Self-brainwashing —  Exhibition by Mikhail Mihailov

Self-brainwashing — Exhibition by Mikhail Mihailov

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Gallery +359 is pleased to invite you to the exhibition of Mihail Mihailov Self-brainwashing, joint realization and curatorial work: Donka Mishineva and Hannes Anderl

Vernissage on May 28, Friday, from 17.00 to 20.00.

Performative interventions from 18:15 and 19:00.


Mihail Mihailov uses various artistic means such as drawing, installation, performance and video. His work is situational and he chooses the environment so that it is most appropriate for the situation. In his approach, he playfully deals with his own “I” or “I” in relation to the environment, the environment and the situation. Success and failure, self-discovery and self-doubt, the pursuit of happiness, overcoming boundaries are recurring themes. He deals with various cultural phenomena that influence human behavior and calls into question a society striving for perfection. In this way, he uses his personality as a metaphor for existence, ego and the pursuit of individual self-realization in a globalized society.

In Self-brainwashing Mikhail Mihailov tries to get a little closer to the manipulation of our own perception. Only our subjective perception is safe for us, knowing that it is subject to manipulation of our own experience. Among other things, for the exhibition were developed new works that ironically seduce our own minds into new worlds.The symbolism of the Water Tower serves as a source of existence.Without water there is no life.At the same time, the tower is considered a symbol of fertility. “Life must flow. The water that does not flow is covered with foam and rot. “(Alphonse de Lamartine). This symbolism is reproduced through the artistic strategies of Mihailov and ultimately aims to make the viewer think about the extent to which his own perception is based on a permanent illusion that bursts again and again like bubbles of foam.

In this exhibition, as in many of Mihailov’s works, the color white is essential:

“I use color in connection with the question of who I am and who or what I am not, or whether I am everything around me or none of the above. I am fascinated by the indescribable, the pure, the indefinite. Like a fresh snowy landscape with no trace yet. In this way the unimportant, the unconscious acquires meaning. “(Mihailov)

New white objects from white protective suits were developed for the exhibition “Self-brainwashing”. Mihailov has been using them for many years in a performative way to leave as few traces as possible in certain structures. In search of who we are and what we are not, now he transforms them into new “therapeutic sculptures” that aim to break the habitual thought structures. So, among other things, the discarded and found objects from the street, things you don’t really like anymore, were softly wrapped in absorbent cotton and re-covered with a protective suit. This not only gives these things a new value, so that even the hidden, already unwanted, takes on a new meaning and experiences can change. But at the same time, this meaning has not yet been determined. The newly created forms are subject to our own brainwashing. Without knowing what lies behind the shell, the viewer can give them a whole new perspective. New constructions and connections, and even the unimaginable can be possible.

In addition, you will find parts of Mihailov’s “Pedestal” series. White pedestals, exhibition spaces and exhibition platforms with brushes and brooms become futuristic cleaning items whose exact function must first be found. The concept suggests that the white object that, as in the White Cube, it usually has to help the object of art to achieve a neutral effect, itself becoming an object that removes things, thus conceptually having the opposite effect of its original use. A contradiction that can be found in philosophical explanatory terms such as “round squares” are expressed artistically. The white classic pedestal practically implodes in its meaning through a simple additional gesture.

As an artistic manipulation of space, there are also isolated drawings from the series “Dust by Dust” and “Heavenly Panels”. Dust, hair and stains, as well as useless plastic parts and mold, all the things that accumulate on their own in Mihailov’s studio, are unobtrusively mixed in the water tower. Things we would rather not see, and usually prefer to throw away or hide, are also improved in these works and deliberately brought to light.

In Mihailov’s “Self-brainwashing” it is left to the viewer to decide how clean his own brain is by leaving the washing tower.

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