On vacation… 2004 – ongoing

Artist: Luchezar Boyadjiev

Venue: Hangar 2

Luchezar Boyadjiev’s work On vacation… is an ongoing series of digitally manipulated photographs in which human figures have been removed from public monuments. The erased subjects are predominantly male political leaders, historical characters, military commanders, and members of royal families, all depicted heroically riding horses. By liberating the animals from their equestrians, the artist subverts the function of horses from props for glorified humans to celebrated subjects that pose freely on plinths. To produce his monuments, the artist employs the typical marble sculpting process, which consists of cutting away unwanted elements. Boyadjiev’s gesture challenges dominant narratives and power structures, opening possibilities for engaging critically with existing public art. The title of the work suggests that the missing people were sent on vacation. These photographs were shot in cities around the world during combined work and leisure trips. Some images employ a strict composition, typical of architectural photography, while others have a loose approach, merging the monuments with passersby and scenes from everyday life. In Prizren, only photographs without passersby are shown. This curatorial decision intends to evoke the Covid-19 lockdowns and curfews that forced people’s activities to take place anywhere but in public spaces. Boyadjiev’s work invites visitors to reflect on absence as an important characteristic of the constant global crises while engaging in a discourse on a nonhuman-centered future.

Luchezar Boyadjiev (1957) was born in Sofia and lives and works in Sofia.

Text by Orestis Mavroudis

Photo credits Tuğhan Anıt

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