Йордан Йорданов – Юри

(1940 – 2009)

Йордан Йорданов е роден в София на 28.06.1940 г. и умира там на 1.09.2009 г. Завършва гимназия, а по-късно и средно специално училище по полиграфия и фотография в родния си град. По-важните му изложби, отличия и участия са: Златен медал, получен в гр. Мюнстер през 1970 г., Златен медал от Биеналето на българската фотография в София през 1983 г. и Голямата награда на това Биенале през 1987 г. Самостоятелни изложби в Благоевград през 1980 г.; в Мюнхен, Галерия “Занго”, 1988 г.; в Токио, Галерия “Шадаи”, 1989 г.; както и на ФОТОФЕСТ, Хюстън, 1990 г. Представяне на поредицата “Български затвори” в галерия “Макта”, София, 1996 г. Самостоятелни изложби във Варна през 1997 г., в Пловдив и в Цюрих през 2000 г. Авторска изложба “L’envers et l’endroit” (“Лице и опако”) във Френския културен институт в София, 1998 г. Изпълнение на фотографски проекти, финансирани от швейцарската фондация “PRO HELVETIA” – “Български затвори” (1994), “Албания днес” (1995) и “Монголия” (1998), довели до три специални документални поредици.  Финалист на “Mother Jones”, Международния фонд за документална фотография, Сан Франциско, 1995 г.; както и в ABV Competition: “Какво е знание?”, Цюрих, 2000 г. Награда за социална фотография на KODAK Competition, НДК, София, 2001 г., и други. Фотографии на Йордан Йорданов – Юри са представени в колекциите на фотографския отдел на Парижката национална библиотека, Галерия “Занго” в Мюнхен, Института по политехника в Токио, Елисейския музей в Лозана, Музея за изящни изкуства в Хюстън, Националната художествена галерия в София и в частни колекции.

ALBANIA THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY
by Yordan “Yuri” Yordanov
I visited Albania for the first time in 1994. This was made possible through a grant from the Swiss Foundation “Pro Helvetia”.
Prior to my arrival, I had been able to get only very scant information on the country and its people. Thus I knew I had to be very circumspect in approaching people and that I had to “learn on the job”. A photographer studies in his work nature and human behaviour and has to develop qualities similar to those of a painter and a psychologist. One cannot hope for limitless opportunities and abundant time… My resources were not limitless, nor did I harbour hopes to see an UFO… Deep in my mind this country had always been like one “big hijab” I found out that Albania had managed to preserve to a great extent its traditional way of life. My intuition and professional “scent sense” were drawing me to the mountains, to the simple village life.
Photography is rooted in the specific and factual; it is unable to be larger than life, but is able to sort out the significant and the insignificant. Walking about 12 hours a day, I met people who impressed me with their hospitality, high spirits and iron will in dealing with a constant daily struggle for survival. I saw women in these mountain regions who carried with dignity the unbearable burden of being mothers, wives, homemakers and field workers all at once.
In my Albania series I have paid special attention to photographing work. Work is the bloodstream of human presence, it defines and shapes that presence. I approached it in an open and simple manner, without any fancy coverings or embellishments.
It is clear from my Albanian series that I strongly prefer the traditional documentary approach where I don’t create characters and places but just discover them. The image asserts itself; it needs no “crutches”. Photography is abundantly rich with the vast and deep symbolism contained sometimes in a simple gesture. That gives it the power to transform a two dimensional flat space into a multidimensional world.
Sofia, March 2008

BULGARIAN PRISONS
by Yordan “Yuri” Yordanov
I was able to complete the project “Bulgarian Prisons” with financial support from the Swiss foundation “Pro Helvetia”. I began photographing in the spring of 1994. The first institution I visited was Sofia Central Prison. I was the first photographer in Bulgaria after communism’s downfall given the chance to photograph the incarcerated. What I saw was incredible. After Sofia Central Prison I travelled to Belene, a prison that had been a concentration camp during communist times. I also visited and photographed the prisons in Razdelna (near Varna), Bobov Dol, Kremikovtzi and the female prison in Sliven where I was astounded by the level of cooperation and good will I was offered by the inmates. These were closed
spaces for open souls, places where only seemingly nothing ever happened. I don’t regret it.
Sofia, March 2008

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