The project 'Motherhood' is a photographic archive that seeks to commit to memory an important socio-political theme of Bulgaria's communist past. The series displays the portraits and documents of women who became mothers of three or more children between 1950 and 1989. These women were each awarded a medal by the government as a moral incentive in the context of the propaganda of that era.
The medal, which was named "For Motherhood", was one of many examples of a pronatalist policy that took a symbolic character. This was a response to the decline in birth rates in the post-war years, which had its origins in the transformation of urbanisation, industrialisation as well as the increasing rate of change in the roles of women in a contemporary, socialist society along with the new rights and freedoms that accompanied these changes.
Against this backdrop, this project attempts to tell the stories of the women of that time.
The portraits are intended to be the basis for further discourse surrounding today's socio-political issues as well as the role of women in society and the significance of motherhood in that era contrasting with today.
Deconstruction Lines is a photographical study on advertising, particularly posters located in public spaces consisting of multiple parts. The focus lays in the flaws which sometimes appear by placing the posters together, thereby distorting the image and the message of the ad.
Ads that pop up on our internet windows suggest to us what we might want to buy by using algorithms based on our collected personal data: we are what we buy. This has also its parallel to advertisements on TV but also on posters found in public areas. Based on their ostensible purpose and perceived social value, these posters could be understood as portraits of our modern day society or become a symbol of it.
Deconstruction Lines argues about what we want, need or hope for in our contemporary lives. And if these ads depict a perfect modern society, the imperfect way in putting them together, might be the evidence of how far we are from it personally or collectively.
Installation view: © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne
Photos: Niklas Rausch, 2016
Facades is a project which involves the systematic archiving of buildings’ walls used as a canvas for different kinds of propaganda painting (advertising, art, etc.) from the 70s, 80s and early 90s years in Bulgaria. The project began in 2012 and to date it consists of more than 70 photographs, videos and archive material.
In 2012 Google provided a full street view map of the country. This made it easier to explore and find more subjects for the archive, as well as forcing one to become aware of the actual scale of the project.
Facades is a constant race against time, since renovation work often cover paintings completely. Others survive partially as owners of different apartments and floors would not agree on renovating all together or simply don’t have the finances.
Therefore a new kind of image is being created which is often reminiscent of a collage or symbiosis between the old painting and the renovated sections of the building. Reality attains an absurd juxtaposition which makes it possible for this project to be seen not only as a preservation of cultural heritage but it also reconnects us with pressing contemporary social issues.