the real MUSEUM

The National Gallery
Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art


the real MUSEUM

Artists: Boryana Pandova, Georgi Georgiev – Jorrras, Arch. Dayana Nikolova,
Leda Starcheva, Arch. Polina Kyoseva and Stella Vasileva


12 November 2020–24 January 2021

Vernissage on Thursday, 12 November, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.,
observing all anti-epidemic measures and with controlled access

SAMCA, 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd., Sofia


The exhibition discusses the place of the museum as an institution in an extremely dynamic environment. If until recently the digitalisation of exhibitions and collections, online access to them and virtual tours were accompanying museum activities, under the changing conditions of today, they are becoming fundamental. What is the future of the museum as an institution? What is its real digital environment? What are the expectations of the public? The exhibition includes works created from the museum space in the Sofia Arsenal.

‘Tic-tac’, by Boryana Pandova, embraces the concept of a minute of time and the change it brings about. Two consecutive shots were taken in the museum gallery one minute apart. In this trivially long minute, changes take place that often go unnoticed. How long is this time in the museum? How is the museum changing? Boryana Pandova ‘documented’ this change within a minute.

Arch. Dayana Nikolova builds the ‘By Oneself’ installation as a place of solitude and reflection in a surrounding museum exposition. This space within a space becomes a new object. Are we not approaching the moment when a physical presence in the museum will be so unusual and rare that it will itself become the subject of the museum exposition? In her search, the artist goes even further, asking: ‘And as we spend more and more time alone, will not this happen to our personal space and solitude?’

Georgi Georgiev – Jorrras makes a brief retrospective in the study of the image, looking back beyond himself. Imported objects, accidentally abandoned materials found on construction sites, are turned into a work of art, part of a dual picture, where the coloured object and the painted surface coexist as one. The added reality imparts a new meaning that moves outside the work of art.

The theme of the connection, ‘work of art—museum space’, is also the subject of research by Arch. Polina Kyoseva. The artist views space as real-virtual, where the material artefact is installed in the physical space, only to overcome it. Arch. Kyoseva’s installation is a metaphor for this intertwining between the spaces in which the work of art develops. It is a reflection, but also a continuation of a process that begins in the museum and moves beyond its walls.

In the case of Leda Starcheva, the physical presence of the work of art seems to be most tangible. Selected sculptures—the earliest, and the most recent—of the ‘Lightweight Versions’ series are made of materials that have been taken from their real environment. The broken polystyrene packaging and urban waste take us to desolate industrial spaces. This feeling is reinforced by the interior of the building of the Sofia Arsenal, an example of industrial architectural heritage.

The mirrored surface of Stella Vasileva’s works in ‘Circles’ reflects the interior of the museum and its architectural elements, revealing traces of the time when the building was used for military purposes. They also reflect the public passing through the exposition. The repeatedly multiplied image of the individual visitor transfers us to another reality beyond that of the museum.

The exhibition, ‘the real MUSEUM’, is part of the ‘SPACE—AUDIENCE’ project of the Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art, curated by Nadezhda Dzhakova.

For further information:

Nadezhda Dzhakova +359 879 834 030