Where: City center of Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
The flag belongs to politics, and the real importance belongs to traditions and culture, to what people share and not what they struggle.
In "Melting Borders", Riccardo Matlakas walks with a specially made installation on his head, holding a number of ice cream cones on a purposely made helmet piece. Each ice cream cone represents the colors of the selected country's flags. While walking, the ice cream is melting on his white shirt leaving colorful traces like an abstract painting.
With this action, the artist wants to symbolically melt the borders away, leaving only the sweetness and beauty of humanity. The first "Melting Borders" performance happened in Armenia, and by performing it, he wanted to highlight the essence and beauty of Armenian culture. The shirt is what remains of the action - a new flag, which is "politics free", an abstract flag, the "Sweet Flag".
Through the years, "Melting Borders" was repeated in other countries, speaking loudly about the different types of problems between the selected countries represented in the ice cream cones by their flag colors.
In Bulgaria, "Melting Borders" will address the so-called “Macedonian question” and will invite all people to melt the borders, put their common traditions and culture first, and be people before all. The flags to be melted are the Bulgarian, Greek, Macedonian, and European Union ones. This abstract new flag, which the white shirt turns into after each performance by merging the flags of individual countries into one, is a kind of invitation to humanity to reconsider the way of life in which we live on Earth.
"Riccardo Matlkas in Bulgaria" is a series of events hosted by Visionary in 2022 as a part of the Visionary artistic program 2022, organized with the financial support of the National Cultural Fund and in partnership with the Italian Cultural Institute in Sofia.
Photos: Mihaela Draganova