Good News, Bad News (Villa Manin), 2008
12 spotlights and mixed media
Good News, Bad News is the title of an installation of the Bulgarian artist Nedko Solakov. It consists of islands of light on the floor, and in the spotlight of which are the small scenarios of good and bad news. Life is full of good and bad news, some of which have a positive side. The same underlying meaning also found in the classic example of a half-full or half-empty glass, presented by Solakov as an ironic paradigm of bifurcation, a sly commentary on human existence.
Nedko Solakov was born in Cherven Briag, Bulgaria in 1957. The artist has studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Sofia and lives and works in Sofia. Since the beginning of the 1990s, Nedko Solakov has exhibited extensively in Europe and the United States, such as Documenta 12 (2007) and Documenta 13 (2012), and the 2001, 2003, and 2007 Venice Biennales. His work has been included in exhibitions at institutions such as the Tate Modern, the Centre Pompidou, the Stedelijk, and the Israel Museum.
In this installation Good News, Bad News, Nedko Solakov employs an ironic, metaphoric and poly-semantic style to analyze the role and contradictions inherent to the contemporary art system, its communicative mechanisms and its schizophrenic relationship with the society and cultural geopolitics. The text in each scenario plays an important role in the whole installation.
Language was an important tool for Conceptual artists in the 1960s. Many Conceptual artists used language in place of brush and canvas, and words played a primary role in their emphasis on ideas over visual forms. Thinking about using text in contemporary artwork, we may probably recall the work of conceptual artist Joseph Kosuth, One and Three Chairs (1965). Joseph Kosuth was among the first to give words such a central role. Another example could be I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art by Baldessari, who has repeated the same phrase over and over again.
Conceptual art is a movement that prizes ideas over the formal or visual components of artworks. An amalgam of various tendencies rather than a tightly cohesive movement, Conceptualism took myriad forms, such as performances, happenings, and ephemera. From the mid 1960s through the mid 1970s, conceptual artists produced works and writings that completely rejected standard ideas of art. Language itself has an ultimate significance in Conceptual Art and there are far more examples than we can cite.
Text of some scenarios of the installation Good News, Bad News:
- The good news: the bird finally found (in this hostile environment) two semi-enclosures that might be suitable for giving birth.
The bad news: no bad news, just a hot sex related thoughts.
- A big problem is pressed under this stone (and it looks it would stay forever pressed), which is good news.
However, there is a hint of bad news: the stone has to pee and he is very shy – he can’t do it in front of you.
- There is no data on it, which maybe a good news.There are also many colorful reflections on its surface (because of the spotlight), which for sure is a bad news because such reflections are, in general, useless.
- The bad news: too much “Holy Shit!” expressions nowadays.
The good news: there is a device to clean them out.
- The bad news: these pebbles are not precious at all.
The good news: there is at least one of them (somewhere at the bottom) who will become a big shot, eventually.
- Four good and four bad news are going to be filed*. It seems that they will become friends which may be both – good & bad news – it depends on the point of view.
- A very simple, casual ornament wants to be as beautiful as the sophisticated features in this room. Needless to say that he can’t, which is not necessarily bad news for there are a lot of foundations that will make him look beautiful (or at least expensive).
- Very soon he (from the Big Book) is going to destroy (to melt down) these bloody figures/ numbers which is a pity because they are not really bad and evil. Why?
This is the answer, which is still classified information because of the global warming.
- The good news: she finally got the pet she wanted.
The bad news: the pet didn’t like her.
The good news: she was still a noble lady.
Another bad news: the cat was even more noble than her, because her grand, grand, grand mother used to be a court cat in a much bigger castle than the young noble lady’s one.
The final good news: a pet dog with no noble predecessors whatsoever is on his way to join the two of them
- As many historians (and gossip makers) wrote, Napoleon had a big problem. The good news: luckily his problem was hardly visible.