In the middle of life’s night

In the middle of life’s night
Arosita Stick Place | 03 – 30 October 2022

– Have you ever happened to be somewhere far away in the distance, in the middle of the night, away from all the deafening noises, feeling the night, peculiar and circumambient, blurred line between the peaceful familiar surroundings and the dark vast expanse of air? Even the stars may not be there, behind the carbon black clouds and above the benighted trees.  
And in this quiet, even strangely charming apparent silence, frightful, piercing, insinuated suspicions of what lies ahead, start going out of the trenches, one by one, bare like blades.  
The darkness of life is not over yet, and the dawn is still far away.

“In his new artistic appearance, Ivaylo Hristov will present us a work specially created for Arosita Stick Place, including drawing on two vinyl canvases in addition to the familiar short texts written by hand.
Over the course of a month, the “canvases” will undergo a change through additional art interventions influenced by various social upheavals and processes or the current global crises.
For the title image, he has chosen a photograph taken in motion during a midnight stroll exactly 3 years ago on October 3rd, 2019 in California.”

– If there is truth in the rule that nothing happens by chance, I should not be surprised that recently I came across a very small and very thin book called “Sighs”, with a total of 40 stanzas, which begin thus: “In darkness I stand… surrounded by darkness…‘

Night is a very relative concept – the otherness, the other half of life, darkness, a bright creative source, a “stream of tears1” and dark thoughts, dramatic silence. A time when life is boiling on the other side of the planet. Cosmic void, dark matter, intercellular space. Little love and even less optimism.

Sometimes I stop keeping track of time, forget whether it’s day or night, work, create, wake up, jump into tasks, take care of things, worry, travel, create, sleep if I can, time after time.

I happen to look around – it’s midnight. Some kind of middle of life. In a few hours, I have to wake up again and make hundreds of decisions – which clothes, what food, what time, with whom, why, what news to read in the feed. I need to know how many kilometers has one side of the war advanced, or the other, how many thousands of people, which of all the asteroids are we exploring now, on which new planet is there life, what is the new price of bread and oil, when is the children’s party?
Decisions and choices all the time. Choices!

Yet one question has constantly been haunting me – Which of all the things I am doing is so essential and irrevocable that if I stop, nothing else will matter?
A lesson in self-awareness: “inwards” is now a lifeline. Enlightenment and hope.

Today, thick darkness envelops everything. The entire night of modern life2. But there is no peace and quiet – it’s still early, but screams can be heard! A strange dark beggar with big and fast bursts of color.

I guess it’s in the nature of our times – doubts and contradictions, abstract freedom, fenced peace and less and less optimism. Are we going to unleash the demonic power of atoms before winter3 comes?
A matter of decision. Thoughtful, rational, humane?

I read towards the end of this very thin book: “Give me eyes…give me heart…give me new … joy …peace… victory …protection…persecutors…wrath … sacrifice … life … death … infirmity … light … power … life …’

In the middle of life’s night

It is implemented with the financial support of the National Fund “Culture” under the program “Creative Scholarships” and in the open call of Arosita Stick Place for 2022.

1 “stream of tears” – Morning Prayer, verse 8.
2 „The entire night of modern life“ – Morning Prayer, verse 6.
3 winter – a supposed climatic condition resulting from a global nuclear war

