Facades is a project which involves the systematic archiving of buildings’ walls used as a canvas for different kinds of propaganda painting (advertising, art, etc.) from the 70s, 80s and early 90s years in Bulgaria. The project began in 2012 and to date it consists of more than 70 photographs, videos and archive material.
In 2012 Google provided a full street view map of the country. This made it easier to explore and find more subjects for the archive, as well as forcing one to become aware of the actual scale of the project.
Facades is a constant race against time, since renovation work often cover paintings completely. Others survive partially as owners of different apartments and floors would not agree on renovating all together or simply don’t have the finances.
Therefore a new kind of image is being created which is often reminiscent of a collage or symbiosis between the old painting and the renovated sections of the building. Reality attains an absurd juxtaposition which makes it possible for this project to be seen not only as a preservation of cultural heritage but it also reconnects us with pressing contemporary social issues.
Installation views: © Die Photographische Sammlung/SK Stiftung Kultur, Cologne
Photos: Niklas Rausch, 2016