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.

Nadezhda Oleg Lyahova

Luchezar Boyadjiev

Daniela Kostova

Adelina Popnedeleva

Nina Kovacheva

Alla Georgieva

Ida Daniel

Sylvia Lazarova

Boriana Dragoeva

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