A curatorial project by Peter Tzanev with conceptual strategies and artworks by Krassimir Terziev, Jelko Terziev, Boryana Petkova and Georgi Georgiev – Jorrras, from the contemporary art collection of Gallery Plus 359, Sofia.
Radical formal analysis is an approach that reveals the possibilities of consistent intensification of self-critical tendency in art. This approach has its roots in philosophical art criticism, which emerged in the second half of the 20th century and culminated in the founding of the American academic journal OCTOBER, specializing in contemporary art, criticism, and theory. Today, radical formal analysis is not only a theoretical tool but rather a rhetorical space for asking critical questions about the development of contemporary art and the condition of the global artistic avant-garde.
Why does this project turn to the formal analysis and why does seek to provoke its most radical forms? In the words of the art critic from the Journal OCTOBER, Benjamin Buchloh: “It seems that the more the aesthetic discourse is removed from the formal analysis, the more urgent will the claim for a metaphysical meaning become, immersing viewers in meanings and neurotic discourses in which literally everything is “full of meaning.” Today, the meaning of art as a hopeless neuroticism is not a symptom (at least not more than any other time), but a logical categorical (but not “categorizing”) requirement for overcoming another formal crisis. That is why the present project is not interested in the art meanings of the works, but in the constructions on which they are built. The main subject of research, and hence of exposition, is the conceptual genre of the public pointing of the artwork pretensions – what art critic David Joselit, also from the Journal OCTOBER in 2016 formulated as “conceptual art of the press release”, where the work is “translated” into a text as a suggestion for its meaning.
The current project, entitled Radical Formal Analysis, focuses on the dynamics of such an art medium as public governance of the meaning of the work in the form of the “conceptual art of the press release” and its relationship to reception control. That is why the project includes conceptual strategies, documentation and works of some of the most diverse and provocative contemporary Bulgarian artists working with “Gallery Plus 359” – Krassimir Terziev, Jelko Terziev, Boryana Petkova and Georgi Georgiev – Jorrras.
The press release is sometimes the only opportunity for an artist, an exhibition, an artwork or an idea to be “seen” as an art event. This project focuses precisely on the fate of this “press release” by re-exposing it. Thus, the fate of the press release as the initial management of the meaning of the artistic event returns to itself. The extension of the “press release” is not intended to problematize the press and information in general as a medium. It is also not a media in the media. Viewed from a certain angle, it is the whole media. Pure media, which has found its pure function similar to the famous tendency to ‘operative closure’, described by the sociologist Niklas Luhmann, according to which the art system or part of it discovers its own autonomous function and to focus on it alone. The press release renews its action by renewing the occurrence of the artistic event, which is contained in its announced expectation.
In short, four contemporary artists have the opportunity to announce the events that have already taken place.