27 November 2019–12 January 2020
Opening on Wednesday, 27 November, at 6:30 p.m.

SAMCA, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd.


The exhibition includes works by artists of Bulgarian origin who create in the Nordic countries and are influenced in one way or another by the culture of that region. The purpose is not to show a comprehensive list of artists living there, but rather to present a constellation of different concepts, themes, media and approaches that excite the Bulgarian artists, touched by the magic of the North. Curator Nia Tabakova has invited Lora Dimova and Leda Vaneva (Finland), Raina Vlaskovska and Rosina Ivanova (Norway), Evelina Dobranova (Denmark) and Julian Tabakov (Sweden) to participate. The specially prepared performance by Rosina Ivanova "What to do when we are forced to the ground – how to pick yourself up" will be presented at the opening at 7:30 pm.

The project seeks to avoid the stereotypes of national identity and instead focuses on the blend of individual experiences of the artists who have both common roots and a shared geographical and intellectual direction of development. Through this exhibition, the viewers will be able to get a closer understanding of Nordic culture as seen through the prism of artists whose impressions, mixed with their personal origin and cultural overlays, create an entirely new perception of the Scandinavian context. Their artistic practices explore current subjects related to environmental, social, political and technological issues that can also be related to the Bulgarian reality.

As one of the four cardinal directions, North is considered to be fundamental—it is used to define the other three on the compass. The North Pole coincides with an azimuth of 0 or 360 degrees according to the spherical coordinate system, which signifies the beginning and the end of the globe. In the culture of the Native American population, the North symbolises the cold, the winter and the winds that cleanse and bring the snow. This geographical direction is a reminder of the hardships and trials people must endure in order to experience catharsis and begin a new cycle of their lives.

The themes of decay and rebirth are addressed by all six artists. They can be traced in Lora Dimova’s sculptures, reminiscent of remnants of an apocalypse; in Leda Vaneva’s videos and molecular drawings analysing the order and chaos of the universe; in Julian Tabakov’s photographs revealing the monstrous nature of man. Rosina Ivanova’s political manifestos, Evelina Dobranova’s collages, and Raina Vlaskovska’s portraits focus specifically on the role of the woman in this continuous process of transformation.

The project is organised by the ‘So Close, So Far’ Non-profit Organisation, in partnership with Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, State Agency for Bulgarians Abroad, and with the financial support of the Culture Programme of Sofia Municipality.


For further information:

Nia Tabakova, exhibition curator,

Nadezhda Dzhakova, Head of Department, SAMCA,



List of works:

  1. Evelina Dobranova

Proud Mother, 2019

collage, mixed media, lace, 50 х 40 cm

  1. Raina Vlaskovska

Self-portrait with Old Chemistry, 2015

wet-collodion process on transparent glass, 9 x 12 cm

  1. Leda Vaneva

Complementarity, 2019

2-channel video

  1. Lora Dimova

Heavenly Body, 2019

installation, porcelain