Nika Neelova creates current sculptures that derive from selected past and hypothetical future naratives. Exploring the notion of the ruin, the work is addressing segments of existence that have or must collapse, referencing the disillusionement and the disintegration of utopias that ensues from their confrontation with reality. Often remi- niscent of the past, the pieces are also presupposing a future in which this present shifts into a state of disrepair.
Selecting subjects with attachments elsewhere that no longer belong to the present, the pieces give rise to a sense of anachronism and contextual displacement, nonetheless strongly referencing and addressing situations of relevance today.
The material transformation renders architectural devices and functional objects fully dysfunctional, and highly susceptible to entropy and decay. Depicting pieces in the state of arrested physical change, the work aims to capture the moment before collapse happens. Denied the possibility to serve their original purpose, they become images of deprivation and interruption, reflecting past and present in the time of ruination. The scale and presence of the work echoes the gravity of monuments, whilst the raw materiality confronts the viewer with its intrinsic vulnerability and instability.
The reoccurance of various bared architectural features in the work alludes to both the human presence and absence within it, introducing personal attachments and often distorted memories of spaces, stripped from their original specific traits. It uses the lifespan of architecture which out lives its creators and those who have inhabitted it to investigate the relationship of history and its architecture as well as architecture and the notion of commemoration. Neelova’s use of personal history and it’s relationship to a place and it’s collective history, are funneled together in an attempt to create forceful attachment. Having moved countries every 5 years of her life, the notion of adopting a history within repetitive transitions has become increasingly important to her.
Neelova regularly attempts to complicate the space where her work is presented, aiming at creating passages within it that require a closer contact with the viewe, playing with distance and proximity and the physicality of walking through the piece. The materials may be brought to the end stage of their existence, alluding to a sense of impending loss and departure or the rundown state and collapse of the systems. These works are thereby exploring the narrative texture of the inevitable and resonant endings, on personal planes or of historical periods, and the capacity of the ruin to place one at the end of a continuum or present a fictional future to our present.