The theme of the exhibition “Urban Mythology” arose as a natural response to the possibility of pairing the alternative artistic worlds of young artists from Plovdiv and Timisoara. It provided an opportunity to closely examine the urban environment and the narratives that “swirl” within it as a stimulus for creative inspiration.

Mythology brings to life “psyche” – the Greek term for soul. It is a mediator from the private to the general perception of the world and its manifestations. In this way, myths describe unconscious processes at the individual and societal levels, creating coherent cores of meaning. They connect our inner and outer worlds, through personification, moving us from the conceptual to the experiential.

With their metaphorical meaning, myths are like invisible influences that both shape us and recreate the cyclicality and transience of existence. Myths are an internal chronicle of what we are and can be. They offer intimate or universal truths that are best understood when they are framed in stories, or in our case – in ‘visual narratives’.

The works shown in the “Urban Mythology” exhibition open up new fields for us to interpret categories from our own life experience such as space-time, identity – collective, real – illusory, urban – natural, organic – inorganic, transience – static, etc. All the topics covered in the exhibition are outlined in the context of the urban. The modern urban topos provides an opportunity to study various historical, political, social and personal phenomena. Each city contains and gives life to a complex system of narratives, legends and stories that reflect the structures of the collective unconscious through archetypal images or emblematic mythologemes.

These issues are affected directly or indirectly in the wide range of meanings proposed by the painters in their artistic works. They provoke many questions in us. Can modern life illuminate new horizons through the urban stories it tells? What is the modern mythology of the urban? What picture of the world and its problems can be created through art? What does modernity look like and how do we participate in it?

Beyond the formulation of a certain thesis, the exhibition composes and visually illustrates a puzzle of various artistic observations on the phenomena of urban mythology.

Kalina Peycheva