SUBHUMAN THEATRE

Venelin Shurelov's bizarre and phantasmic object-performances challenge anyone who attempts to classify his work within the boundaries of a single medium, form, or a discipline. Always site-specific and often staged at various public locations, his "phantomats," "drawing machines," and complex eclectic pieces—involving video, new technologies and old mechanics, found objects, images, sound, the artist’s body, and the imagination of the audience—are situated on the border between the human and the technological, the real and the imaginary. Always dependent upon the viewer’s invervention, they are marked by an interactive communicativity and unpredictability that challenges dichotomies between subject and object, self and other, artist and audience, process and product. Working in the space between performance, music, installation art, and image-making, his process-oriented work invokes the spirit of Dada and Fluxus to not only defy disciplinary conventions but also to constitute a form of practice that critiques the commodifying mechanisms and dominant institutional forms of the contemporary arts.

Zhivka Valyavicharska