Boris Missirkov (b. 1971, Sofia, Bulgaria), Georgi Bogdanov (b. 1971, Varna, Bulgaria). Both graduated together from the National Lyceum for Ancient Languages and Cultures (1985-90), National Academy of Theatre and Film (1991-96) and the FABRICA research centre, Italy (1997-98) As filmmakers, visual artists and photographers work exclusively as a creative duo. Live and work in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Founders of the Bulgarian Photographic Association and AGITPROP production company. Parallel to their photographic practice the two have been directors and/or DOP of a large number of award-winning documentaries, video works and visual campains. Curated a series of photo exhibitions by contemporary Bulgarian photographers. Their imagery uses various visual styles and could be generally described as “creative documentary”. Missirkov/Bogdanovs works are property of the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Musée de l'Elysée – Lausanne, Switzerland, Museum of the Photographic Art – Odense, Denmark, National Gallery of Fine Arts - Sofia, Sofia City Gallery, Bibliothèque Nationale - Paris, collections of Erste Bank (Austria), Unicredit Bank (Italy), the European Parliament and numerous private collections.
Looking at the different personae depicted within two decades of their portrait photography, Missirkov and Bogdanov have made use of several tropes that characterize photographic representation throughout the twentieth century. Whether serious or playful in their appearance, the people photographed convey a professional or social status, which gets heightened through the compositional elements introduced by the two artists. Using a multitude of features that allow for staged scenarios as well as simple poses, the question that arises upon comparing the different compositions pertains to which kind of personal reality can or should be mediated through the photographic means of visualization. … Different ideologically laden locales formed the photographic settings of the post-socialist condition Missirkov and Bogdanov found themselves in when embarking on their photographic enterprise in the 1990s. Dwelling among a new generation of artists, actors and film directors, the duo also turned the personal reality into a series of photographic records, which are now documents of an era of social, political and economic transformation.
- Walter Seidl
Nedko, is that you?, 2015.
- Material: Digital print on canvas, gilded and signed
- Width: 12.00 cm Height: 10.00 cm Depth: 2.00 cm
- Description: This winter, stuck in the Sofia traffic, we saw a grey Range Rover with tinted windows in the next lane. “Hi, Nedko!”, we shouted, waving and joyfully honking, thinking it was our friend Nedko Solakov: the most successful Bulgarian artist on today’s art market, known for his loyalty to grey Range Rovers. In a local context, this simple fact breaks two clichés: that artists are underpaid and unprosperous, and that a shiny SUV is the status symbol of shady business.
The Rover’s window slid down; a muscled young man in a training suit with military buzz-cut and golden chain around his neck gave a long stunned look at the two idiots happily waving at him. The window closed back and the grey SUV roared away.
- References: http://www.imagomundiart.com/artworks/boris-missirkov-georgi-bogdanov-nedko-you/
Gery, from the series ID2000, 1999.
- Material: Pigment print
- Width: 100.00 cm Height: 100.00 cm Depth: cm
- Description: ID 2000 is more than the existing surface structures, it is the reflected reality of a surface-conditioned generation, which has realized the information potential of the surrounding media landscape. Missirkov and Bogdanov took parties in downtown discos and on the rooftops of Sofia as the starting point to mediate the excessive life in big cities, where musicians, artists and party freaks mingle. Looking at the Sofia environment as a backdrop triggers associations with landscape images in the Hollywood area. The painterly gesture of the individual photographs, which almost turns the depicted people into Renaissance icons, not only signifies the perfectly mastered shots, but also the fact that the models are the protagonists of the Sofia art scene, who constantly frequent the city's trendiest events. The glitter and glamour which everybody wants to share, facilitates that those participating in these night-time adventures try to forget the negative aspects of the political and economic transformation by bringing the medially constructed worlds into reality. For Missirkov /Bogdanov it is both: the reality of a (more) democratic (but not always positively connotated) job market as well as the artistic reflection of this development with its necessary abandoning of well-known structures and secure spaces of existence.
Eva Hodek, Prague House of Photography.
- References: http://photography-now.com/artist/boris-missirkov-georgi-bogdanov
Tsvetana Maneva, 2004.
- Material: 7 silver halide transparencies 70x96 cm., aluminium frame
- Width: 100.00 cm Height: 200.00 cm Depth: 200.00 cm
- Description: The installation pays tribute to the Bulgarian actress Cvetana Maneva. Through a series of photographs presented in different media forms, we discover the significance of both mask (understood as free space expressiveness conditioning and conditioning) and the more personal face that goes beyond the public persona and becomes a manifest of humanity.
The installation portrait consists of silver halide transparencies, in aluminum frame. The mild and careful choice of material represents what might be described as a metaphor of human relations: if we look in a fixed and static frontal position, the succession of the seven films, through to the grey wall to prevent our eyes to recognize the face of Cvetana and see the changes. Only by accepting the compromise of our active participation, we can enter the mechanism of the evolution of the mimicry, and enjoy the expressiveness that it conveys. With an imperceptible difference, the mask of Cvetana Maneva becomes from time to time: surprise, regret, doubt, peace, humanity, concentration, possibilities.
FOR Gallery, Florence
4th Kilometer, Untitled #023, 2013.
- Material: Pigment digital print
- Width: 100.00 cm Height: 125.00 cm Depth: cm
- Description: ...The future sooner or later scrolls everything out of the ordinary and forgotten. Missirkov and Bogdanov have a rather solid experience in this research field. They know that the image is a memory and they can develop it as fully as one. In their photographs, time is now an aesthetic concept. Architectural details, soldiers' graffiti, corrosion, ruin, and chaos are framed to remind more of a modern painting, installation or drawing. The past is being reconstructed at an associative level in a completely new form, and so it becomes adequate to our already changed perceptions. It does not matter if we call it nostalgic realism or just a new type of visual archeology. What is important is that in their findings, the authors have managed to preserve the “Fourth kilometer” story not as much as a document, but as an experience and emotion, so that we accept it as a shared memory.