The exhibition of works by Yavor Kostadinov is an unusual self-portrait composed of the images of fears and phobias that he has. It is the result of a patient self-scrutiny of those areas of the self which we normally avoid. For who of us likes remembering their fears, especially the ones we cannot rationally explain or easily keep under control - the fear of the mysterious stranger in the lift, the fear one might find their own cut-off head amidst the plant pots in the living-room, the fear of water slides or of the new escalator in the Central Cemetery Park? We are possessed by our wishes and almost completely identity with them. Our fears and phobias, however, tell about us a lot more than our wishes do, as the latter are trite and hardly standing out among those of the crowd. There are even anthropological theories that we in fact wish other people’s wishes. But our fear and phobias are far more interesting and original, and rather distinguish us from the others, give us an air of distinction and individuality. If we attempt to compile a list of our wishes, and a different one of our fears, we will be convinced of how incomparably higher in number and more extraordinary our fears are. Artists have long known that should they experience a lulled imagination, they always have their fears to resort to for inspiration. Yavor Kostadinov did precisely that, he referred to his fears to extract from them such images and stories that the intentionally rushed imagination would otherwise find hard to obtain. In other words, the young artist has referred to an older and more inventive artist within himself, who works uninterruptedly, works “in the dark”, works “for free”, but whose artworks most of us fail to appreciate, and even avoid them. The younger artist has regarded the older artist’s creations sympathetically, yet slightly disrespectfully, as he has converted the frightening stuff into something funny. The fears are thus used as a creative resource but are at the same time tamed and kept at a distance.
Kiril Vasilev, curator