Лого на Софийска Градска Художествена Галерия
Анимация по време на зареждане

MEETING POINT Borjana Ventzislavova. It Was Always Dark Outside

31 May 2006 - 02 July 2006


"It Was Always Dark Outside" - a project which presents a social problem through the means of art - a project about women who have become victims of human traffic from East Europe - a global industry based on human bodies -a theme neglected for a long time by the official authorities in our country -without a real or at least an adequate reaction from the society - on the contrary - rather a conflict with the stereotypes of (post-)patriarchic way of thinking - woman as a scapegoat of her own... light-mindedness?

Why is such a project to be presented in Bulgaria - just because a lot of the victims come from here but it is quite less known about them in their native country - whereas the region has become popular with that kind of commodity in west Europe where the project itself has been created.

The idea originating as a diploma work by Borjana Ventzislavova at the university of applied arts, Vienna - the author initiates a research which results as a multimedia installation - the conversations, meetings and affiliation with the women distressed provoke a number of interviews, photographies and video representing the real life - the one which goes on behind fresh make up, velvet curtains, red lanterns...

Jana Kostova
Curator of the project

Tristan Jeanne-Vals. Phnix

25 May 2006 - 02 July 2006


In October 2000 the myth of the Phoenix, loaded with the cultural diversity of different epochs and being a solar symbol, an emblem of resurrection and a synonym of transformation, became the subject of a three day discussion conference at the University of Caen, Lower Normandy. The building itself, having been destroyed during the bomb raids over the town in 1944, was reconstructed and officially opened in 1957 with a bronze sculpture representing the legendary bird. Willing to elaborate on the topic, the Regional Council of Lower Normandy asked Tristan Jeanne Vales to give it visual interpretation. The author presented his idea of transformation and the eternal rebirth and revival of spirit and matter in 32 large-scale black-and-white photographs, which are the subject of the current exhibition.
Grouped in four cycles, the works touch upon the idea of the Phoenix as a conversation with time, a communication with the subtle yet powerful movements of nature and an intricate game between the transient and the eternal.

The Traces and Time series, shot mainly in Iceland and Normandy, represent a poetic “listening to” the natural forms. Fascinated by the water and stone playing and the moving forms of clouds and ice, the photographer conveys the feeling of flooding foaming nature which is constantly revitalizing. Counterpoint to the above, the Oxymoron and Take Off series lead to an anthropomorphic interpretation of the universe. In the first one, which was co-authored by Izabelle Le Guern, Tristan Jeanne-Vales interweaves some personal symbols to achieve an exciting male-female diffusion, a unity of incompatibilities and a harmony of oppositions. In the Take Off series the author pays tribute to the flaming bird through the gracious body of the dancer Blanca Lee looking for ritual in movement which brings him to the idea of flying.

The exhibition of Tristan Jeanne-Vales is part of the events held concurrently with the Bulgaria – a Land of Europe festival in France. From May 2nd to June 9th, more than thirty towns in Normandy and Paris itself will be the venue of dozens of exhibitions, concerts, literary readings and theatrical workshops aiming at presenting Bulgarian contemporary culture to the French audience. 

The events to take place in Sofia are organized by the Balkan Transit association, the French Association for Artistic Activities and the Regional Council of Lower Normandy with the substantial support of the French Cultural Institute in Sofia.

Tristan Jeanne-Vales was born in 1954. He has been working as a photographer since 1978. Photographer of the National Centre for Dramatic Arts in Normandy since 1980. His photographs on modern dancing can be seen in most books on that topic and are often published in the French and international press. He is an active contributor to a lot of printed press editions, mostly La Liberasion and Le Monde. For some years now the subject of his photographs has been the traditional folk music of different European countries and since 2003 – the music on the Balkans.

Nicolas Manev Painting

11 May 2006 - 03 June 2006


Nikola Manev is one of the Bulgarian artists whose work is associated with one of the greatest European cultural meccas. Born in the town of Chirpan (August 28th, 1940) and a graduate from the Art School in Sofia, he began his artistic training at Academie des Beaux Arts in Paris in 1962, where he graduated in painting under Professor Maurice Brianchon. An early recognition of his talent came as he won first prize at the Chenavard Art Competition. His life became an inseparable element of the rhythm of the European cultural stage. In 1981 he became a member of the Managerial Board of Autumn Salon, Paris. He was living and working at his studio in Ile Saint- Louis which became his refuge after all his adventurous journeys around the world (Arizona, Colorado, Tunisia, Geneva, London, Düsseldorf, Taiti, Frankfurt etc.). He has to his record more than 2500 works, most of which are in private or state-owned collections and in the museums of more than 25 countries.

His painting can hardly be defined in a simple way or described in strict terms. It is a fantasy, a fairy tale come from ancient times, deeply associative and multilayered like the time we are living in. Manev’s canvasses are charged with the hypnotic magnetism of the weird earth formations of Bulgarian nature ( the Thracian Plain, the town of Melnik, the Rocks of Belogradchik) and the exquisite colour of “impressionistic” Paris. In the course of years he has created a plastic language of his own which shows an author’s interpretation of the abstract and the figurative in painting. He has created compositions which destroy form only to compose it again by means of light reflections affecting with the power of the subconscious. 

Nikola Manev embodies the personality of the cosmopolitan artist whose belonging to both the Bulgarian and the French culture manages to convince us that we are all members of the big family of the European cultural history. 

The current exhibition at Sofia Art Gallery comprises more than 50 works from different periods, some of them shown for the first time.

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