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AROSITA Stick Place presents:
LOW COST FUTURE, Solo Show 15 Sep – 12 Nov 2021
Concept – Ivaylo Hristov (May-Sept, 2021)
An art project for the cost of words, the context and the investments in time and resources.
LOW COST FUTURE is a personal art experiment expressed by real and virtual text forms in a public and digital environment with almost no drawings. It is only a text consisting of harsh, polite, positive, ambiguous, colorful or black and white words – They are expensive and cheap at one and the same time, like the dreams are.
“Future” is a very popular word. We often say that nothing in this world happens by chance. Perhaps it is absolutely true, since the crisis made us all dwelling on the future so intensely.
It is true that many things that could worry us happen recently and rarely slight sparks of hope appear. It is similar to the sky above us that is black and white with some galaxies near, but still far away.
I believe.
But even so.
We are right to look for a salvation in our imagination and memories, while otherwise we would be trapped in nothing, looking for a great, bright, rich future.
The term “Future” today is just a bargaining chip, it is part of the wording of almost each company, of researchers, artists, even politicians; it circulates in almost each commercial. That is why its price steadily goes up. Supply and demand of future – it is the same like the futures and investments in stocks with a great hope for acquiring something better and more valuable, more secure and ensuring greater return in some future time.
Low Cost Flights – the symbol of the free and cheap traveling to wonderful destinations is strictly limited and nothing looks like before. It is only our imagination that leads us to other universes and other forms of life – again and again – as it used to be during thousands mini crises.
On the Earth.
LOW COST FUTURE is the logical sequel of my recent works. It is based on one sentence from the series LIGHTFLIGHT, 2018 – “Use the future wisely” – a hand-written text on watercolor paper, that was exhibited in Bulgaria and the USA. The current project is focused more on the “utilization” of the available resources, to name but a few – the time and the words.
It refers to the processes and changes that have been irreversibly set in motion and occur on the boundary between the real-physical plane and the real-digital plane of the world thanks to the same crisis that hits us from time to time.
The project does not try to find any connections between past and future events, nor any historical or futuristic parallels, a hitchhiker’s walks theories [Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams] or stories for ideal life.
LOW COST FUTURE poses the question about the price we are willing to pay (and that we already pay) for the bright “future” ahead.
It is a personal observation in the art field, an attempt to draw closer together the author-wording-creation-environment-public-action-investment-capital and to recur the cycle by adding a new piece of art created by utilization of the acquired capital.
No external or state financing was used for the implementation of this project, neither such was requested.
The project represents a personal activity specifically referring to our life during the last two years. In this sense it embodies the idea for increasing our freedom, direct contact, overcoming limits, need of equal access to the public, the market, opportunities, resources and information, openness and publicity.
The way the artists create their works of art matters, as well as the fact that they first invest in their own works.
The art has a very interesting dual life – it is free and sometimes independent, but it can also become a good financial instrument for investing into future.
In LOW COST FUTURE the works exist in two places simultaneously – on the street, Stick Place in front of Arosita Gallery in the physical environment and digitally – on the specifically created website TXT.FORSALE.
It is very similar to our common situation – nor it is exactly real, neither exactly virtual, which is probably the beauty of this time. And material things are only temporary, as it is in life. That is why the words on the site will continue their existence, even supplemented and changing.
For starters, the texts in both open spaces are almost equal. They fade in and out one after another at regular intervals and the time of their existence in the real and virtual environment differs. They seem interrelated, but are actually focused on different details, opposite meanings, times and insights.
Being formatted in a different way and with a different reading direction, the word formations on vinyl are made entirely in black print and vertically directed while those in the online environment are horizontal, colorful and dynamic.
If you could presume that the LIGHTFLIGHT is a project continuing in the time (since 2018) for a flying self-portrait and its leitmotif is our presence at millions kilometers far away from the Earth, which is a theoretical possibility referring to the technologies and quantum physics, than the present project focuses on activities more familiar to us – mostly things happening nowadays.
It is obvious that we feel desperate need of being together, but isn’t it at the cost of many other important things?
Where is this better place? Here or somewhere else? Is it on Earth or in outer space? For whom?
An artist is allowed to color a spacecraft but how many seats for artists are inside the spacecraft?
LOW COST FUTURE is an art experiment for the “future coin” in the open spaces and realities in which we live and it offers various possible choices for the future – by type, size, color and shape, static, dynamic, more expensive or cheaper, light or dark, for single or multiple users.
It is highly possible to download it for personal use, but if you decide to turn it into an investment in digital currency, you can easily find some selected samples in the Open Sea.
It is probably just one of the possible ways for financing a work of art.
There is not a thing as a perfect world, but we can create one in the way we like it.
Translator: Tsvetelina Aleksandrova

“Nothing really happens in vain.” – text on drawing, an emotional self-portrait from the long days of lockdown, 2019-2020. Created for T.A.G. 2020, unshown.
„The future will be bright. Too bright.” – Text on a painting, “The eye”, 400x160cm, LIGHTFLIGHT solo exhibition, UniCredit Studio.
*The thought was completed with “too bright” by Raul Zamudio, while talking about the future in New York, in Times Square, NY, October 2019.
Texts from the series:
“T.A.G.”, 2020


