/// on a personal note ///
|People..., film, 2010, 54 min||Garden Stories, film, 2003, 55 min||Driving Dreams, film 2006, 52 min|
Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands into a Bulgarian-German family, I always understood my identity as being transnational. Over many generations, few of my family members were born in the same country and everyone cherished a multilingual environment where German, Bulgarian, French and Russian were spoken. I spend a large part of my schooldays in Spain, then at a boarding school at the North-sea coast of Germany while during the summer I would travel to Sierra Leone where my mother was living in her second marriage. After a very short attempt in civil engineering at the University of Aachen, I studied painting and sculpture at the Düsseldorf Art Academy obtaining my MFA 'Meisterschüler' degree. I subsequently moved to Paris where I trained as an actor.
In the past decades I have created work using different forms of artistic expression. I feel that this eclectic approach chose me rather than I chose it. Being profoundly marked by the multitude of impressions of my childhood, I was never interested in settling into, or belonging to a specific environment, let alone national identity. It might have been easier to remain consistent in my choice of artistic means, but over time I have come to see this inconstancy as an asset that always pushed me towards the periphery. The periphery became my philosophy. The position of the outsider is one that seems to require new responses every time. It is a place from where one can let oneself – to paraphrase Guy Debord – be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the encounters one finds there. From that vantage point questions arise. What are the cultural, psychological, contextual mechanisms that determine what we see and how we look? What lies beyond the surface of what we see? Over the years these questions have directly or indirectly fuelled my work and inspired me. As a child I started building things, airplanes, houses, cars, little improvised models of things that occupy the imagination of a child. I began to draw and paint, then I became a dancer, an actor, an editor, a filmmaker. All these could be seen as multiple identities but to me they are forms of experimentation or bricolage, as Lévy-Strauss would say. The outcome of bricolage is never completely stable. In fact, stability is not the aim. What is the aim is developing potentials for transformation.`