"The idea is already exhausted, it is no longer good for anything (...). It's like silver paper. You can never make it smooth once it was wrinkled. "
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Remarques mêlées, 1931
The Devil’s Throat Cave
Devil’s Throat Cave is located in the Western Rhodopes (Bulgaria), 17 km from the city of Devin. It is
among those caves that do not offer dazzlingly exquisite rock formations. What entrances visitors is the possibility of embarking on a real journey of discovery, partaking of a mysterious and awe-inspiring underground kingdom. The cave’s entrance resembles a devil’s head, and down its throat rushes a massive waterfall that from ancient times has captivated imaginations and given birth to numerous legends. The most popular of these is that Orpheus descended down this orifice to the subterranean kingdom of Hades, to seek his lost love Eurydice.
The cave descends straight down without branching in either direction. The water from the Trigrad River falls from a height of 42 meters down the cave’ “throat”, making it the highest underground waterfall on the Balkan Peninsula. Because of the muffled roar of the waterfall, the cavern into which it falls is known as The Hall of Thunder. It is enormous – the second larges cavern in Bulgaria. Roughly 400 meters from the entrance the water disappears down a funnel. This funnel is more than 150 meters deep, and when it emerges from the funnel into another cavern about 60 meters long, the underground river exits the cave and flows out among the mountain peaks through another cave. It is an arresting fact that nothing carried into The Devil’s Mouth Cave by the river emerges from it. Many attempts have been made to track pieces of wood and other material through the cave, but they all vanish without a trace on the underground river, arousing curiosity and tantalizing the imagination.
Experiments performed with dyes have shown that it takes more than 1½ hours for the water to traverse the short distance from one opening to the next, fueling speculations about an extensive system of underground streams in the cave.
There are three carvings in the walls of the caves that are particularly noteworthy. The first is a likeness of a devil’s head located near the entrance to the cave, just before entering the Hall of Thunder. The second is the full figure of a man done in a Classical style, carved into the rock face of the Hall of Thunder. Approaching the exit, a small fountain is visible with a recessed altar that supports the figure of The Virgin. At her feet, visitors traditionnaly throw a coin and make a wish.
Rada Boukova and Jonathan Chauveau
Born in 1973 in Sofia (Bulgaria), Rada Boukova is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 2002. She realized numerous exhibitions in France and abroad. After "Me and a German girl" in 2011, "Un sage est sans idée” (A sage is without idea) is her second solo exhibition at Galerie Patricia Dorfmann, Paris.
Born in 1978 in Paris, Jonathan Chauveau is an art critic and curator. He is also associate editor of the French based international magazine of contemporary art and architecture FROG (www.frogmagazine.net).