Order & Decay

Venislav Petrov solo exhibition, The Galleries, Bristol 2014

“Every time I go back to Bulgaria... I feel like a foreigner - I am noticing a lot of things that I didn’t pay attention to when I lived there and now they annoy me. England has totally changed the way I think and I disapprove a lot with the way things are happening in Bulgaria. ” Alldaybreakfast is proud to present, Venislav Petrov’s, first solo exhibition Order & Decay. The installation is a visually striking journey, portraying a dichotomy between Bulgaria and Britain. His dramatic and graphic photographs portray the unfortunate decay that haunts his native Bulgaria. The country was in its economical peak during the 1960’s to 70s and most of the towns were highly industrialised. But when the Communist regime fell in 1989, a huge amount of the production was cut due to the decrease in the subsidiaries from the Soviet Union. Many factories were privatised and left abandoned with an unclear fate. Venislav is fascinated by the scale of those concrete structures as well as the environment they were built in. “... all of my grandparents have worked in factories, at different levels - labourers, managing directors etc.. Therefore, [if the Communist regime continued].. onto my parents I might’ve been involved with it as well. It was considered a prestigious place to work at and people working in factories at that time were highly respected.” In few of the pictures, Venislav poses proudly in front of the decaying buildings in Bulgaria. “I’m really touched by how those buildings are left in the middle of nowhere and no one cares about it. In England, people are redeveloping abandoned factories into housing, while retaining their historical characteristics. I would like Bulgaria to do the same... because the structures were beautifully built and the government should give more care about the country’s industrial heritage.” When the photographer first moved to England, in 2008, he was stunned by the way housing estates in suburban areas were built: endless rows of houses looking all the same, each house with a drive, grass looking always fresh and the Order everywhere, an infrastructure that beloved Bulgaria fails to offer. “... [in England] I love how a road has the same style of houses throughout. In comparison, neighbourhoods in Bulgaria will be a combination of flats, houses - it’s a chaos...” “... I am in a way comparing the two countries’ economy and prosperity.”