24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo 2019
Exhibition Contemporary Art
/May 18 - September 30, 2019, Rooms 3 (Stefan Fratunov) and 6, as well in the exterior of the Museum)

There were entered a total of 737 works in section Contemporary Art. Selected to be shown in the exhibition were 69 artworks by 62 artists.

The exhibition can be seen on HERE.

24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo 2019
Exhibition Cartoons
/May 18 - September 30, 2019, Room 5/

There were entered a total of 475 works in section Cartoons. Selected to be shown in the exhibition were 113 cartoons by 90 artists, as well as 6 artist cartoon and comic strip books.

The exhibition can be seen on HERE

24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo 2019
Park of Humour - documentary exhibition
/May 18 - September 30, 2019, Avram Gachev Str./

The documentary exhibition, comprised of texts, blueprints and photographs, outlines the highlights in the history of the formation of the public space around the building of the Museum of Humour and Satire, that is, the development of the Park of Humour. It was a big project conceived on a large scale and carried out over the years owing to the editions of the Gabrovo Biennial and various other initiatives. The beginning was a competition for ideas that aimed to assemble a portfolio of ideas and conceptual proposals for designs of sculptures, kinetic installations, small entertainment facilities and attractions, and others.

Briefly featured is also the history of the creation of the sculptured pieces: Sundial-Tack (1975, Ivan Bogdanov); Hitar Petar (1981, Georgi Chapkanov); Charlie Chaplin (1983, Georgi Chapkanov); Don Quixote (1987, Georgi Chapkanov); Sancho Panza (1989, Georgi Chapkanov); Dragonfly (1991, Georgi Chapkanov), Optimistic Goat with a Crow on Its Back (1995, Georgi Chapkanov); Hoop Rolling (1985, Pavel Koychev), Hand in Hand (1986, Pavel Koychev), A Tower of Babel (1989, The City Group) and Hornet (2013, Georgi Balabanov).

The photographs used have been kindly provided by Pencho Tihov, Ivan Bakalov, the archive of the Museum of Humour and Satire and the archive of The City Group. The exhibition research has been done by Martina Deneva and Lyudmila Tsifudin; the design is the work of Martina Deneva.

24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art, Gabrovo 2019
Garden Town - exhibition for children
/May 18 - September 30 2019, Room 4/

The exhibition is specially designed for children within the framework of the 24. Biennial of Humour and Satire in Art. Its author is artist Nevena Ekimova who has developed the Biennial theme Dimensions of Publicness inviting children to learn how to explore, actively engage with, transform and discuss the issues on the Garden Town together.

In Garden Town the children are free to show their imagination, resourcefulness and care about the environment making the streets of the town beautiful, saving homeless kittens, making seed bombs, learning how to make decisions in a group. In fact, every town is possible to turn into a garden, but it is only in Garden Town where mischief has a happy end.

120 Years since the Birth of Dechko Uzunov (1899-1986)
Paintings, drawings
/February 22 - April 30, 2019, floor 3, the lobby/

On February 22nd, 2019 will be 120 years since the birth of Bulgarian artist Dechko Uzunov (1899-1986). To celebrate the occasion, the House of Humour and Satire is showing three of his four works treasured in the art collection of the Museum. Two of the works – The Peasants of Elin Pelin and Don Quixote without Sancho Panza (which is currently lent to the Dechko Uzunov Art Gallery, branch of Sofia City Art Gallery) – were shown in the Gabrovo Biennial exhibition in 1977 and 1983 respectively. The two ink drawings – Peasants from Sofia Region and Village Pub – were donated by the artist in 1988 and 1989.
The assembling of the collection was made possible thanks to the ambition of the first director of the Museum and his team to enlarge the Museum holdings with works by representative Bulgarian artists.

Dechko Uzunov was born in the town of Kazanlak where his first teacher was humour writer and artist Chudomir. In 1919 he entered the State Art Industry School (present-day National Academy of Art) and joined the class of Prof. Petko Klisurov. In 1922, Uzunov and his fellow student Ivan Penkov specialized under Prof. Carl von Marr in Munich. At the time Munich was a breeding ground for a host of aspiring young Bulgarian artists, men and women of letters who formed Uzunov’s circle of friends. Many of them would sit for his portraits.
Returning to Bulgaria, he graduated from the Art Academy (1924), in the class of Prof. Stefan Ivanov. From 1926 until 1932 he was a staff artist in the Ministry of Education. Then he taught painting at the Art Academy.
Dechko Uzunov took part in nearly all general art exhibitions of Rodno izkustvo Society in this country and abroad. He showed solo exhibitions in Sofia, Kazanlak, Sliven, and then in Belgrade, Bucharest, Budapest, Moscow, Paris, Basel, Munich, Kuwait and Beijing. The secondary art school in Kazanlak bears his name.
Uzunov’s art legacy is exceptionally diverse. He painted, drew graphic works and illustrations; designed books; engaged with stage design and decorative monumental painting. He worked in the genres of portrait, nude, landscape, watercolor, figural composition on historical, biblical, mythological and contemporary subject matter. He did also mural paintings. In addition to his creative work, Uzunov was engaged in numerous public activities. He is a holder of a number of prestigious awards and prizes.

