In the Mirror, Dimly
20 February 2018 - 11 March 2018
Drawings on thermal rescue blankets, video art and the first mixed reality installation in Bulgaria are merged into one in Theodore Ushev’s most recent visual design project, In the mirror, dimly.
The project challenges the viewers to search for the hidden message, the meaning beyond the visible, the alternative point of view. It addresses the concept of individual and social fear and hypocrisy, of salvation and annihilation as individual and social acts.
The project features the first immersive installation to be put up in Bulgaria, which will introduce viewers to one of the most innovative and attractive trends in visual art with the help of a special helmet and goggles. They let the viewers into an alternative environment through optical illusion creating the impression that viewers are part of the action they see through the goggles.
Ushev has used mixed reality experimental technology in one of his modules. Mixed reality technology uses digital 3D pictures and images in a way that mixes them with the viewer’s surroundings. This results in an interactive experience of mixing the real and the virtual world where physical and digital objects co-exist and interact in real time.
Besides the mixed reality video, Theodore Ushev will also create a film within the framework of the project In the mirror, dimly, which may be seen at the gallery, as well as an exhibition of the objects with the images they were created from.
Exploring the themes of vanity, deception, and salvation as a personal and social act, the artist ‘labels’ his drawings using hidden messages made visible exclusively through ultraviolet light. Using periphrases of and references to the books of Ecclesiastes and Corinthians, In the mirror, dimly contemplates the meaning and meaninglessness of life beyond the visible.
The artist has applied innovative technology specially developed for the installation by the Danish studio NVRMIND. The installation features sound bites by Angela Merkel, Boyko Borisov, Vladimir Putin, Volen Siderov, Donald Trump, Cornelia Ninova.
In the mirror, dimly is the first big solo project developed by Ushev in our country outside cinematography. Commissioned by governmental and private organizations, the artist has realized similar initiatives, exhibitions and installations in various venues around the world, including the Barbican in London /England/, the Museum of Civilization in Quebec /Canada/, Centraal Museum, Utrecht /the Netherlands/, Ljubljana /Slovenia/, Tokyo /Japan/, San Francisco /USA/, Annecy /France/, etc.
The project In the mirror, dimly was granted funding under the Culture Program of the Capital City Municipal Council, which worked in partnership with the Sofia City Art Gallery and the National Film Board of Canada. The exhibition was organized by the Moments Foundation and Kids House.
Producer and organizer: Desislava Bineva
Curator: Adelina Fileva
Luchezar Boyadjiev. Sic Transit Media Mundi (The Present is Too Short and Rather Tight)
14 February 2018 - 11 March 2018
Luchezar Boyadjiev is among the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian artists. A founding member of the Institute of Contemporary Art in Sofia and an author with an extensive international practice, Boyadjiev is a public figure with a particularly significant critical stance in the Bulgarian art scene. As an artist, curator, lecturer, he contributes to the establishing of new definitions and art practices in the country.
This exhibition is his first retrospective in Bulgaria, which shows his experience of over 20 years of creative practice. It features works from the early 1990s until the present day, among them author's replicas and reconstructions of essential and rarely exhibited works. On display will be some of the artist's earliest works created in the chaotic times of euphoria and hopes for change immediately following the 1989 events. They have been exhibited primarily outside the country, and have been included in international historical exhibitions such as "Beyond Belief: Contemporary Art from East Central Europe", 1995, “After the Wall: Art and Culture in Post-Communist Europe”, 1999, “Blood & Honey / Future’s in the Balkans”, 2003, and many more.
Over the years, the artist has participated in biennials, group exhibitions and conferences spanning from Sao Paulo to Santa Fe and Gwangju as well as almost everywhere in Europe. His works are part of many museum collections worldwide, the largest part of them in Bulgaria being owned by the Sofia City Art Gallery in its collection of contemporary art.
Luchezar Boyadjiev’s entire creative work represents an accurate, richly humourous, knowledgeable and critical visual study of the present. It reveals his extensive knowledge of the Bulgarian and international history of art as well as of the current problems of modernity. His works are related to the reorganization of social, ideological and religious power hierarchies, with the shift in values and a study of the relationships between personal and public space, global and local territories, with the search for the points of intersection of capitalism and democracy, consumerism and the new lifestyle patterns. The artist is interested in the issues of the memory and the past that defines the profile of various locations and circumstances, but also in possible projections into the future. His works bring the two vectors together to shape the identity of the present.
