ICA-Sofia Gallery
34, Vasil Levski Blvd Sofia, Bulgaria, CO 1504

Visual Police - tv simulacrum

Javor Gardev

Videoinstalation, 7 simulations after the TV shows Panorama, Around the World and in the Country, Look Who..., The Day Starts of the Bulgarian National Television and Koritarov Live of Nova TV and Radio New Europe.


"Visual Police" done by Yavor Gardev in December 2005 was the last scholarship project. Working on the topic "Visual Activism: Instances and Showcases", Gardev came up with a Visual Police Code tapping into the "visual anarchic pacifism", "visual machismo" and "visual legalism" as the seminar defined a few conflicting points in the city. Dressed up as "the newly appointed head of Visual Police" while being interviewed by a few higher profile television anchors and opinion makers, Gardev actually offered a full scale TV simulation dissecting the phenomenon of television as a media skilled in substituting manipulated images for reality. Listening to those "reality just round the corner" TV reports on the new police unit actions and rants on how appropriate they are, the viewer is left with an aftertaste of having missed all previous discussions around a most serious public issue: the thin borderline between the regulation of public visual aesthetics and sacrificing public taste to administrative arbitrariness.

Iara Boubnova, The City and the Visual Seminar, Interface Sofia, Sofia 2006-09


The Resident Fellows Program is the product of a partnership between the ICA-Sofia and CAS-Sofia activities and programs on a more theoretical level. It will be organised by the Centre for Advanced Studies Sofia in accordance with the ICA. Within a given year, CAS hosts four resident fellows from Bulgaria for a period of six months each. They come from the fields of contemporary visual arts, other artistic areas, or academia and are selected by the Experts' Unit of the Visual Seminar based on their submitted applications and the application/selection procedures appropriate in such cases. The resident fellows have a stipend and reside in Sofia for the period of their fellowships while working on a specific artistic or research project related both to the topic of the “Visual Seminar” project and to the other activities of CAS. The finalized projects are presented in public in Sofia and discussed by the Forum of Visual Culture (see Module 1).

The idea of cooperation between academics and artists is based on the familiar experience of the Centers for Advanced Study in Europe and USA. Their established practice involves the artists’ participation in the intellectual community of researchers gathered for other research projects of the Centers for Advanced Study. They engage in, and contribute to, the debates and the heuristic atmosphere of the Centers and develop their own artistic projects based on this experience.

Such fellows would be selected by a special procedure appropriate in such cases.


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