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
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.