The dark dreams of Martin Karachorov tell the fragility of existence. Between love and absence, identity and collective history, his images depict a beautiful and disturbing world, just like the feelings all of which we live.
If the photographs of Martin Karachorov are touching, it is partly because they express a melancholy far from despair. Inhabited by a particular sadness, his images are a look at the events of life... of men and women... of people. They are a fact of the delicate magic of the moment. Past, present and future.
There is no wonder then that his passion for photography was born from a love story. « I bought my first camera 3 years ago. Just after, i met my wife who at that time was a photography student in a university. We began developing our skills together, teaching each other, sharing ideas, viewpoints, critiques ». Additionally, she is his preferred model and a main source of inspiration. Together they cross Bulgaria, their country, in search of traces of a bygone era. Of a past that has great difficulty in healing.
Kept under Ottoman rule for several centuries, the Bulgarian lands had to undergo the passage of numerous oppressions. The latest is that of the communists.
It is in the decrepit buildings of this era that Martin Karatchov and his wife explore the memory which, has been frozen in time. « We visit mostly abandoned farms, factories, warehouses, hospitals, military units. Once, we even found an abandoned zoo. In these places, the spirit of the past epoch has remained intact. It reminds us that we can never make these mistakes again.».
They also inspire a reflection on the inconsistency of life, on its futility.
Photographing the remains is to highlight the transformation of the lives in debris, in waste, to give attention to things that have no future. What lived is not any more and did not leave much more than broken glass and fragmented cement.
The black and white adds to the mysticism and creates an existence, if only for a while,for the ghosts of those who once were. "Those people have lived, worked, and loved in these houses. Now all that is left here is only rubbish. It reminds me how transitional we are, which scares me. And it seems that the rubbish is constant which is more frightening. »
There is thus a disappearance of lives as well as of a culture and a way of life. "Now in a lot of villages no babies have been born for decades. Young people move to the cities so the villages are almost empty. Only Rhodopes, the most beautiful of the Bulgarian mountains, preserves traditional life but sooner or later they will also be populated with empty houses. ».
If death seems pervasive in the work of Martin Karachorov's wor, he does not abandon life and its various facets. Human being are at the heart of his thoughts. Present or absent, it is human existence and its' possiblities which are at the source of his inspiration. Lost amid the elements of nature, the mist and the vegetation, man looks for his place. In the middle of the time for which it is nothing, man seeks his place. Surrounded by the crowd, drowned in a sum of unfamiliar faces, man seeks his place.
Photography and its subject matter did not bring an answer. It freezes the course of time and the movements of meaning. It serves to illustrate the reflection in him by offering poetic beauty. What it constitutes reminds us of the physical reality of what things are. As the light plays on the chemical elements and modifies them, we submit ourselves to the materialism of what we are. « Texture is the soul of a photo. A photo with ignored substance is plain and empty. This is the general impression that complements the idea of a complete story. »