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Übermensch by Kokimoto

01.04 – 27.04.2024

Übermensch by Kokimoto

‘If all the prejudices, sincere misunderstandings, and deliberate falsifications, all the political and ideological layers (as far as possible) accumulated over the decades are removed from man, and an attempt is made to extract Nietzsche's idea of the Übermensch unadulterated (also as far as possible), then the superman will present itself thus: man is something to be overcome. Man is a bridge, not a goal. Man is a rope stretched between the beast and the Übermensch —a rope over a precipice. All beings create something above themselves, after themselves - will man be an exception to this law valid for all life? Despite all the risks and dangers involved here, Nietzsche's hero Zarathustra believes that perfection is possible on earth, that it is an earthly domain, not an after-earthly and extraterrestrial one, and to the same extent that he calls his disciples along this path, I believe that there is a time in our history when individuals belonging to the species homo sapiens were in a struggle for existence quite analogous to the present one, but which ultimately led to something superior and perfect for its time.

The so-called 'Royal Time' of our history, and especially the achievements of industry, design, and architecture, the rise of art and culture in this time period, led me, as the author of the exhibition, to accept and present those living at that time as a formation of the future, as an ideal rather than a realistically achievable goal again. As a call that can be heard but also to which people have no ears, as a reality completely unreal to people who have no eyes to see it, a call that one can follow but also pass away.

Objects from the time of the monarchy in our lands, which I have been collecting systematically and purposefully for the tenth year now, are shown in the exhibition as a collection of artifacts that show excellence in design, quality of production, and attention to detail, thus portraying the portrait of the superman in the exhibition, becoming an aesthetic experience for the visitor. This is the subjective truth, so to speak, for me as a connoisseur focusing on the objects of this time period, but any truth that lacks laughter would be false, so I place my characters alongside the heroes of the time, and my self-ironic approach to life and art can be felt in my interpretations of Übermensch.

On the other hand, the ideas of the Übermensch put forward by Nietzsche in his writings, a point of departure for me in the exhibition, make him an author particularly susceptible to quite contrary ideological manipulations - where his theses are extracted while his antitheses remain hidden. He can easily become an unambiguous inspirer of all manner of man-hating - equally as ideology, politics, and practice (older generations now living witness these manipulations). Just as anyone daring to misinterpret his ideas about the superhuman can be misunderstood and accused of an immoral mindset.

I hope that my personal line of interpretation on this subject will be understood, for wherever Nietzsche's teaching penetrates, wherever his great and peculiar personality finds access, it will inevitably attract and repel at the same time, but it will always make its contribution to the development and shaping of individuality. This I find extremely close to myself as an artist and author of the exhibition, and I share the thought of Pencho Slaveykov, who acknowledged Nietzsche's influence on himself, 'And there is no contemporary artist in thought and art in whose creations the refreshing stream of Nietzsche's spring is not heard to murmur.'

Kaloyan Iliev - Кокимото


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