The curators of the exhibition are Iara Boubnova, Maria Vassileva, Vladiya Mihaylova and Daniela Radeva. It is organized with the support of “Culture” Program of the Sofia Municipality, ICA-Sofia, Edmond Demirdjian Foundation, Open Arts Foundation, FAC Design, MUSIZ Foundation, Dana and Georgi Voinov, Gaudenz B. Ruf, Kontakt Collection-Vienna, Collection Hohenthal und Bergen-Berlin, and Collection Rene Block-Berlin.
01 February 2018 - 04 February 2018
Svetozara Aleksandrova, Rada Boukova, Albena Baeva, Iskra Blagoeva, Ani Vaseva, Stela Vasileva, Borjana Ventzislavova, Vitto Valentinov, Leda Vaneva, Voin de Voin, Vasilena Gankovska, Stanimir Genov, Zoran Georgiev, Ivo Dimchev, Stoyan Dechev, Leda Ekimova, Yasen Zgurovski, Stefan Ivanov, Vikenti Komitski, Daniela Kostova, Lazar Lyutakov, Lubri, Miná Minov, Mihail Novakov, Bora Petkova, Svetlana Mircheva, Martin Penev, Boris Pramatarov, Kamen Stoyanov, Simeon Simeonov, Dimitar Solakov, Radostin Sedevchev, Anton Terziev, Kalina Terzieva, Anton Tsanev.
In December 2003, the Meeting Point Program for young artists and curators began at the Sofia City Art Gallery. For the first time in the recent history of our country, a museum institution brought to the focus of attention artists who were starting their careers, and provided them with a chance to show their works and projects. The purpose of the program was to “introduce” them to the museum and secure a professional environment to help them develop practical skills for presenting and communicating their art.
In 2007, the Meeting Point Program evolved into a platform for contemporary art and young artists and became part of the exhibition program of the Vaska Emanouilova Gallery - the newly- opened branch of the Sofia City Art Gallery in Zaimov Park. Along with that, a program for contemporary sculpture was developed, which presented current and experimental approaches to the art of sculpture alongside the exhibition of works by Vaska Emanouilova contained in the collection of the gallery. Through the period of ten years until 2017, the two programs for contemporary art presented more than 60 artists, and over 120 artists participated in the various projects and initiatives implemented by the gallery. We can therefore talk about a generation/generations of artists who, through their work, alter the cultural situation in the country and contribute to the development of art history in Bulgaria.
Over the years, the programs have established different forms of cooperation with other organizations, institutions and art spaces. The most sustainable partnership between 2013 and 2015 was with Société Générale Expressbank, when for the first time in Bulgaria a bank bought works of art for the collection of a museum institution, the Sofia City Art Gallery. The contemporary art collection of the gallery was enhanced by more than 23 art works.
The curator’s project Shifting Layers. Young Art at the Museum originates from the understanding that this is an incomplete, fragmented generation of artists in the newest history of art and in the memory of the museum institution itself. It is a generation that emerged in the times of the “friendship diaries” and keeps going in the era of Facebook and social networks. Unlike the monolithic generation of the 1980s, united by its aesthetic culture and practices in the organized institutional artistic life, and unlike the generation of the 1990s that made the transition, in form and of values, to contemporary art and the West, the “young art” in the exhibition shows the versatile interests and working methods of artists residing in different parts of the world, travelling, and ever changing their horizons.
The exhibition concerns the themes of personal revolutions, new images and mythologies, of the artists’ attitudes toward and work with images in the internet era, of the boundaries between reality and imagination, of the documents and the different view of the city as a global space of forms, policies and routes of all kinds of people and narratives. It shows works dealing with the issues of memory and the present-day role and significance of the museum institution itself. The exhibition features works by 35 artists. It will be accompanied by a catalogue presenting these and another 33 artists and an overview of the development of the programs through the years. A large number of the displayed works of art constitute part of the contemporary art and photography collection of the Sofia City Art Gallery.
The project is realized with the support of the PROTOTYPE Platform of Société Générale Expressbank supporting projects on innovations, design thinking, culture and art, and of the Culture Program of Sofia Municipality.
Curator: Vladiya Mihaylova