A Ghost That Once Looked Familiar and Homey

2019, holographic projection, dimensions variable
AE 5 + 1 AP

A three-dimensional model built by the method of photogrammetry, using as sources only “found footage” – photographs taken in uncontrolled conditions by a large group of different people with no connection to each other, all depicting a common object of interest: a public monument. In such conditions it is assumed that it would be impossible to cover all angles in 360 degrees. So the final 3D model would be inevitably imperfect. But that level of imperfection is exactly what I find most interesting, for it reveals collective patterns of movement and limits of access. A new object appears, generated by the lenses of a multitude that shares an imaging device.

The object of interest is a no longer existing public monument that stood in the centre of the city of Sofia from 1981 till 2017. The Monument to 1300 Years of the Bulgarian state that was located in the centre of Sofia, built in 1981 as a symbolic centre of the entire urban plan around the National Palace of Culture, part of a large-scale campaign celebrating the 1300th anniversary of the foundation of the Bulgarian state, initiated by the then socialist state called People’s Republic of Bulgaria, and personally by the daughter of the state leader Todor Zhivkov, Lyudmila Zhivkova. In 2017 the monument was demolished due to its deterioration caused by long years of negligense, combined with the currently prevailing negative sentiments towards the recent past of the Communist rule.

As I initialy predicted, relying only on casual photos taken by passersby or professional photographers in the 1980s resulted in models that are partial (full of blanks on the spots that no camera was able to reach) and deformed (in the areas where the software was incapable of interpreting data correctly on the Cartesian plane). It became a volumetric visual expression of public memory.

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