28 Dec 2015

*Bulgarian photography in the 1960s. Part 2. Authors, aesthetic and ideological quests

01 August, 2014 – 01 August, 2016

Author: Asst. Prof. Katerina Gadjeva, PhD Fine Art Department

The proposal of a follow-up to the research project is dictated by the need to look in detail into certain authors and works of the same period that, though leaving an indelible mark on the history of this art in Bulgaria, remain unknown both to wider audiences and students in photography. A description and analysis of several private photo archives is suggested as well as focusing on the top four authors: Peter Bozhkov, Nikolay Popov, Lotte Mikhailova and Rumiana Boiadjieva. Neither their lives nor work has been subjects of a serious research tasks. What we have are just the articles in Bulgarsko Photo journal and brief portrayals in the books by Peter Boev and Tsvetan Tomchev, which have a more popular than scientific dimension to them. The issues of the authors’ participation in a number of large photo exhibitions or receiving prestigious awards or specials trips as photo correspondents abroad have been only broached in a cursory manner. No less important to the future research is to sketch the aesthetic lines drawn and defended by the ‘new wave’ in Bulgarian art photography, the establishing and development of such genres as landscape and nude, denounced as ‘formalistic’ and condemned in the previous decade, as well as to follow the transformations in the artistic interpretation of typical of the Socialist aesthetics subjects such as collective farms, plants, the new village, the life of workers, etc. In the 1960s, photography here started, as never before, getting closer to the rest of the arts in Bulgaria––painting, prints, fiction––leaving its own mark on the common artistic processes. That is why, treating this artistic tool in the context of the comprehensive aesthetic and cultural frame of mind of the period is a must, especially since the existing studies by authors such as Dimiter Avramov, Valentin Angelov, Chavdar Popov, Violeta Vasichina, Irina Genova. etc., have not dealt with issues related to this artistic tool.