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SVETLANA MIRCHEVA

103 MISTAKES IMAGES OF THE WORD SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS


SVETLANA MIRCHEVA 103 MISTAKES IMAGES OF THE WORD SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS


SVETLANA MIRCHEVA 103 MISTAKES IMAGES OF THE WORD SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS Texts by Olivier Boissiere Marco Antonini Svetlana Mircheva Vladyia Mihaylova Voin Voinov Cover Space Dogs, 2016

© Svetlana Mircheva Sofia, 2019


CONTENTS 103 MISTAKES

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LEGS, text by Olivier Boissiere

IMAGES OF THE WORD I

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SOUNDSCAPES 61 text by Svetlana Mircheva

IMAGES OF THE WORD II

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RANDOM, CHANCE, BLIND DATE, SERENDIPITY text by Olivier Boissiere

POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS

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INTERSTITIAL REALITIES, text by Marco Antonini

MISTAKES 155 SPACE DOGS

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RANDOM SHOW

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text by Vladiya Mihaylova

STATE OF APPARITION

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text by Voin Voinov

219 COLOPHON 222

BIOGRAPHY


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103 MISTAKES

CURATED BY OLIVIER BOISSIERE UN CABINET D’AMATEUR GALLERY, SOFIA


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LEGS

- Legs? exclaimed Dany the junkie when opening in a public square at night a stolen suitcase and finding inside a pair of freshly cut woman’s legs. (from “Junky Christmas” in “Spare Ass Annie and other tales” by William Burroughs)

Once upon a time there was a pair of legs. Or more precisely the sketch of them. Svetlana Mircheva had in mind to realize in her computer a short animated movie where these legs would walk, jump and dance. The sketch was in a jpg file. When the artist pressed the enter key, the machine hiccupped and delivered an image featuring dots, lines, plans, colors, totally unlike the model. OK! the artist said, OK! Error! mistake! She closed the session. Reopened, clicked. Same but a different image. She tried again and again. The machine would produce non repetitive motifs (an oxymoron). Mircheva saved them one by one. She found them intriguing, interesting, beautiful even. She got captured in what she envisioned as a work in progress. Only did she stop when she had accumulated about a hundred of them. At that time, she changed her computer: the updated system simply refused access to the file. Mircheva was, as Thomas Pynchon would put it “86”. She felt both relieved and slightly nostalgic. She was already thinking of the display. The screen alone was short to expose the subtlety of the images, not to mention their serial quality. A solution à la Nam June Paik (100 monitors?) was unrealistic. Mircheva had made tests against the reluctance of some printers (the operators, not the machines). They had proven conclusive. So she had her 103 mistakes finely printed.


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tumbnail of the broken jpg file, the only true image left


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There is a long and passionate relationship between man and the machine. Far beyond its sheer utility and function, the machine has steered men’s imagination, inspiring fascination and awe, optimism and fear. There had been automats and playful toys using ingenuous mechanisms. With the industrial revolution, the machine got dressed with anthropomorphic metaphors by writers, artists and later movie makers. The machine as a creature would have a life of its own and run amok beyond the will of its creator. With the early Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the Surmâle by Alfred Jarry, Raymond Roussel’s Locus Solus or the Future Eve by Villiers de l’Isle Adam as precursors, science fiction became a literary genre of its own. Futurists used them as a symbol for the will of power. From Metropolis to Blade Runner, robots and androids were favorite characters for films offering a gloomy image of the future. Artists could not resist using the alternate movements of the machines to eroticize them as it was such an easy metaphor for copulation. Duchamp, Picabia and the Surrealists made the machine their favorite “feminine” subject, a trend epitomized in the famous exhibition “the Bachelor Machines” by Harald Szeemann in 1975. In entering the computer age, the machine has lost its body features. The focus has shifted to the brain. Artificial intelligence has been and still is much discussed. The topic is haunted by the question whether the computer can escape man’s control (with Stanley Kubrick’s Space Odyssey as a reference). Will a computerized Big Brother take over man’s destinies through a vast conspiracy (of dunces?) Fortunately, Big Brother has turned recently into a TV reality show. From tragedy to farce… Svetlana Mircheva’s computer machine was obviously more innocent. Metamorphosing a drawing into a series of other drawings is certainly getting out of control but it remains peaceful and harmless. The questions it raises are thus out of pure curiosity. To a simple rational mind, it is puzzling that one cause would produce a number of such different effects. A computer expert might explain it in simple terms. To the ignoramus, it belongs to magic. What is a “corrupted file” anyway? Does the term imply a moral notion? At that point, there would be a temptation to view Mircheva as an apprentice sorcerer who trigged some mysterious instinct in the machine. The spirit that she called did wander randomly (freely?) and generated those chatoyant forms. Had the system taken over Mircheva’s intentions (Kunstwolle?) and interpreted her sketch in its own personal way? Is the viewer facing 103 versions of the computer’s idea of a pair of legs? Did the machine anticipate the walk/jump/dance initial idea to elaborate scenarios for a ballet, whether inspired by Swanlake, Gisele or Ballet Mecanique? Merce Cunningham, Pina Bausch, or Busby Berkeley? the duets of Astaire/Rogers or Kelly/Charisse? Who knows? (Coincidently Cyd Charisse’s surname was “The Legs”). In the end Mircheva re-appropriated the images (and her Kunstwolle as well) and assembled them along her own terms. Here they are: 103 mistakes. To Svetlana Mircheva, it is a closed case. No doubt the ever growing sophistication and frailty of the machine will give way to further and fertile errors. Other artists will open Pandora’s box. Hopefully. A throw of the dice will never abolish chance.