Two Faces. Carnival Traditions in Sardinia. - solo exhibition of Andrea Salvai, Italy
/November 11, 2018 - June 30, 2019, Room 8/

Traditionally, on November 11th every year the Western European carnival world opens up its workshops for masks and carnival costumes and boisterously celebrates the start of the new carnival season. To honour this day, the House of Humour and Satire is showing a small collection of photographs on the topic of 'The Carnival Traditions of Sardinia'.

The author of the pictures on display is Andrea Salvai - a natural science teacher in a secondary school. Born in 1973, Salvai has been a captive of photography since his childhood investing his first savings into various makes of photo cameras; reading scores of books about photography techniques; taking apart a couple of cameras to study their mechanics and attending some photography courses.

Andrea Salvai's present exhibition has captured the masquerade Sa Tuvera recently revived in his native village of Sorgono and the carnival in the town of Cagliari.

The revival of the ancient festival Sa Tuvera began about ten years ago in the village of Sorgono (in the heart of Sardinia) prompted by the interest of a group of reserachers, scholars and fans to trace back the history of a few masks kept at the local museum. After talking to some local villagers, they happened on a poem that provided an explicit description of the heathen rite and the participants in it. The anthropomorphic masks and costumes make the basic element of the description. The text speaks about men dressed up in furs and fleeces and covered with animal bones all over; their faces are blackened with charred cork oak or covered with black masks; their victims are participants in the rite disguised as animals (goats, bulls and wild boars). They are assumed to be related to the cult of Dionysus who was worshipped reverently by the shepherds and the farmers in the region. The rite in his honour was chiefly practiced to obtain rain by prayer. Today the days of the festival (January 16, 17, 18) coincide with celebrations honouring St. Anthony.

Tumultuous masquerades and processions in Cagliari, in the old quarter of Stampace, have been in existence since the end of the 1940s. They are known under the name of Ratantira and are held before Lent. The origin of the name Ratantira is referred to the drum rhythm created by the participants in the procession. New masks and carnival characters appear in the 1980s. Among them is the image of the Brazilian singer Carmen Miranda, images of film and theatre celebrities, clowns and others.

Interactive Generative Formations, 2014-2017 - a project authored by Svetoslav Kosev and Atanas Markov, Bulgaria
Digital installation
/8 December 2017 - 30 November 2018, in front of the distorted mirrors/

On 8 December, the Students' Day celebrated in Bulgaria, the Museum House of Humour and Satire is opening the digital installation Interactive Generative Formations 2014-2017. Its setting, the space in front of the visitors' favourite distorted mirrors, plays a significant part in the perception and experience of the work, juxtaposing the images in the mirrors with the created virtual medium into which the viewer is drawn to participate. The project was presented at the House of Humour and Satire during the hackathon Gabrovo Game Jam in January 2017.

The installation Interactive Generative Formations is the brainchild of a creative cooperation between Svetoslav Kosev and Atanas Markov. It represents a dialogue between the viewer and the work in the form of a virtual field in which every viewer appears as a silhouette on the screen, in a kind of a network of lines, and is able to modify the work itself. The lines are connected by means of an algorithm which makes the work both interactive and generative. In this virtual medium, a network of dots that have definite physical properties is dispersed on a pseudo-random principle. They are interconnected by means of the same algorithm as with the viewer’s outline thus seeking a graphic impact. The small dots have gravity and fall, but they can also interact in case of a collision with the users or between themselves. In addition, there are bigger colour “balls” (for the current installation they are replaced with the logo of the Museum) which also participate in this virtual scene of physical dependences. The purpose is to entice the viewer into more active participation and involvement in this virtual medium through an element of a game-playing.

Svetoslav Kosev is a lecturer in graphic design and perspective, Assistant Professor on the Faculty of Fine Arts at St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo.

Atanas Markov is Chief Assistant in computer graphics and multimedia technologies at St. Cyril and St. Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo.