Thursday, August 19th, 2010
The work Nomads or Номади explores and documents, single Bulgarian men living and working in New York City. Most of these men work in the financial sector of Manhattan. All these images are made in their sparsely furnished apartments.
The personal spaces of these single men symbolize the life of a person who is not settled down, moving from one place to another, like a nomad. This work shows the interiors of these peoples everyday lives. As single men and immigrants they are unsettled and there is a feeling of displacement. The nomadic ‘resident’ brings up questions about home and identity. I photograph these men when they eat, when they dress for work, when they are alone by themselves, isolated from the rest of the world, lost in their thoughts. I try to capture an ordinary moment that becomes a reflection of being in between two worlds, one in reality and the other in memory.
The Czech writer Milan Kundera explains the concept of nostalgia and living between the past and the present. In his novel Ignorance he writes, In that etymological light nostalgia seems something like the pain of ignorance, of not knowing. You are far away, and I don’t know what has become of you. My country is far away, and I don’t know what is happening there. For someone who has moved from one place to another their mental or physical state creates an illusion that what has been in the past is the same in the present, but actually things are very different, as time brings an inevitable change.
I have been exploring social, existential and psychological issues in daily life, through exile, gender and sexuality. The exterior and interior in my work are metaphors for these problems. In my photography this is shown through a voyeuristic approach of the subject where the forth wall is completely ineffective.
The entire project is presented in diptychs, two images of the same man. Each diptych shows the passage of time. They represent immigrant life as a state of moving from one place to another, mentally and physically. Being an immigrant is not a fixed identity, it is about the process that occurs in time from the past to the present.