Curator: Maria Vassileva
Participants: Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova, Luchezar
Boyadjiev, Daniela Kostova, Adelina Popnedeleva, Nina Kovacheva,
Alla Georgieva, Ida Daniel, Sylvia Lazarova, Boriana Dragoeva
Place: Bulart Gallery, city of Varna
Date: 8-20 August, 2002
The exhibition 'The Girls and the Sea' presented at the Bulart
Gallery is a part of the August in Art Festival, which is
held each year in the city of Varna. Our idea is connected
to the particular place and time - the peak of the tourist
season in the largest Bulgarian city along the Black Sea coast.
The principle of running the festival is interlinked with
its theme, which this year is 'Conflicts/Dialogues'.
All authors work in the same format (25x100 cm)
and their order of participating in the project is determined
by drawing lots. The work they create is based on knowing
the preceding work, which it either has to enter into a dialogue
with or contradict. The narrow and long format, placed at
eye level, creates the illusion of a line that has to be followed
or of a sentence that has to be 'read'. However, the dynamic
space of the gallery suggests that the process of 'reading'
can start from any point whatsoever and it can end just as
randomly. The works themselves demonstrate that a contemporary
tale has no beginning and no end nor even a coherent logical
structure. It meanders back and forth, comes back, jumps forward
and tries rather to confuse the viewer than help him in the
process of familiarization. Yet, the positive aspect is that
the tale gives the viewer numerous and various 'hooks' to
be caught on and thus to add his voice to the common story.
Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova offers the visitors to get
a tattoo with the image of each participant. Thus she plays
not only with the common tattoo fashion, but also treats ironically
the narcistic nature of the artist. Luchezar Boyadjiev (the
only male participant invited) jumps into a literal courting
of No 3 in the chain - Daniela Kostova. Naturally he uses
the notorious beach method - offering his temptingly disheveled
behind. He also does not fail to demonstrate his masculinity,
turning the preset format high. Daniela Kostova responds with
a straight row of colorful tampons in typical Benetton aesthetics.
Resembling a jovial cartridge-belt, they remind of those processes
in the female organism that sometimes turn into a defense
weapon. Adelina Popnedeleva perceives the female image on
the sea side as a poetic and quite harmless vanity fair that
floats on the waves. The work of Nina Kovacheva inevitably
raises the question 'What is she holding in her hand?' The
answer can vary from a fish to a male sex organ, but it is
in no way unambiguous. Alla Georgieva exposes the inmost desire
of every female human being - to see herself as a Miss, taking
up the role of Miss July from Playboy magazine that appeared
recently on the Bulgarian market. Ida Daniel (special guest)
adds the unexpected aspects of her poetry to the common voice.
Sylvia Lazarova tells a typical everyday-life story called
'Queen's Gambit' that usually gets clearly outlined close
to the sea waves and under the bright sunlight. And finally
(or why not in the beginning?) Boriana Dragoeva 'wades' deep
into female physiology, underlying the difference in a funny
pseudo-scientific way. M.V.