︎︎︎HOW TO FORGET YOUR PAST FAST
MARTIN ATANASOV, 2020
PUBLICATION, HAND-BOUND, 120 COPIES
Installation photographer: Nikola Mihov, Mihail Novakov
How to forget your past fast is a photobook, which started as an invitation in 2015 by the Bulgarian photographer Nikola Mihov. In the project RE:Forget your past, 30 national and international artists were invited to appropriate, intervene and work with his photobook Forget Your Past. In his book, he depicts most of the communist monuments in Bulgaria still existing in recent times.
For me, the time of communism is foreign and distant, as of the fact that I was born after the fall of the regime in the 1990s. This period is known as the transition period in Bulgaria and it is a time of new horizons, wild dreams about the west, in which culture and subcultures had started their development.
In this period of time, one particular music genre appeared and somehow was able to captivate in itself the mentality and the direction in which the “transition period” existed in the political and the social landscape of Bulgaria.
The photobook tries to ask questions and captivate this specific time which still continues in some way in modern-day Bulgaria.
The book is handmade, and is in a print run of 120 copies; its first edition is in Bulgarian language.
Inside of the book, there is an essay by the cultural anthropologist Petya Vasileva- Grueva - “Chalga as a metaphor about the transition period in Bulgaria.”
In 2020 together with PUK! Platform for photobooks (Bulgaria) and KO-OP gallery (Bulgaria), we created a 3 days long pop-up event. During which there was a discussion between Irina Nedeva (journalist), Petya Vasileva- Grueva (cultural anthropologist), Aneta Vasileva (architect), Nikola Mihov (author of Forget your Past) and myself.
In the last day of the book launch together with Krasimira Butseva (Bulgarian photographer & researcher) we ran a workshop called “How to forget?” on the topic of the 90's, pop folk music and transition period, with the idea of preserving and documenting collective memory about the time.
Martin Atanasov (ATANASOV) is a visual artist working in Sofia. He graduates from Photography from the Film Academy (FAMU) in Prague in 2014. His practice focuses on the making of photobooks. More recently, he has taken part in solo and collaborative projects in relation to photography, print and visual anthropology.