), Collective Actions Group, Ľubomír Ďurček, Else Gabriel / Via Lewandowsky, Rimma Gerlovina, Tomislav Gotovac, Group of Six Artists, Bohumila Grögerová / Josef Hiršal, Gino Hahnemann, Václav Havel, Jörg Herold, Semyon Khanin (Orbita), Kinship Moho (Zuzana Jasenková, Kristína Országhová, Magdaléna Scheryová), Dávid Koronczi, Katalin Ladik, Yuri Leiderman / Andrey Silvestrov, Vlado Martek, Andrei Monastyrski, Monogramista T.D, Ladislav Novák, Pavel Novotný, NSRD (Hardijs Lediņš, Juris Boiko, Imants Žodžiks), OHO Group (Nuša & Srečo Dragan, Naško Križnar), Boris Ondreička, Orange Alternative, Roman Osminkin, Ewa Partum, Bogdanka Poznanović, Dmitri Prigov, Lev Rubinstein, Nóra Ružičková / Marianna Mlynárčiková, Mladen Stilinović, Gabriele Stötzer, Tamás Szentjóby, Bálint Szombathy, Raša Todosijević, Jaromír Typlt, Jiří Valoch. Nová synagóga, Žilina, Slovakia J. M. Hurbana 220/11, 010 01 Wednesday — Sunday, 1 p.m. — 7 p.m. free entry (voluntary)


back to Artists
Luchezar Boyadjiev

Luchezar Boyadjiev belongs to that first generation of artists who laid the groundwork for Bulgaria’s contemporary art scene during the mid-1980s. Trained as an art historian and theorist, Boyadjiev set out to create art that questions traditional symbols of power and religion as well as the social conditions in his home country with respect to global developments and the virtual world. His analysis of the situation in the Balkans as an interim zone or Lacanian “Other” moved him to problematize the notion of transparency in the region in his catalogue text for the 3rd Istanbul Biennial in 1992, which was the first in which Bulgarian artists participated. Ever since, Boyadjiev’s work has taken up ironically critical stances toward history and social deployment.

His works from the 1990s revolve around religious symbols and beliefs, which the artist deconstructs in a variety of installations. “Fortification of Faith” from 1991, for instance, tells the story of Jesus and his twin brother—thereby forming links with Bulgarian traditions and iconography. In his drawing series “Philosophical Cemetery” from 1992, Boyadjiev attributes coffins to different intellectuals and creates mythical symbols for those who influenced democratic as well as totalitarian modes of thinking. Boyadjiev also frequently constructs utopias out of the various belief systems, an undertaking that—especially after the fall of the Berlin Wall—led individuals to questioning their identities in search for a possible future. The latter is manifested in the photographic project based on the installation “Chairs and Symbols. A Project for Peaceful Co-identification” (1995–2001), a series of eleven color photographs in which constellations of red and black chairs are deployed in conference rooms to forms a cross, a sickle or a swastika, referring to media gatherings by denoting the agency of ideology as such. 

Some recent works deal with changing urban structures in a globalized world, visualizing images and text inscribed by the artist into culturally significant sites. Here, Boyadjiev addresses the notion of billboards and other advertising in public space as present-day icons, surrogates for formerly religious beliefs. The advent of the Internet has also provided a means by which the artist has critically altered spatial paradigms: these are stripped of their ideological or monumental significance, but still remain as sites that reflect past, present and personal forms of belonging. 


1957, Sofia / BG

Boyadjiev studied Art History and Theory at the National Art Academy in Sofia (Bulgaria) from 1975 to 1980. During the 1990s he worked for different cultural institutions. Boyadjiev has received several grants, including two from KulturKontakt (Vienna, Austria) in 1992 and 1996/1997; one from The Getty Grant Program (California, USA) in 1993; and the Artslink grant from the OSI (New York City, USA). Since 2003 he is a Resident Fellow at the Visual Seminar of the Center for Advanced Studies and Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia. In 2004 he was elected Artist in Residence at the International Scientific and Cultural Reception Centre in Paris (France). Boyadjiev is a founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia.

Lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Solo Exhibitions (selection):

2011 "Luchezar Boyadjiev: On Vacation - Lomalla", (within "United States of Europe"), Kanneltalon Galleria, Helsinki, Finland

2010 “The Other Eye - Luchezar Boyadjiev: Artist in the Storage”, Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2007 “5 Views to Mecca”, Feinkost Gallery, Berlin, Germany

2001 Knoll Gallery, Vienna, Austria

1994 “The Fountain of Europe: Luchezar Boyadjiev“,  Bard College, Annandale on Hudson, N.Y., USA

Group Exhibitions (selection):

2016 “Social Contract“, Foundation Izolyatsia Platform for Cultural Initiatives, Kiev, Ukraine


2015 “Inside Out - Not So White Cube“,  Mestna Galerija / City Art Gallery, Ljubljana, Slovenia


2014 “Know Thyself“  ATA Center / ICA -The Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria

2013 "Veni, Vidi, Vici. Kumamoto!”, CAMK, Contemporary ARt Museum, Kumamoto, Japan

2012 “The Global Contemporary. Kunstwelten nach 1989“, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany

2011 “MULTIPLIZIEREN IST MENSCHLICH“, Edition Block, Berlin, Germany

2010 “GAGARIN the Artists in their Own Words - The first Decade”, S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent, Belgium

2009 “ART, PRICE AND VALUE, Contemporary art and the market”, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy

2008 “Zero Gravity Art Today Association”, Center for Contemporary Art, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

2007 “Attitude 2007 - The House of Human Beings”, Contemporary Art Museum, Kumamoto, Japan

2006 “Neither a White Cube nor a Black Box. History in Present Tense”, Sofia Art Gallery, Sofia, Bulgaria

2005 “Play Sofia”, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, Austria

2004 “Trans:it. Moving Culture Through Europe”, Adriano Olivetti Foundation, Rome, Italy

2003 “In the Gorges of the Balkans”, Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, Germany

2002 “In search of Balkania”, Neue Galerie Graz, Graz, Austria



This bibliography provides a list of books available in the
ERSTE Foundation Library

Books/Exhibition Catalogues


Drugoto oko = The other eye: Luchezar Boyadjiev. hudoznik v depoto = Artist in the storage. 2010. Sofia: SCAG [Exhib. Cat., Sofia City Art Gallery (Mar. 30-May 16, 2010)]


Mirazchiev, Emil, ed. 2009. Atlantida = Atlantis: refleksi ot badeseto = Reflections of tomorrow. Plovdiv: Art Today Association [Exhib. Cat., Center for Contemporary Art Plovdid (Oct. 10-Nov. 10, 2009)]


Saxenhuber, Hedwig, Schöllhammer, Georg, eds. 2005. Play Sofia: ein Ausschnitt der aktuellen Kunstszene der bulgarischen Hauptstadt. Vienna: Springerin [Exhib. Cat., Project Space Karlsplatz Kunsthalle Wien (Nov. 9- Dec. 8, 2005)]


Boubnova, Iara, ed. 2004. Sofija kato gledka = Sofia as a sight. Frankfurt: Revolver.


Šikoronja, Renata, ed. 2000. Leseraum: 7.12.2000 - 21.1.2001. Texts by Luchezar Boyadjiev, Róza El-Hassan, Milica Tomić, Beáta Veszely. Vienna: Secession, 2000 [Exhib. Cat., Secession (Dec. 7, 2000-Jan. 21, 2001)]


Barsch, Barbara, ed. 1992. Lytschesar Bojadshiev. Stuttgart: ifa [Exhib. Cat., ifa-Galerie Berlin (Oct. 16-Dec. 6, 1992)]

Media File
List of Works
Browse All