“How to deal with the Object”, the exhibition by Alexander Valchev, deals with sculpture – it engages with how the three-dimensional, which is correlating with the human body, exists in space. With an evident self-irony the artist is orchestrating his own competent, intelligent, and well-informed interpretation about how those elements that art has been dealing with since time immemorial, might interact with one another today. The functions of The Object has been awarded to cardboard boxes quite familiar to anyone who has acquired kitchen or bathroom appliances. Regrettably, such boxes are too well known to all those who are pressed by necessity to find shelter in the cities of the world.
The cold geometry of the box – of something self-evident, emotionally inert, industrial, and manufactured to be used up rather than to be made use of, is a challenge for the author. And this is not a lesser challenge for this artist than stone is for a classical sculptor. We are reminded of the description for the art of sculpture, usually ascribed to Michelangelo – sculpture releases the image hidden in the block of stone. Within the exhibition display created by Alexander Valchev the lightweight and “innocent” cardboard boxes somehow manage to get disturbingly close in association to the Obelisk from “2001: Space Odyssey” of Stanley Kubrick. They are pushing our associations even further when one thinks of the tight locker room box where Chris Burden locked himself up for 5 days back in 1971. Alexander Valchev is showing us his efforts in taming the objects – the space appropriating parallelepipeds. He is lifting them, he is carrying them, moving them, rotating them, and depicting them in his self-portrait compositions.
In this show the human interaction with the volumes of space is transformed into a complex dancing act where the energy and the dynamics of the living human body engage with the geometrical statics of the objects in a constant redefinition of their mutual coexistence.
Iara Boubnova 2019