In the exhibition “Wild Construction” Pavlin Radevski presents a series of sculptures created with the help of bees. Radevski lays down a synthetic matrix (mould) in which the insects build a hive. The process is a product of the material limits set by the artist and the action of the swarm following the mathematical method inherent by their species. Instrumented to model the future object, the bees apply a technique classical to sculpture – shaping occurs through addition and subtraction.
Pavlin Radevski relies on a future, certain event, in the same way in which lightning will sooner or later land on steel poles in the desert. The impulse of bees is absolute. Driven by survival instinct and the limited resources they have (time and matter), they build their structures. The sculptures are practically material artefacts of segments of time in which the author started (letting the bees in) and stopped an action. For this purpose, nature is thought of as the author of software, and the artist as its user, who “prints” new and new copies of the same matrix in order to detect possible deviations. Such do not occur.
Radevski takes advantage of the physical principle of energy conservation – the shape of the cell chosen by the species is optimal in terms of time-resource for filling gaps. This principle (‘of the least effort’) is universally valid and determines the trajectory of a flowing drop of water or that of a falling lightning bolt.
In the spirit of Radevski’s quest, this project also deals with the symbolic reaching of an image beyond the physical world. The universal hive structure that bees construct in their life-sustaining activity is a mental image, a protoform stored in their collective subconscious, which they reproduce again and again, regardless of latitude. Know-how acquired millions of years ago, from a time somewhere else.
The exhibition is a reason to re-evaluate the nature-culture distinction, offering material and meaningful amalgams of both concepts. Pavlin Radevski presents artefacts of ancient forms of social organisation sealed in contemporary synthetic matter. And while conventionally we perceive historicity as a completed action through the distance of time, in this case we witness its continuity and vitality – an ephemeral invisible shell covering our world. Through the perfect structures of wild construction, the exhibition reminds us that the patterns of our being are built and functional before the beginning of our fleeting existence, and after it.
This project is realised with the financial support of the National Culture Fund, program “Creative Scholarships”.
Pavlin Radevski (1975) graduated sculpture at the Academy of Arts in Sofia in 2001 in the course of Prof. Angel Stanev. He is the author of several solo exhibitions, as well as one of the organizers of the program exhibition “Without Distance”, presenting the work of 21 contemporary young sculptors in the “Raiko Alexiev” gallery in 2015. He is the co-founder of the DEPO SCULPTURE organization, with which he realizes various public events in the area, among which is the exhibition “Sculpture Now” in 2018. Pavlin Radevski is the winner of the First Prize for Sculpture of the Foundation “St. St. Cyril and Methodius” in 2003.
Lives and works in Sofia, Bulgaria.