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:: MIRROR, MIRROR... ::

Exhibition of the "8th March" group and friends

Within the framework of "New tonalities of the image - current ideas, media, institutions", Art Gallery in the town of Rouse, March 22 - 31 (during the 40th edition of the "March Music Days" International festival)

Curator: Maria Vassileva

Participants: Adelina Popnedeleva, Alla Georgieva, Boriana Dragoeva, Daniela Sergieva, Elena Panayotova, Monika Romenska, Nadezhda Oleg Liahova, Nadia Genova, Silvia Lazarova, Tanja Abadjieva.

Idea: The title of the exhibition "Mirror, mirror..." was used to imply ironic connotations. It makes a direct reference to the stereotype perception of women as capricious and superficial. Without denying their vanity, the authors look at their own image and make the visitor see it - look deeper, beyond the flashy and transient value of the reflection in the mirror. Women produce their own images. They explore, analyse, or just hint that was is visible on the surface is not all there is to it. With their innate sensitivity and ability to use self-irony, the artists look at themselves or the viewer willing to make the dialogue more open and equally based. In this case, narcissism has a positive effect. It summarises the process of the self-identity search, veiled in prejudices and norms. Historically, women have always been regarded as the "minor" sex, as the object of male desires. It is not a chance coincidence that many contemporary women-artist independently choose the woman as the subject of their work. Thus, making her presence and experience legal, they add their voice in support of harmonious relations.

Works: The exhibition's general flavour is autobiographic. It comprises of photos, photo-installations, posters and objects. In "Meet the wife of ... " Adelina Popnedeleva explores for herself the effects of the adopted stereotype to introduce her as the wife of a famous artist on different social occasions. She visualises her thoughts by juxtaposition between personal photos from "the family album" (which are indifferent to the issue of inequality between sexes) and "meaningless propagations" (her hallmark), casting a shadow on the trouble free photo-idyll and implying the thought of the difference between reality and social reaction. Alla Georgieva exhibits "Six portraits" (pictures of bare women torsos) in which she contemplates over the stereotypes of perception. Her other work, entitled "Dolce Vita" (this is not her installation, with the same name, shown at the "Appropriation" exhibition) is an action where she treats the attending public to candies, packed in covers bearing the printed faces of the members of the group. Differently tasting expensive candies (their contents is indicated on the box), as well as ordinary candies are all wrapped in the same wrappers. Emphasising the difference in uniformity and vice-versa, Alla Georgieva comments on the nature of the woman and, perfectly naturally, the action ends with the process of self-devouring. Monika Romenska exhibits part of her installation entitled "Day time beauties" (from her one-woman show, held in the ATA centre of contemporary art this year) where her own image disintegrates into, but is also built of narrow strips. To see The Other one, to recognise The Other one is of interest to Elena Panayotova in her work "Don't look back in anger" - enlarged black-and-white prints of human eyes, under which line the mirrored reflections of words expressing different states. Nadejda Oleg Liahova's "Do you think that ... ?" is a large coloured poster, showing her action in the town of Sozopol, where she is sitting at a table with the local background behind her and plates containing ice-cream castings of her face are lined in front of her (later "sacrificed" and eaten by the public). She also exhibits a notebook, in which a famous picture of Renoir is glued and invites visitors to write into the notebook if they see any similarities between the two images. In this case word goes about the overlapping of a number of layers, "mirror" images - of the author relative to her personality, of her artistic work relative to a classic piece of art, of the visitor comparing one work to the other. Boriana Dragoeva takes part with her popular work entitled "Clone", while Silvia Lazarova exhibits the equally popular poster "Appropriation for me". Tania Abadjieva creates "My window/Your window". When the viewers roll up the blind hanging on the wall of the gallery, they face their own images as a symbol of the real window to the world. With her typical, gentle and thorough manner, Nadia Genova offers the visitors the opportunity to read, holding a mirror in their hand, a reversely written text, which invites them to commit a ritual act in order to find themselves. In "One" Daniela Sergieva explicitly illustrates the negative/positive idea (in every sense of the notion) by means of a diptych, consisting of a white canvas with buttons on it and another one with buttonholes.

Adelina Popnedeleva
Meet the Wife of..., installation

Alla Georgieva
Six Portraits; Dolce Vita,
black-and-white photos, object

Boriana Dragoeva
Cloning, black-and-white photos

Daniela Sergieva
One, canvas

Elena Panayotova
Don't Look Back in Anger, photoinstallation

Monika Romenska
Day Time Beauties, installation

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova
Do you think, that...?, ink-jet print

Nadia Genova
Untitled

Silvia Lazarova
Obsession for Me, poster

Tanya Abadjieva
My Window/Your Window, installation

© 2002 All rights reserved. The 8th of March Group Supported by Pro Helvetia