Plamen Dejanoff – Trifon Ivanov Museum




Press release


«The communist party in Bulgaria began building highly specialized high schools in the 1970s in order to better promote the talents of the youth.
There were high schools with a focus on mathematics… with a focus on languages… those with a focus on music… fine arts… sports…
when I was 12 years old I was chosen (without being asked) for the sports high school in Tarnovo.
My dream was actually to become an artist but someone decided that I definitely belong in the sports high school.
In the sports high school in Tarnovo we had at least 6-7 hours of sport every day (6 days a week) + a bit a few other subjects.
After a lot of effort on the part of my parents, I was able to leave the sports high school a year later and went to an art boarding school where I received 6-7 hours of lessons in art architecture & design every day (6 days a week / 5 years long).
However, my friends from the sports high school in Tarnovo (including my “idol” Trifon Ivanov) developed well and in the 1990s, 7 out of 11 Bulgarian national football players were from this high school.
At the soccer world championship in the USA in 1994, the Bulgarian national team sensationally won against France… Greece… Mexico… Maradonas Argentina… the reigning world champion Germany… and reached the semi-finals against Italy.
Bulgaria lost unluckily with 2-1 & Italy lost two days later the world championship final against Brazil on a penalty kick.
6 of the players who won bronze medals for Bulgaria at this world championship 1994 in USA were from my high school in Tarnovo!
At the end of the 1990s, the education system in Bulgaria totally collapsed and one specialized high school after another was closed.
The legendary sports high school in Tarnovo was also closed and brutally converted into a tourism school 5 years ago.
As part of the Heritage Project, I was able to save part of the building (which was not needed) from destruction.
with a lot of effort I dismantled part of the sports high school in Tarnovo with the idea of include this part of the building to Heritage Project ».


The Heritage Project by Plamen Dejanoff is a form of speculative realism with an identity-based matrix. Tracing the artist’s project in his Bulgary in comparision to the Plamen Dejanoff Foundation In Veliko Tarnovo, his hometown, we can understand that all the chapter of this radical long term project, a life project, refer to a personal necessity of rootedness, as an attempt to anchor himself in contrast to the smooth, fluid, and borderless surface of mercantile monotheism, of the capitalism that tends to reduce for vocation the other to the identical.
In fact, the approach of Heritage Project appears as a manifest that opposes itself to the reductio a unum that globalization which some have started to call globalitarianism, tends to shape a stateless, precarious, migratory humanity emancipated from any territorial rootedness, equipped with a light backpack, hand luggage, delocalized everywhere, because it feels in every place, even in the place of the origine, as transient. A flexible and nomadic humanity, deprived of his symbolic structure, inside a miniaturized word without boundaries and differences.
In regards to Dejanoff’s path, we could almost venture to say that the artist starts from the assumption that reality is already so exquisitely real that any attempt to translate it would be a failure.
A reality composed by a multitude of objects, both concrete and imaginary, whose structural significance has really little importance.
Dejanoff’s aesthetic, with his platforms and his pedestals, observed as temporary enclosures or rather parentheses, allude to a sort of ontology, tending to reveal the sensual qualities of real objects.
Dejanoff’s art does not allude to reality (real), it does not represent it, but it shows and reproduce it: we could assume that Dejanoff’s art is anti-literal.
However, unlike philosophers object-oriented, Dejanoff’s one is not a flat ontology, without gerarchy: its focal point are still humans end their identity aspirations, albeit never nostalgic.
Some objects must remind us our  belongingness, while some others must be accepted as different; this is maybe the essence of Heritage Project: to find objects capable of warming our hearts and our everyday lives without making our history and our past superfluous, in order to resist to heterophobia of globalization and its false multiculturalism.
The taxonomic phenomenology of uprooting, typical of colonialism, implies alienation, isolation and superfluity concerning cultures considered “other” about teleology of contemporary capitalist imperialism, a form of colonialism just apparently more softer and horizontal.
In practice, every form of colonialism deprives peoples of their tradition, of their soul, reducing individuals, reducing people to human matter, mere interchangeable material.
Within a present without history and memory, every oppression, every horror can occur.
The “self”, once, was just an element in a constellation of the group, the community; now it’s the predominant element: we don’t engage with the word, but with ourself, and this kind of dynamic imply a serious form of intolerance and lead at the progressive secularization and to the manichaeism that informs the contemporaneity.
Simone Weil in Écrits de Londres et dernières letters, wrote: «The human soul needs more than everything else to be rooted in multiple natural environments and to communicate with the Universe throught them. The motherland, the realms defined by language, by culture, by a common historical past, the profession and the country are natural environments. It is criminal what has the effect of uprooting a human being and preventing them from taking root.»
Uprooting is a pathology typical of modernity. Plamen Dejanoff’s Heritage Project appears in this way as an indication to build more peaceful and sustainable societies that recognize the central importance of the communities and people as productors of the sense that activates the objects and the practices, making them precisely cultural heritage, a fundamental resource for the well-being of peoples.
We’re not surprised that Plamen Dejanoff, who has mimicked the neoliberal deregulation of contemporary capitalism, since his identity change in 2002, presents today with Heritage Project a contribution to the preservation of historical memory and cultural heritage of the wealth and expertise that are passed down from generation to generation, from master to apprentice.