Ivaylo Hristov | AROSITA Gallery, 28/10 – 10/11/2020

Touch and go.
Asteroid. America. Arosita.
Ground surface and Celestial New Territories

Ivaylo Hristov opens his 9th solo show Touch-American-Ground – an exhibition for the travelling and stay at the same time in spaces extremely distant one from another – the Earth and the Outer Space.
It is about the space mission artistically reproduced by Ivaylo and his recent creative travelling to the other side of the planet.

The exhibition presents Ivaylo’s artistic works in the USA intermixed with scientific research on the origin of the precious metals, neutron stars and gravitational waves, near and far spaces and the future that happens to us now and everything of these is presented in the light of and in contrast to the extraordinary 2020.


Ivaylo Hristov explores multilayer interconnections, striving to convey the philosophic meaning of his artworks.  

This exhibition provokes interest by a wordplay embedded in its name borrowed from the culmination phase TAG (Touch-And-Go) of the 7-year NASA Mission to Bennu asteroid. It transfers its cosmic narrative to the current impossibility of realizing physical contact between people due to the global pandemic.

Asteroid and America

Ivaylo creates his artworks in the context of historical events and contemporary cosmic research especially such related to his place of residing – Santa Cruz, California in the autumn of 2019 as a participant in the CEC ArtsLink, NY residency programme.

There he created a new series of drawing and lighting objects dedicated to cosmic topics, human development and the new scientific achievements.

Ground surface and celestial territories

Ivaylo Hristov is consistent in his aspirations. “I love working on new artistic challenges”, he said.

Step by step: In 2016 Ivaylo won the award FutureFest Art Prize 2016: FutureWork in London for one of his lighting tools of the Lighting Tools series, with a concept for archaeology of the future.
He sent the same work to NASA for #WeTheExplorers in preparation of the current mission OSIRIS-REx to Bennu asteroid, adding as well other two very representative of his artworks – a self-portrait with red glow which won him the special award of the Union of Bulgarian Artists in the 3rd National Biennial of Drawing (2015) and one illuminated living object (a Yukka plant in RGB), that was presented on exhibitions in Varna and Mexico.
To celebrate the start of the mission, in 2018 he launches his project LIGHTFLIGHT (UniCredit Studio) with a series of illuminated objects, paintings and carbonaceous cosmic drawings and after that he made another important step as an artist by his participation in the selection of ArtsLink 2019.
During his residence in the USA and based on his work in the University of Santa Cruz and Open Lab, Digital Art Research Center, UCSC, he opens the exhibition „Searching for gold high and low“ – Open Studio. He refers to the California Gold Rush at the middle of the 19-th century (the largest mass migration in American history until then) and to the rapid development of the cosmic research by the technological centres in California nowadays.

As a guest artist, he presented his artworks in Thimann Lecture Hall, to the Division of Physical & Biological Sciences at the University.

One of his works created in California was presented immediately after that on an exhibition in New York. Other works he brought back to Bulgaria.

The T.A.G. exhibition tells us about the travels of Ivaylo near and far, about the asteroid and the stars. We will see his new series of drawings, lighting objects and painting, as well as a video that was shown during his stay in the USA. All of these are supported with references to the human way and future.

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ArtsLink International Fellowship 2019

CEC ArtsLink – Residencies Awardees 2019

Ivaylo Hristov: LIGHTFLIGHT project

Thiminn Lecture Hall 3, University of California Santa Cruz

October 22, 2019. OpenLab DARC, CEC ArtsLink 2019

Searching for gold high and low.

Work in progress exhibition. 

November 7th, 2019, OpenLab, Digital Art Research Center, DARC Light Lab Room, University of California Santa Cruz.

#CECArtsLink 2019

The Cure of Folly – International Project.

Galleria Contempo, Pergine Valsugana, Trento, (IT). Curator Raul Zamudio (USA), Dora Bulart (BG,IT).

12 Oct – 12 Nov 2019