Luchezar Boyadjiev: Off-SITE(s) / SITE Santa Fe Seventh International Biennial, Lucky Number Seven

Luchezar Boyadjiev (born in 1957 in Sofia, Bulgaria) lives and works in Sofia. His contribution to SITE Santa Fe Seventh International Biennial Lucky Number Seven, is entitled Off-SITE(s). The purpose of Off-SITE(s) is to connect Lucky Number Seven with the City of Santa Fe. Off-SITE(s) consists of three parts: 77 $10 bills, on display in the SITE Santa Fe building; a trained group of young people (the Art Squad) who travel to different cultural institutions in Santa Fe and speak to visitors about subjects ranging from contemporary art to the environment; and “Hot-Spot” boards at off-site locations such as the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. The Hot-Spot boards are meant to be used by the visitors for feedback on the works in the Biennial and the issues raised by Luchezar Boyadjiev. In this video we have a look at the board at the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum a week after the opening of the Biennial. Santa Fe, July 6, 2008.
PS: Luchezar Boyadjiev will talk part in the Singapore Biennale 2008 (from November 2008) and in the Jerusalem Show, edition 0.1 (2009).
PPS: Aritst’s statement after the jump.

> Right-click (Mac: ctrl-click) this link to download Quicktime video file.

Artist’s statement:

There are three main objectives of this project: a) sharing my feeling of being “lucky” to be in Santa Fe by distributing part of my production budget to the local audience through random selection of names from the local telephone book; b) sharing the knowledge and experience that I have accumulated over the years about what an international art show is through training an art squad of informed visitors who will mingle with the local audience; and c) sharing the possibility to express oneself in an art show by responding to the issues raised by the same art show and by providing a relatively democratic platform to do so in a number of off-site locations.

Years ago I noticed that for me it is almost equally interesting and challenging to: a) have people in a certain city look at my works installed on the wall or in the spaces of their local museum (or in the Biennial, for instance) and b) to get to know these same people – at first by looking at them and then by talking to them – without necessarily “bombarding” their eyes with my visual works. I feel it is a bit ridiculous to have a show running for three months and the local audience does not even get a chance to spend a day with the artists in the show (artists are usually gone the day after the opening…). There are artists who care about who goes to see their work or becomes an active part of their work – and I happen to be one of these artists – and then there are artists for whom that is not so important. Even Leonardo and Michelangelo occasionally got a chance to meet and talk to their audiences… Plus, for sure they never got to travel as much as I do… So, every once in a while I get away with talking a curator into letting me work with the local people more extensively. In this case it was not difficult as this was the initial idea of the curator.

Part of the intimate ideology of Lucky Number Seven is the idea of making works whose material existence is ephemeral and whose materials are potentially recyclable. The most valuable and important “recycling” aspect of my project in Santa Fe is the long-term “recycling” effect of my true material for the work – that is the audience, the “non-participating participants”, as I call them. My intention is to activate their presence and perception as much as possible, thus the true recycling effect will be visible and effective, I hope, long after the finisage (end) of the Biennial. For me, the activation of the community through the transformation of the audience into insiders is the main aspect, and next time it might be more interesting to be a SITE Santa Fe Biennial audience member.

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