Press image (with wrong name spellings - will be updated)

Photo by Jon Benjamin Tallerås

Topocentrala / Exhibition hall

Topocentrala / Exhibition hall

Photo by Beatrice Alexanian

Photo by Radostin Sedevchev

Stick your finger in the soil to smell where you are
Topocentrala / 15.12 - 15.02.2023
Sofia, Bulgaria.

Group exhibition with visual artists invited by Lars Nordby: 
Jon Benjamin Tallerås, Audar Kantun, Beatrice Alexanian, Radostin Sedevchev.

The group show, titled Stick your finger in the soil to smell where you are, contains individual works based on the starting point of an installation of scaffolding. The artists are invited to respond to what constitutes the scaffolding of reality and incorporate photography and digital imagery as an extended gaze into the glitches of humanity's features. What lived experiences unite us? And what drives us apart? How is our sense of self-evolving, both individually and as a society? What role do narrative, artifice, and manipulation play in photographic discourse? And to what extent do we ethically succumb to our surroundings, personally and interpersonally?

Scaffolding metaphorically functions as the skeleton of human social behaviors, vessels yet to be filled with consciousness and sentiments of denial, fury, and love. Why do we constantly designate yet detach ourselves from the open-ended structures of life? In our times, it seems the essential questions of reality get eclipsed by how we cope with reality.

To what extent does the afterlife of an artwork constitute ethics? With his series of photographs, Radostin Sedevchev takes responsibility into account. We see a transposition of his art installation from a museum to his father's garden, becoming a functional entity for vegetable growth.

With emotional overdrive, Audar Kantun tackles the hyper-human approach to self-reflectivity. With his photo series, Kantun emphasizes the conundrums of human errors in the mix of public liberty.

There is a necessary emptiness within the material unfoldings in Beatrice Alexanian's photo series. Alexanian summons constructions of decay and picture futility as an essential human feature.

Jon Benjamin Tallerås punctuates our unconditional marriage with our mundane surroundings, questioning our constant rhythms in everyday life. Swaying amongst concrete realities, Tallerås strips away the quintessential riddles that keep us in check from an insane dive into the abyss and communicates the sanctuary connections between humans and the urban environment.

Stick your finger in the soil to smell where you are is an ode to unconditional existentialism.
- Lars Nordby

"One sticks one’s finger into the soil to tell by the smell in what land one is: I stick my finger in existence — it smells of nothing. Where am I? Who am I? How came I here? What is this thing called the world? What does this world mean? Who is it that has lured me into the world? Why was I not consulted, why not made acquainted with its manners and customs instead of throwing me into the ranks, as if I had been bought by a kidnapper, a dealer in souls? How did I obtain an interest in this big enterprise they call reality? Why should I have an interest in it? Is it not a voluntary concern? And if I am to be compelled to take part in it, where is the director? I should like to make a remark to him. Is there no director? Whither shall I turn with my complaint?"
- Søren Kierkegaard