Atanas Petrov Foundation (APF) was established at the former Medical Museum on the grounds of the University Hospital Georgi Stranski, Pleven, Bulgaria, in Autumn 2014. It is a loose artist collective that has been working on-site, creating interventions, leaving traces of works, objects and installations, which are adding to the modernist museum building and its surrounding sculpture park. It was only in 2016 that the architect of the museum, Atanas Petrov, an initially unidentified figure, came to know of the museums re-existence. APF visited his hometown of Gorsko-Kosovo, and more details of the architects life and building activity became known.
The Foundation centres on the formulation of knowledge and artistic practice, creating a body of work with an unspecified character, defining multiple positions beyond past ideologies and incorporates the sense of legitimate decentered 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.