Cultural Moussaka

Cultural Moussaka

Cultural Moussaka

Cultural Moussaka
video 9.45min., photos, 2 oil paintings, each 30x40, 2010

When you want to approach the cultural politics of different countires and to connect them to contemporary artistic practices, there are different ways to do so. Kamen Stoyanov uses in his video work „Cultural Moussaka“ the format of a TV cooking show in order to attract the spectators attention to the different aspects of the artistic work. The video he produced for the Aichi Triennale 2010 in Nagoya, treats different layers dealing in a subtile way with the cultural representation, cultural politics of Austria and Bulgaria and the figure of the artist in between.
Stoyanov shows us how to prepare Moussaka, a famous meal in Bulgaria, which is by chance the favourite meal of the Bulgarian sumo fighter Kootoshu, a big celebrity in Japan. There are different elements which Stoyanov uses in order to tell us the story about the failed attempt to be supported by the Bulgarian Embassy in Japan for his participation in the Triennale. At the first place this is the story itself: the embassy lacking money, proposed to send the embassy chef to cook for the opening of the exhibition, but soon, also this idea failed as the chef had been dismissed from work, due to lack of money. So the Bulgarian embassy missed the opportunity to represent the country also on the culinaric level. As a compensation Stoyanov made a trip to Bulgaria, met the mother of Kootoshu and took the recipe for the famous Moussaka. An artist takes the role of the chef in front of the camera in order to tell us in between how the cultural politics in his country of origin functions, but also tell us that an artist always relies on himself. The art of cooking and the
sports are very important part of the Bulgarian culture of everyday life, so big, that these became the main export cultural products of the country, where even the traditional Bulgarian yoghurt is named „Cultura“ as we see in Stoyanov‘s Cooking Show and the most important figure is the one of the Bulgarian fi ghter.