Atanas Petrov Foundation (APF), based in Vienna, Austria, was first established at the former Medical Museum on the grounds of the University Hospital Georgi Stranski, Pleven, Bulgaria, in Autumn 2014.
Since it’s inauguration the foundation has been continuously adding to it’s collection at the modernist museum and its surrounding sculpture park. Originally conceived as a loose artist collective, the foundation has extended its basis from the site-specific Medical Museum, becoming a trans-disciplinary art practice with an extended theoretical and physical basis.
The foundation was initiated without first-hand knowledge of the Architect of the museum – Atanas Petrov. This manifestation of character regardless of identity, enacted through activities of the foundation, allows for speculation as to how to influence concepts of artistic practice.
In 2016, the architect of the museum, Atanas Petrov, visited the artist collective on site for the first time in 30years, after he came to understand of the museums re-existence.
The Foundation defines multiple positions beyond past ideologies and incorporates a sense of legitimate de-centered subjects. In order to construct an identity of many forms, a multi faceted characterisation which constitutes the work of many artists, ambiguously arranging and rearranging the subject; the dividual constructed self is recognised as the dialectic interplay between local and global.
Through recuperation of the medical museum, APF enhances possible benefits to patients and visitors of the medical institution, but also describes how artistic practice can provide a service in the function of care, and how this can in turn inform artistic practice. APF questions how the role of the artist as service provider can be informed through consultation with the institution for the benefit of the patient/visitor.
APF aims to open the space for patients, visitors and medical institution staff to engage with, providing a facility of care only a short distance from the surgical theatres, examination rooms and wards of the medical institution. Recuperation can be taken as recuperation of the medical museum and care of its histories and futures, care as a service to the patient, care within the institution, care of the museum park and its environment; It is not the intention to envisage all factors as equal, but that all are present in the same specificity (site) and shall continue to have possible futures if we care for them properly.
APF differentiates modes of agency by providing a service within the context of the other institution, acting as a parasitic form of institutionality, motivated by the care and recuperation of individuals, technical or other.
APF’s modes of existence, starting with the medical museum, has the intention to continue to resolve the foundation in other forms of existence, and will look for avenues, spaces and patterns to continue to disturb and redefine.