Publisher: Innocences Publishing, 2017
Graphic design: Jean-Marie Donat
Print-run: 300 copies
Size: 19.5 x 13.6 cm
Price: 30 EUR
Processing… explores the Mona Lisa as the most recognisable icon of modern culture, a product of mass consumption, and a place of worship which attracts millions of visitors. Over several years, Nikola Mihov has spent 138 hours in total in front of the Mona Lisa, mingling in the motley crowd coming from all over the world.
The series examines the connection between audience and artwork. The visitor becomes the central subject matter and the artwork a mere stage setting. Today, selfie is a binding protocol that generates stacks of photos. In these, the focus is no longer fixed on the object of observation, but rather on the subject taking the picture.
“The atmosphere reminds of a rock concert. La Gioconda ‘assumes’ the role of the star and the tourists are the fans who pack the hall. If you want to see her closely, you have to dive into the crowd in the hope that the wave of bodies will take you to the foremost place. The crowd is packed together –much to the delight of pickpockets–, it is difficult to breathe, duels are fought using selfie sticks, and the guards are ready to come to the aid of the fainting with excitement tourists”, shares the artist.
As an ironic gesture to the commercialisation of La Gioconda, Nikola Mihov deconstructs the photographs from the book into mementos and souvenirs – postcards, badges, mugs, towels, beach chairs and flip-flops. The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition My Lisa at Synthesis gallery in Sofia