BASIC AND THE BEAST
BASIC AND THE BEAST

Vikenti Komitski
27 January 2017 - 04 March 2017


curated by Vera Mlechevska

Opening: 27 January, 6:30 pm in the presence of the artist


Exhibition photos
Press release (English)
Press release (Bulgarian)
List of artworks



SARIEV Contemporary is pleased to present young Berlin-based Bulgarian artist Vikenti Komitski’s solo show BASIC AND THE BEAST. The show is curated by Vera Mlechevska. The opening will be on 27 January 2017 in the presence of the artist and the curator. BASIC AND THE BEAST will be on display until 4 March 2017 at the SARIEV Contemporary Gallery, 40 Otets Paisiy str. in Plovdiv.

The exhibition text is by Vera Mlechevska.




Vikenti Komitski uses different media (drawing, collage, photography, objects) to capture his intuitions, moods and insights contaminated by immediate visual experience of everyday urban life. Streets, mass electronic and commercial images fall within the scope of his latest works.

Among the images in the exhibition BASIC AND THE BEAST a message develops through the change of perspective: Always Here Never There. A poetic statement drawn from psychology as a mechanism for self-assertion based on absence. Absence is the engine regardless of whether it is a natural human tendency to follow impulses beyond reality or a historical construct of the contemporary organisation of labour promising contentment somewhere beyond the cycle of catching up with the clock and material needs. Delayed contentment is replaced by possibilities of immediate consumption: a basic mode of life (‘basic’ being a hip-hop culture term), stable and monotonous with its cheap accessories, accessible substitutes and availble virtual statuses in stock. The consumer existence is subject to short-lived stimuli activated by various products, images and packaging which also give promises. All these products too preach ideas, ethical causes, immediate effects, higher value than their price. Vikenti Komitski outlines an elastic repulsion-attraction peculiar to mass images and unmasks their seeming neutrality in his ambiguous collages. (Abject, Coca Cola, Make Believe). There is no hierarchy of true and added reality in them – they are flat, 3D, simulation and original, photography and collage at the same time. The limit of piling up more and more impulses reflected in the retina reaches a level of mania in a larger collage-hallucination.

Vikenti Komitski himself, resisting the constraint of this basic mode of existence, sublimates his resistance in several ironic drawings included in the exhibition. (My Face, Don’t Leave Your Luggage Unattended, I Swear I’m Having Fun.)

The inertia of the 24/7 roundabout of work–consumption-work draws the individual into captivity. Pulling away from it rarely leads to revolutionary fervour as thinkers in their ivory towers - cabinets hope. An entire parallel culture shows something very different; a cynical gesture towards status clichés, a rather poor but conscious way out: rolling in the grass, hanging out, rambling in the city streets, the park, the studio or elsewhere. A choice and a way out whose main gain is the actual experience of time.


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Vikenti Komitski was born in 1983 in Sofia. He lives and works in Berlin. He graduated in Sculpture at the National Academy of Art in Sofia. He works mainly with with objects and installations.
Some of his solo shows are Update in Krinzinger gallery, Vienna (2015), Commodities Unplugged in Sariev Project Space, Plovdiv (2014)New Poor, ICA, Sofia (2013); Subjective Geography, Sariev Contemporary, Plovdiv (2011); 1:200, 0gms gallery, Sofia (2010); No Image Available, The Fridge, Sofia (2010), #1, Vaska Emanuilova gallery, Sofia (2009).
Among the group shows he took part in are World at a Crossroads , National gallery of Iceland (2016) , Contemporary Icons; the art of spectacle, 3 rd Danube Biennial, Meulensteen Art Museum, Bratislava (2015), Places of Transition, Freiraum, Museumsquartier Vienna (2014), Balkon Zum Balkan, organized by kunsthalle Baden Baden, (2014 ), Go West! Muzeon Art Park, Moscow, special project for Moscow Young Art Biennial (2012); Is It Free?, NutureArt Gallery, New York (2012);Together Again, Radiator Gallery, New York (2012)East Of Best, Roodkapje, Rotterdam (2011); An Exclusive Object of Art, Dana Charkasi Gallery, Vienna (2011); Entrepot, Krinzinger Gallery, Vienna(2011); Beyond Credit, Antrepo 5,Istanbul (2010); FQ Test, GMG Gallery, Moscow (2010); Photo I Photo You, Calvert 22, London (2010); Breaking Walls Building Networks, Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Tesaloniki (2010); From Ideology to Economy, Contemporary Bulgarian Art 20 Years Later, The State Central Museum of Contemporary History of Russia, Moscow (2009).
He was a resident artist at Quartier 21, Museums Quartier and in Krinzinger Projekte in 2014, Vienna, ISCP, New York in 2012, Futura, Prague in 2011 and SIM in Reykiavik in 2009. Komitski is the 2011 Baza award winner.
Sariev Contemporary represents Komitski since 2011 and has presented his work at ViennaFair,Focus: Bulgaria at viennacontemporary, Istanbul Contemporary, ArtBrussels and ArtRotterdam 2016 with solo booth.


The show in the media:
THE PLOVDIV EDITION: Vikenti Komitski, Boyscout Magazine, 23.01.2017
Plovediv news: Basic and the beast, plovediv.bg, 31.01.2017
BASIC AND THE BEAST an exhibition by Vikenti Komitski in SARIEV Contemporary, Artnewscafe Bulletin, 18.02.2017