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Nobody Can Give You What I Can Promise 

Solo Exhibition at Punta Gallery and Posta Space, Sofia, BG ​11.05-08.06 2024 "Nobody Can Give You What I Can Promise" includes a series of photographs documenting the destruction of the Red Road modernist  residential towers in Glasgow on the 11th October 2015 and a site-specific scrap metal installation. ​The Red Road high rise scheme was built in the East End of Glasgow in 1968. The towers are part of a series of ambitious housing projects designed in line with the vision of modernism from the beginning of the 20th century, which disregarded the traditional building principles in favour of utilitarianism. In the field of urban planning, however, many such projects have proven to be ineffective and have ended up prematurely demolished. The reasons for this lie in their often inherently flawed urban design planning policy - the creation of large-scale residential complexes often emerge without additional infrastructure to serve the social needs of the local community, such as cultural centres, places for entertainment and recreation, which inevitably leads to social decline. Eventually, Red Road became an epicentre of crime and violence and instead of "solving" the deepening societal issues (characteristic for the big city) through its design, it exacerbated it. In this sense, the project has been criticised as a "modernist fetish and vanity project of the architect Burton". Desova's photographs documenting the demolition of the towers are juxtaposed with a large-scale sculpture suspended from the ceiling of the gallery. The piece consists of twenty four square plates cut from scrap metal and connected to each other with cross-shaped modular elements. The metal pieces are marked by the history of their previous use. The surface of the plates, scratched and rusted, when removed from their original context of decay, look like a beautiful, complex and almost organic pattern. The arrangement of the elements is reminiscent of a hand-stitched quilt or a rug. The connecting modular elements are similar to a rough seam, are an abstraction of the profile column section of Neue National Galerie in Berlin, designed by the architect Mies van der Rohe - for the elements’ ubiquitous status of recognisable modernist elements. Desova's works are metaphorically situated on both sides of a timeline whose mutual border is Modernity. The photographic series turns us into spectators of the collapse of (the utopian idea of) Modernity, akin to the people in Desova's series who have gathered to watch the destruction of Red Road. The sculpture, on the other hand, is a symbolic gesture of the act of re-building from the ruins of what once was, after the dust has already settled. It is as if there has been an event, an end, and in a post-apocalyptic world, someone is building a home from the remains of a previous existence. Capturing the demolition of the residential towers that have proven to be inefficient on one hand, and creating a scrap metal structure on the other, as a symbolic gesture of building from the ruins of what once was, the exhibition creates a temporal pattern that lurches between an unrealised future and a present that is dealing with its consequences. Through collecting and assembling these metal elements through traditional artisan work techniques, Desova's work is an attempt to "remove" the consequences of the industrial revolution. Of course, this is not possible. All bridges to the pre-modern past have long been burned, and the nostalgic idea of ​​existing in societies fuelled by agriculture and artisanal labour exists only as a fetishised fringe of modernity, inhabited by digital nomads and hippies. Even if the end of the world is not what we expected, we will have to continue to live in it somehow. Text from Punta Gallery curator: Vikenti Komitski photographer: Mihail Novakov The project is realised with the financial support of the Bulgarian National Fund "Culture", program “Create".

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