How to Become the Best Artist in the World
Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia, ICA Gallery / SOFIA (Bulgaria)
15.01.2021 – 26.02.2021
In 2020, Mitch Brezunek made his film "How to Become the Best Artist in the World". The film is a feature film, not only because of the fictional plot and the incarnations of the characters, but also because of the play with the formats of modern marketing, in which religious or financial gurus offer miraculous solutions to the complexity of the contemporary world. In the film, the main character - the master of painting Doug promises to transform any viewer into the best artist in the world in just ten lessons. The ten lessons concern important choices in the art world: the medium, the idea, the themes, the colors, the dress code, the risk, the market, the Internet, and the woman. All these important choices are visually staged with a large number of weird objects, some of which play the role of works of art, while others are just inventory. These objects have a dual identity. On the one hand, they are images evoked by the artist's imagination for screen life. On the other - according to their materiality and closeness to the original oeuvre of the author, we can safely consider them as pieces of art in-themselves. This play of reflections, doubles and mirages is the subject of the exhibition, which, in а deceivingly easy-going way between ridicule and absurdity, actually asks very painful questions about the system of art in the global market of affect and fierce competition for visibility. A system, in itself, saturated with paradoxes, reflections and doubles. A system in which criticism, rebellion and radical gestures coexist (and sometimes coincide) with market tricks, schemes, and marketing phantasmagorias.
Curated by Pravdoliub Ivanov and Krassimir Terziev
The exhibition is part of the 2021 annual international program of ICA-Sofia entitled "Superpositions*". The programme is guided by the principle that interdisciplinarity is a major vector in contemporary art practice. The series of exhibitions examine the connections between art and fields such as: politics / poetics; science and technology; popular culture; gender and social movements; ecology and migration. The discursive couples are reflected in the structure of each exhibition - a dialogue between two authors - one from Bulgaria and one guest.
*Superposition is a fundamental principle of quantum physics, according to which every elementary particle exists in all its theoretically possible positions simultaneously; but when measured or observed, it gives a result corresponding to only one possible configuration.