Homage to the Masters of Photography

Exhibition by Students from “Photography” Bachelor’s Programme,

New Bulgarian University

From June 19 to July 17, 2020, photography fans may see the “Homage to the Masters of Photography” exhibition in Art Gallery Serdica, where the students from “Photography” Bachelor’s Programme at the New Bulgarian University (NBU) will show their response and sensitivity to the work of over 20 world-famous photographers. Curator of the exhibition is PhD Lilyana Karadzhova.

NBU students will demonstrate their respect for the masters of photography, which high manifestation is found in the French homage, which we translate into Bulgarian as “tribute”. Etymologically, the word refers to medieval France, where homage was used to denote devotion to the feudal lord. In that spirit of glorification and self-denial, the homages in photography pay tribute to a significant figure, but also carry ambiguity. They suggest the audacity that historical ideas and images may be interpreted and developed. They show that famous works may be rethought in a different light and perspective, at different places and with new actors.

Homages allow young authors to shorten the distance to the great teachers, to enter into an imaginary dialogue with them, to turn them into their imaginary colleagues and creative companions. The history of photography is presented as a living set of processes and phenomena, the participants of which are waiting for our creative commentary.

Visitors to the Art Gallery Serdica will find quotes to the decadent daily life of 19th century photographer Henri Le Secq, to the classic portraits of Irving Penn, the poetics of Josef Sudek’s daily life, the metaphorical photographs of Imogen Cunningham, the unadulterated humor of Robert Doisneau, the unconventional Duane Michals and Jürgen Klauke, Nan Goldin’s personal experiences.

The black and white photographs in Art Gallery Serdica build a bridge to the masters by expressions that are close to their means of expression, and several color graphic interpretations insist that their place lies in the language of the present. The pleasure of discovering the quotes in the exhibition is left to the visitors themselves, who may repeatedly experience the pleasant surprise of guessing. Those who wish will be able to test their assumptions by unfolding a short catalogue of citations.

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