After the dark apocalypse of The Last Boudoir (2011), Ventsislav Zankov presents new series of sculptures and large-scale paintings titled Happy Days. Like Samuel Beckett's play of the same title from 1961, the exhibition deals with the absurd and practical aspects of existing beyond - if The Last Boudoir is the final drum beat, Happy Days listens acutely to the silence afterward.
The urgency of social and historical problems here is being muted by the monochromatism of giant faceless figures who continue to struggle, suffer, and doubt within the narrow margins that frame them. Harmony with the surrounding environment is seemingly achieved, but the association with Michelangelo seeks in vain the miracle of creation. Each canvas is named after the date on which it was finished – sort of a diary celebrating the happy days in the life of the author, as well as the void between them.
As Gilles Deleuze states in his famous lecture Création Artistique at La Fémis in 1987, ideas originate by inner necessity, so in this compulsive rhythm of creation, liberation, and searching, Ventsislav Zankov has populated the exhibition space with his two- and three-dimensional demons who look as if they are on stand by for a pointer in order to head to the pages of politically incorrect comics, the digital desert of a video game, or film noir. Yet these demons are personal(ized), everything inside them is intimate – from Guard of the Living's teeth to the soot sculpturing the nudes.
The period in which all works were created, the autumn of 2013 and the winter of 2014, is also special for Ventsislav Zankov, with his attempt to find new meaning in the context of public's lack of temporal perspective: "Power determines the field in which individual movements seem to be free. It is a force field. Fear protects. What protects also is the fear from the emptiness of nonsense that we fill in with faith or causes we recognize as ours, and consumption turns into a lust for the filling. We get piled with belongings, our mass – overweight."
Happy Days' finale, May 1st 2014, coincides with the fifth annual award ceremony of the Iron Cross for Contemporary Art under the name of Ventsislav Zankov. Happy ending, cheers with Get Lucky by Daft Punk.