A Place (Playground)

  • 2004
  • video, photographs
  • 12 min, DV PAL, 4:3, color, sound
  • inkjet print on paper mounted on aluminium, 120/160 cm each
  • EA 4 + 1AP
  • Collection Hilger Contemporary, Vienna

The Northern Park, Sofia.

A leisure park in the periphery of the city in a working-class neighbourhood. The unique spatial composition is the result of urban planning and the mode of thinking of the social engineer from the Communist state era. It  is a bizarre concoction of romantically artificial (planned) hillocks and military strategies. The hillocks are well-organised and cut across by canals and ponds which are linked by nostalgic curved footbridges. The highlight of the architectural ensemble are the prop-like tanks, rockets, military airplanes and canons which are arranged as on a battle field. All these items are made of modules manufactured from the same material: metal tubes painted in basic colours – yellow, red and blue. These are “devices for children’s play“ – one of the fancy remnants of ideological urban planning, which is still present in the daily life of the city dwellers in this part of Sofia.

Krassimir Terziev

"Just as standard residential buildings were designed to synchronize the daily lives of the New Soviet individual, so were the playgrounds and leisure parks that were built next to these apartment buildings. A Place (Playground) (2004) by Krassimir Terziev focuses on one of the playgrounds situated in a typical working-class neighborhood, built in 1983 in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. The environment recorded on video is characteristic of a concoction of preplanned hillocks that are cut across by canals and ponds which are linked by curved footbridges. Terziev highlights the architectural ensemble characteristic of prop-like tanks, rockets, military airplanes and canons—all arranged as if on a battlefield. The metal items painted in the same colors—yellow, red and blue—were manufactured from the materials used in the production of military equipment. Importantly, the film turns to the environment as metaphor, as it documents everyday activities in a space packed with residents who are unaware of the changing ideologies behind their urban surroundings, as communist ideology gradually gives way to capitalist consumerism."

Inga Lāce and Lukas Brasiskis
excerpt from the screening programme From Matter to Data: Ecology of Infrastructures
at 'post', the MoMA's online resource devoted to art and the history of modernism in a global context

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preview video mp4, h264, PAL, 4:3

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From Matter to Data: Ecology of Infrastructures, Jul 29 — Sep 9, 2020, 'post.moma.org', the MoMa online platform, Curated by Inga Lāce and Lukas Brasiskis

Transitland. Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009, SPACE Gallery, Bratislava, 2010

Searching for an Ideal Urbanity, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, 2005; curators: Fabrizio Galanti, Jean-Baptiste Joly

MUTZIGZAG. Itinéraire d'art contemporain. Jul 03 - Sep 04,2005, Fort Mutzig, France, 2005

Wildes Kapital II, Kunsthaus Dresden, 2005; curators Cristiane Menicke, Torsten Birne, Sophie Goltz

Central. New Art form New Europe, BA-CA Kunstforum, Vienna, 2005

Play Sofia, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna, 2005; curator Hedwig Saxenhuber

artLab KunstlerInnen, Vienna, 2004

Central. New Art form New Europe, Galerie Hilger & Siemens Austria, Vienna, 2004

Krassimir Terziev. Excuse Me, Which City is This?, Ata Center/ICA-Sofia, Sofia, 2004