MICHAIL MICHAILOV
























There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Lisa Rastl



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Hannes Anderle



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Lisa Rastl



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Kalin Serapinov



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Kalin Serapinov



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Hannes Anderle



There you are, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022, Photo: Hannes Anderle



THERE YOU ARE
solo exibition, Bulgarian Pavilion, Spazio Rava, La Biennale di Venezia 2022  

Curator: Irina Batkova 


In the There You Areproject, he explores Spazio Ravà to redesign the visible and invisible details that make up the exhibition interior in the context of the body and its interaction with its living environment. Following the geometry of the rooms, the cabinets already mounted on the walls, along with the space's architectural features, Michail Michailov takes up the free areas below and between them and positions the drawings from the Dust to Dustseries. By building three-dimensional objects similar in shape and proportions to the furniture, the artist simultaneously creates a minimalist and absurd environment. This series, on which the artist began to work eight years ago, won first prize at 2018 Drawing NowArt Fair in Paris.

Michail Michailov explained his exploratory interest in the traces of human existence depicted in Dust to Dustas follows: "I draw the dust, stains, useless pieces of plastic and mold that accumulate in my studio. Things are generated through my own existence and the existence of the people close to me – all those things we'd rather not see and usually choose to dispose of or hide. The drawing process takes almost as much time as it takes for the material to gather naturally. Looking for answers to what has real meaning in life, I realize how relative our individual answers may be. Just as relative as the viewer's perception, who, when looking at my drawings, often finds it hard to distinguish between the real and the drawn dust."

Developed over the years, this practice of tracking the not-so-visible accumulation of everyday human detritus has symbolically measured the time passing in human life. That is one of the aspects of our existence as a species destructive to its habitat and at the same time a challenge to our constant action of destroying it. Waste material, drawn with virtuosity and turned into a work of art and surreal sculptural objects, metaphorically constructs the constant search for meaning in the narrative of everyday life. The white geometric bodies resembling museum pedestals included in the exhibition, with brushes, broom handles, and parts of vacuum cleaners attached, maintain a constant tension between presence and absence in the There You Arespace.

The delicate color accents used by the artist in the depiction of human detritus are presented at the center of the predominantly white color in Michail Michailov's exhibitions. The white medical overalls, routinely worn for his performances, depersonalize the body, and the artist's gestures usually hide his face – a component of human identity. In this way, he becomes a mere element of the human cycle in a macro universe of birth and death.

The idea of repetition without beginning or end is embedded in the Just Keep on Goingvideo series in the exhibition. These videos present the performing of cyclical actions, the meaning of which lies in the movement itself and not in the final result. They capture the artist's interaction with a fictional dystopian living environment and his constant effort to master it.

The largest window in Spazio Ravà, which overlooks a beautiful garden, is obscured by the Headspacinginstallation in the There You Areproject. This structure only allows the view from the outside through a special opening into which the observer must place their head. The only way for the artist to physically become part of his exhibition is to perform at the pavilion's opening. His view through theHeadspacingsymbolizes the artist's reflection on the newly created space filled with imagined figures. This reflection is at the heart of the phenomenological bridge that allows us to transcend the interpretation of a particular work of art to search for the ontological truth at the heart of the impulse to create art.

Irina Batkova