Eva Nikolova
Untitled XVIUntitled XVIUntitled IVUntitled IVUntitled XIXUntitled XIXUntitled IUntitled IUntitled VIUntitled VIUntitled IIUntitled IIUntitled XIIUntitled XIIUntitled VIIIUntitled VIIIUntitled XVIIIUntitled XVIIIUntitled XUntitled XUntitled IXUntitled IXUntitled XIVUntitled XIVUntitled XIUntitled XIUntitled XIIIUntitled XIIIUntitled VUntitled VUntitled IIIUntitled III
21 Fragments of Yesterday and Tomorrow
The works in this series are created through extensive experimentation with two obscure 19th century processes: cliché-verre and bleach-etch (also known as mordançage or gelatin relief).

Each image began its life as a black and white drawing on paper from memory/ imagination, which was contact printed under the enlarger onto gelatin silver paper and developed with standard darkroom chemistry, resulting in a cliché-verre print.

Later, in a precarious process, where creation takes place on the edge of destruction, the clichés-verres were bleach-etched until the image disappeared and the emulsion with its metallic silver began to lift off. The fragile emulsion was in places rubbed away, and in others painstakingly rearranged with a needle, while the prints were selectively redeveloped through a method that, owing more to painting and alchemy than to photography, resurrected chosen parts of the vanished picture, imparting color to the black and white prints solely through chemical interactions.

The gelatin-silver emulsion, equally a site of creation and dissolution, became the embodiment of the themes of the work – the nature of transformation and the interchangeability of construction and destruction within the unstable and fragmentary edifice of memory itself.