Press release from exhibition by Dimitar Solakov at gallery Heerz Tooya, 2019

In Solakov’s exhibition, there are two neon-lights stating Permafrost and IceCaps, each partially flickering. The neon-lights are signs stressing the global climate crisis with a lambent wit. They are emblematic of the insecure times we are living in, much like how flickering neon-lights in the film-noir genre depicts an apocalyptic mirroring of human desire and destruction.

In the gallery, the neon-lights are on twenty-four seven, stressing the visitors, the room, and its by-passers. Its obvious endeavor gets convoluted when looking at the flickering light as a depiction of our ambiguous approach to the climate crisis. The melting of ice caps and the rapid thawing of the arctic permafrost is real and will affect us all, but it seems like some of us are either in total denial, believing it to be a hoax, or too grounded in other realities focusing on keeping one’s job, paying the rent, taking the kids to school, keeping the drug-dealer happy, cutting one’s toenails, etc. Our human struggle to curb our fossil fuel emissions is as mundane as accepting cookies on the internet. We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalize your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing or click on the acce... yes, whatever, I press Accept or OK, all too well knowingly that these cookies help me have a firm grip of my comfortable status-quo, and at the same time knowing that it will not last. All of us and the magnitude of different opinions and ambiguous approach to the current global climate crisis is, as Solakov presents it, ambiguously perplexed, caught in some shady monkey business, with a glowing comic sans of what we humans are capable of knowing, denying, and imagine.

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Press release from exhibition by Sigbjørn Bratlie at gallery Heerz Tooya, 2019

The metabolism in the exhibition Razkazvachat makes us realize that there is an anti-hero-artist in all of us. When integrating, like a parkour tourist or a deadpan tour-guide, with a person speaking a different language, we are bound to fail in communicating one way or the other. The real question is how to cope with that communication breakdown and potential xenophobic and symptomatic self-defense mechanisms in that collision, either spontaneously or not. As gallery Heerz Tooya has reached a point of full confusion in Veliko Turnovo, the timing of Sigbjørn Bratlie’s exhibition couldn’t be better. The razzmatazz is gone and confusion is left dangling alone, asking the simple yet convoluting question, what value has that integrating something or someone you do not know much about?

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Press release from the exhibition by Kristoffer Zeiner Christiansen and Marius Mathisrud at gallery Heerz Tooya, 2019

Let’s take a bellyflop dive into an epic metabolic rift, where life, death, and everything in-between unfolds…

After a long ride, he made camp for the night. With thorough precision, he found a spot by a mountainside and lit up a bonfire. After eating a grilled steak, smoking a few unfiltered tobaccos, and trapped a dozen fireflies, he leaned his back against the rocky wall and stared, across the bonfire, into the black forest. Morgan Kane, the free, lonely man always has his back against a wall, revealed from the constant fear of having someone lurking behind him, yet dealing with increasing paranoiac awareness, that the antagonistic Other will confront him. The twist is that he is unwittingly already consumed by his always-already undesired violator.

The exhibition by Zeiner Christiansen and Mathisrud is a bold reminder that human contradictions in ways of survival and revival find its expression equally as much in the atomic realm as in omnipresent objects. Carbon is their voyage. An action-packed passage condensed into an anthropomorphic deity, that at the end of the day asks the question, what do we do when we know, but do not care, and what do we see, when it is already there.

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Press release from the exhibition by Radostin Sedevchev at gallery Heerz Tooya, 2019

I can’t remember the last time I did a headshot for my modeling agency. Someone else’s photo is etched onto my retinas. Is it hatred? Guilt? Envy? Love? The memory of that photo is an ongoing burning sensation, an overexposed agenda, which exists only to conceal the true nature of who I am. Why is it that other people’s photos and their stories suddenly seem so much more real than my own? Perhaps because I am finally detAched from my own memories, like a walking dead experiencing a Nickelodeon theater. Guilty pleasures for so little effort.

There is always an “I” in a photo - isn’t there? A headshot isn’t only something stored digitally, but also something made visible and permanent by chemical treatment. Not only does it reveal the visible “I” by how, when and where the photo was taken, but also by how its secrets are brought into a contract with its spectator. Yet, that contract, the obvious exposure, starts to etch your retinas as well, with a magnitude of confusion, doubt and curiosity. Your own lens suddenly becomes a memory of its own, when etched onto your empirical data, evidence begins to speak its own language.

Memory, time and identity together situate a perfect blend that erupts as a strange tentacular growth in your mind. A familiar, yet bizarre simulacrum of existence starts to appear on the photos you are confronted by. Its semi-amnesiac trope is the secret revealed in between the exhibition and your experience of it. The memento is the scars, cuts and bruises. You could ask yourself why it seems so familiar? It seems we are tricked to think that our photographic memory has an immune system disorder. Particularly in this line of thought, we are left with something neither eternal nor transient; a perverted sense of self carried through a retinal detAchment.

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The Return of Romantic Nationalism
Text from Imago Mundi Norway and Sami Exhibition Catalog, 2017

One of the most profound paradoxes in our globalized era is the idealized and intensified relation between coexistence and diversity. A paradox which tends to unfold antagonistic effects. The closer we get the bigger the gap; in line of globalization, nationalism follow. We see this tendency in art as well. Its abstract form has a way of being constantly categorized and labeled.

Art travels as never before and platforms for artistic production, reception and distribution are vastly increasing in various forms around the globe. On these platforms we see that art and artists are haunted and placed by their national identity in biennales, art fairs, art contests, exhibitions, catalogues, magazines etc. Thus art has borders. As much as one should argue against it, one shouldn't ignore the fact either that there is a broad superstratum of truth in it. Borders in the art world are as much alive as the intensified relational paradox mentioned. In the time after postmodern search for community and identity we have returned to romantic nationalism with the need for orientation and substantial conformity. The antagonistic effect here unfolds a moderation of abstraction in humanity, even in art.

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Various texts by Lars Nordby