Valio Tchenkov


“No sooner did Hitler take power (or, as we should perhaps more accurately say, no sooner was power given to him) than, on February 28, he proclaimed the Decree for the Protection of the People and the State, which suspendеd the articles of the Weimar Constitution concerning personal liberties. The decree was never repealed, so that from a juridical standpoint the entire Third Reich can be considered a state of exception that lasted twelve years. In this sense, modern totalitarianism can be defined as the establishment, by means of the state of exception, of a legal civil war that allows for the physical elimination not only of political adversaries but of entire categories of citizens who for som2e reasons cannot be integrated into the political system. Since then, the voluntary creation of a permanent state of emergency (though perhaps not declared in the technical sense) has become one of the essential practices of contemporary states, including so-called democratic ones.

Faced with the unstoppable progression of what has been called a “global civil war”, the state of exception tends increasingly to appear as the dominant paradigm of government in contemporary politics. This transformation of a provisional and exceptional measure into a technique of government threatens to alter – in fact, has already palpably altered – the structure and meaning of the traditional distinction between constitutional forms. Indeed, from this perspective, the state of exception appears as a threshold of indeterminacy between democracy and absolutism.”

Giorgio Agamben

a quotation from: Homo sacer II.1: State-of-Exception

Biography Valio Tchenkov

Valio Tchenkov was born 1966 in Svishtov, Bulgaria. He lives and works in Munich, Germany and Oresh, Bulgaria. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia and the Akademie der Bildenden Kuenste, Munich. His recent solo shows are “Traumraum”, Galerie Royal, Munich (2018); “Jumping over Three Seas… into the Fifth One”, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia (2018); “König des täglichen Nichts”, Old Prison, Freising, Germany (2017); “Minga – Moon”, Gallery Florian Sundheimer, Munich, Germany (2016); “Kunschelecke, raue Decke”, Projectroom Nagel-Draxler, Cologne, Germany (2014); “A Sunny Day: Sandpaper on One’s Back” (2014) and “…in a trice and for a while…” (2012) at Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv. Tchenkov has participated in various group exhibitions such as “The day After Yesterday” (with Vincent Mitzev), Kunstpavillion Munich, Germany (2017); “V&V TV”, 56 Venice Biennale (with Vincent Mitzev), Gallery Royal, Munich, Germany (2015); “Why Duchamp? From Object to Museum and Back (125 years)”, curated by Maria Vassileva, SAMCA, Sofia (2012); ”Conviction”, curated by Wenie Wong (a.o.), Dafen Art Museum, China (2010); “Sweet Case Eluminated”, curated by Katia Angelova (a.o.), MAC/VAL Museum Paris (2007); ”Fuori Uso”, curated by Agnes Kohlmeyer, Pescara, Italy (2005); “Poesie Summer”, curated by Jan Hoet, Watou, Belgium (2003). In 2018 he participates in the Riga International Biennial of Contemporary Art (RIBOCA1).
He has been nominated for the M-tel Unlimited Contemporary Bulgarian Art Award (2011).
Valio Tchenkov is represented by Sariev Contemporary since 2012.

“My approach is a reaction to the rigourous structuring of the society I work in and reflect upon. The German sense of structure is relentless and I often find it drives me to destructive gestures. I normally start off constructively, aiming at a specific outcome, but then a moment comes (the most interesting moment!) when I lose control and “the cart veers off the road”. I have no interest whatsoever in that which is being kept under control, but before you reach that moment of surrendering control, there is a lot to be done, you must prepare rigorously. Catastrophes can sometimes be very productive. I often think of the discoveries of America, champagne, penicillin, aspirin… All of them mishaps that have led to progress. I just try keeping my eyes wide open so I don’t miss the right moment.”
– Valio Tchenkov

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+359 Gallery, Art Project Depot,   in partnership with KX – Critique & Humanism Publishing House .  They will add comments in the form of quotations from books they have published to the images prepared by the artists for the project.