Courtesy: Mariana Vassileva
October 22 - November 24, 2021
solo exhibition by Mariana Vassileva
curated by Michael Stoeber
Poetry and Politics
Mariana Vassileva with new works at Scope BLN
By Michael Stoeber
Mariana Vassileva has never forgotten her homeland. Almost thirty years ago, she came from Bulgaria as a young woman to study art in Berlin, where she still lives and works as an artist. What she experienced and witnessed in Bulgaria is part of her identity and has migrated into her artistic works no less than what she experienced and witnessed in Germany.
Singing Mountain (2021) is one of her new works. The video, made in southern Bulgaria, testifies to how much her homeland inspires her to this day. In the first images of the film, a breathtakingly beautiful mountain landscape emerges from a mighty big bang. Embedded in it is a city, Plovdiv, one of the oldest in the world, which nestles gracefully into the landscape. The camera pans to a young woman in a red dress, tracing the contours of the mountains with her finger as if she were reading a score. As if the music she sings had flowed out of the mountains she is looking at and from there into her body.
That the singer in the red dress is from the here and now is made clear by a transmission mast growing into the sky next to her. In the following sequences, she transforms herself into a woman from the future and the past, made recognizable by her clothing and habitus. But regardless of the time she comes from, there is always a symbiosis between her and her surroundings. It is unmistakable in the medium of song and unmistakable when city, country and body fade into one another figuratively in one and the same image.
Today, this shown symbiosis of man and his environment is not only a distant ideal, but an urgent necessity. Poetry and politics form an alliance in this and in Mariana Vassileva's entire oeuvre, which is the signature of her art in general. This artist is always concerned with ethos. Also in her Breathing Figure made of barbed wire and neon, which was created this year, too.
With the theme of breathing and the materials barbed wire and neon, she successfully combines three topics in one work, which have also appeared in other works of hers. In the process, they have developed a symbolic content and semantics that also determine the new work, but do so with a conciseness and brilliance that are unparalleled.
Mariana Vassileva's Breathing Figure is torn between the desire for freedom and the evil of imprisonment. The former is represented by the radiant light of the neon, which stands for enlightenment, reason and self-determination. The latter by the repellent menace of the barbed wire, which contains danger, exclusion and isolation. The work is a great narrative of the human being, all his life breathing and existing between trauma and transcendence.
Here, too, there is a clear statement made by the artist. Look at the posture of the Breathing Figure. No matter how strong "the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune" (Shakespeare's Hamlet) may be. It is of utmost importance to survive the storms of life upright. Literally and figuratively.
October 22nd (Friday), 7pm.
SCOPE BLN art space:
Singing Mountain, exhibition
SCOPE BLN base:
Robin, 2020, 1-channel video installation.
Lübecker Straße 43, 10559 Berlin
The event will take place in compliance with all Covid-19 pandemic measures. Protective masks and a distance of 1.5 m between the guests are required.