OVERLAPPING IDENTITIESLUCHEZAR BOYADJIEV
"At Documenta X last summer, several media and art practitioners met in a project titled Hybrid Workspace, and later called Deep Europe. Echoing the words of the Bulgarian artist Luchezar Boyadjiev, "Europe is at its deepest where there are a lot of overlapping identities", the German critical writer Inke Arns characterises the notion of Deep Europe as follows: "With the notion of Deep Europe we refer to a new understanding of Europe, which leads away from the horizontal measurement of the size of a territory (thus including East/West etc.), towards something that could be called a vertical mapping, or a vertical measuring of the different cultural layers and identities in Europe."
In my mind "identity overlap" occurs whenever and wherever two or more people (or communities of people) lay claim on the same "territory" of historical, cultural, social, political, religious, language, etc. experiences and/or practices that each one of them considers to be only his/their own. Here the legitimacy of the claim is usually based not on rational but rather on emotional grounds. The claim is usually paralleled by a lack of information and/or knowledge, and/or respect for the claim of the other. And experience is understood in the broadest possible sense as collective (personal) horizon of remembrance. what's most striking and exciting about "overlapping identities" is the constantly observable demonstration of coincidences of some sort in all such cases.
By the way, have you noticed that in the Editorial Text of "Documenta X - the book" the authors (presumably C. David is at least one of them) make a badly disguised attempt to blame the existence and the activities of the Eastern European dissident movement before 1989 for the destruction of the French Left movement? You see, some French leftist intellectuals sided with the Party Line in the Socialist countries while others - with the dissidents. That caused a split in the movement and the Right just walked in "on a white horse". It turns out that according to such an argument and to the twisted minds of this book's editors, all of us in EE should have kept our mouths shut (well, I wasn't really much of a dissident before 1989 anyway ... which didn't help me with Documenta X either only to keep the French Left intact and happy? Well, I have to ask then - whose life are/were we living anyway?
Regardless of who is right and who is wrong in the above described argument, I think that it is a pure case of "overlapping identities". Whenever in the last several years I have communicated with Western European artists/curators and/or other intellectuals I have had the constant feeling that we are neither all that different nor all that similar. We will never be the same nor will we ever understand each other to the full possible extend either. At least not for some time to come.
Born in 1957 in Sofia (Bulgaria). One of the leading Bulgarian artists. Participated in 22nd San Paulo Biennial (Brasil, 1994); 1st Biennial Kwangchow (South Korea, 1995); 4th Istanbul Biennial (1995), 3rd Biennial Cetinje (Montenegro, 1997)and others. Founding member of the ICA Sofia.