Misty With Some Smoke
Misty With Some Smoke
“Misty With Some Smoke”
2-20 May 2023
Opening: 2 May 2023 from 18:30h
Credo Bonum Gallery
Slavyanska str. 2, Sofia, 1000
4 May 2023 from 18:30h
Joachim Lenz (Berlin, Germany)
Nevena Ekimova (Gabrovo, Bulgaria)
Teodora Kotseva (Sold Out Design)
Can art be functional? In the contemporary art world, the intertwining of different creative disciplines has made it possible for artists to jump over all kinds of boundaries. Today, the profession of the artist includes a number of creative activities that hardly fit into classic categorizations. Far from any utilitarian preoccupations, the authors create works that can be present in our homes as functional objects. With the exhibition “Misty With Some Smoke” we look at the work of four artists who employ different artistic methods. These are: Vasko Ernst Burdarov and Nevena Ekimova from Bulgaria, the Czech artist Ekaterina Konarovska, who lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands and the German artist Joachim Lenz, who works from Berlin. Their encounter in Sofia is a kind of journey into the world of dreams, daydreaming and fantasizing. The past two years have been filled with strong feelings and a longing for normality. We have remained chained to our homes for a long time. Our thoughts wandered between longing for the “new normal”, a better and more peaceful future, what we got, at least in continental Europe, was a war for territory and influence. We have encapsulated again, where one finds peace. Staying at home, we paid more attention to our surroundings, to the need to stop and rethink. In the long term, the pandemic didn’t change our habits, but on a personal level it seemed that it made us look more inwards.
The artists presented in the exhibition work in different media: painting, sculpture and installation. Among the topics they touch on are: memory, alienation and reverie, the loneliness of the city man, the longing for distant and utopian places. Some of the works explore the theme of alienation. They look at how one can feel isolated and alien in one’s own community, surrounded by people but alone. They invite us to sink into our fantasies and discover how dreaming can make us feel alive and free, help us break free from routine and see the world from a different angle. The exhibition will present works that have not been shown before. At the invitation of the curator, a discussion will be held on May 4 with guest author Joachim Lenz and artist Nevena Ekimova. The creative processes of the two artists will be presented, we will talk about how art is made and why it is important to create. What is it like to be an artist in an ever more consumerist world? Is there any time left to daydream in the increasingly digitized world where reality happens like a dream?
About the authors:
Vasko Ernst Burdarov is a Bulgarian sculptor who works with his own studio on projects for the film industry and large international productions. He makes large and small scale sculptures, costume and set design for various films, special effects and conceptual design for theater and film props. For the first time in many years, he will present his resin sculptures, with a distinctly contemporary expression and form. In his works there is reference to the past, yet the designs are futuristic. The forms are stylized, whereby the choice of material creates a feeling of airiness.
Nevena Ekimova is a Bulgarian artist, currently based in her hometown of Gabrovo. She studied contemporary art in Norway and Iceland, and got her BFA at the Valand Art Academy in Gothenburg, Sweden. Besides participating in exhibitions and publishing books, Nevena often works with public institutions and creates large-scale interactive projects for children and adults. She participates in the exhibition with a handmade textile sculpture accompanied by documentary texts, collected in the process of work. These are stories of children and grandchildren, following threads of memory to their elders and what they leave behind. The installation reflects on the impermanence of life and the preservation of living memory. The Sweetest Sleep was realized with the financial support of the National Culture Fund under the Creative Scholarships 2022 program.
Katerina Konarevska was born in Prague, the Czech Republic, currently she lives and works in The Hague, Netherlands. She graduated in fine art at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague and illustration and graphics at the Institute of Art and Design at the University of West Bohemia. Among the materials she employs are: silk, wool and textiles, her latest works are impressive 2m by 3m tapestries, a collage of images from paintings of her own. Her tapestries are a kind of surreal narrative with many elements, a web of dreamlike images. They were produced at the textile museum in the city of Tilburg, Netherlands, with the help of a rare machine that allows this unique technical craftsmanship. Several paintings on silk will also be presented at the exhibition.
Joachim Lenz is an artist who works and lives in Berlin. He graduated in painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich at the atelier of Sean Scully and Gunther Förg. In 2005 he studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the Complutense University of Madrid. He holds an MA from the University of the Arts and the Humboldt University, Berlin. The exhibition will feature seven oil paintings of him, depicting log figures with human features, drifting and wandering bananas. The non-animated humanoid objects are smoking cigarettes, a small hedonistic gesture unique to humans. The anthropomorphic creatures possess an expressive character in a state, between paradox, humor and catastrophe.
Teodora Kotseva works in the field of contemporary art and design. An economist by education, she holds a bachelor’s degree in art, culture and communications from Bocconi University, Milan, as well as a master’s degree in cultural economics from Erasmus University, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. In the past seventeen years she has lived and worked in Milan, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, London, Berlin in the capacity of art manager and curator, including: “How Art a Design Can be?”, Direktorenhaus Design Museum Berlin, EAST of BEST, Roodkapje Gallery, FACE-OFF Rotterdam Art Week, Kolektif at Art Rotterdam/MiArt etc. Her recent curatorial interests are related to functional art.