Olivier Boissiere Un Cabinet D’Amateur Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES 103 color ink-jet prints on photo paper 40 x 50 cm each 2012


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103 MISTAKES 103 color ink-jet prints on photo paper 40 x 50 cm each 2012


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103 MISTAKES 103 color ink-jet prints on photo paper 40 x 50 cm each 2012


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103 MISTAKES 103 color ink-jet prints on photo paper 40 x 50 cm each 2012


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103 MISTAKES 103 color ink-jet prints on photo paper 40 x 50 cm each 2012


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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103 MISTAKES Un Cabinet D’Amateur / Olivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia


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IMAGES OF THE WORD I

PALM TREES CORPUS LINGUA I PORTRAITS OF POETS NAKED VERBS AS A POEM

SOFIA CITY GALLERY ÆTHER HAGA, THE HAGUE STRUCTURA GALLERY, SOFIA OPEN ARTS FOUNDATION, PLOVDIV GOETHE INSTITUTE BULGARIA WITTGENSTEIN HAUS, VIENNA


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PALM TREES large scale poetic composition, variations of reading a poem, imaginary landscape depicted by language 450 x 112 cm 2017

A thought of a friend traveling to California in the summer appeared surprisingly like a verse. I was reading the lines, stirring them, skipping, starting from the beginning or backwards. There were the palm trees, the wind, the flying and the longing, the intoxication and the green. Words, even in different order, painted the same imaginary landscape, translating themselves to the dawn of their infancy - the unnamed images. How to paint a picture with words? What happens after we read? Can the words, word for word, image after image, bring us where they came from, in the world of thought, in the cool afternoon of imagination? to OB “Shifting Layers”, Sofia City Gallery “State of Apparition”, Æther Haga, The Hague


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PALM TREES


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PALM TREES QUEENS WITH GREEN AND RED FEATHERS FLYING SLOWLY TROUGH ALL TIMES ELEGANTLY GORGEOUS WITH WINGS SPREAD FROM HEAVENS SHADOWING THE EYES WITH GREEN DROPS OF DELIGHT


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DELIGHT OF DROPS GREEN WITH EYES SHADOWING HEAVENS WITH WINGS SPREAD FROM GORGEOUS ELEGANTLY TIMES ALL TROUGH SLOWLY SLOWLY FLYING FEATHERS RED AND GREEN WITH QUEENS TREES PALM


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CORPUS LINGUA I paper 3D print, collage 16.5 x 22.5 x 4.5 cm 2015 From the outer space to the inner body, from the stars to the stomach, this fiction book combines 4 texts on 4 levels: science astronomy text, love story in a forest, “a man enters a bar” story and a delicious recipe. The universe of language in the body of a book. “Variations on 3D printing”, Plovediv, B2N Lab, One Design Week, Plovdiv


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PORTRAITS OF POETS 4 textile

sculptures, portait series 90 x 310 cm each 2018 4 Portraits of 4 poets with their 13 most loved words. Depicted are: Ann Cotton, Georgi Tenev, Natali Spasova, Martha Sprackland. SPA Sofia Poetically Animated 2018, Structura Gallery, Sofia


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PORTRAITS OF POETS 4 textile

sculptures, portait series 90 x 310 cm each 2018


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PORTRAITS OF POETS 4 textile

sculptures, portait series 90 x 310 cm each 2018


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NAKED VERBS 7 poetic compositions, poetry of action copper & brass sculptures around 80 x 100 cm each 2017


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NAKED VERBS 7 compositions, poetry of action copper & brass sculptures around 80 x 100 cm each 2017 What are the actions in art? What do we do as we make art or talk about art? Linguistic research of texts about art suddenly turned into poetic compositions. Built by “naked” verbs, the 7 sculptures embody an artistic poetry of action. Commissioned by Open Arts Foundation “Here and Everywhere”, curated by Vladiya Mihaylova “Polyphonia”, curated by Frans Oosterhof, Goethe Institute Bulgaria


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AS A POEM large scale textile sculpture, sound 280 x 710 cm 2018 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus by Ludwig Wittgenstein seen as a poem. A few intensive words form the spine, play the rhythm and extract the sense in this philosophical symphony, starting with “proposition” and “form”. The work puts 10 of them together as a poem. Maybe they hold a hidden sense, truth poetry of mind, picture of logic in the world of signs? The work consists of: intensive words, map of words and soundline. Wittgenstein 1918-2018, Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna


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AS A POEM


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SOUNDLINE map of words, wood, color 120 x 60 cm sound, orchestrated words singing, recording, composing by S. M. 00:48 2018 Wittgenstein 1918-2018, Vienna


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SOUNDSCAPES

PARALLEL SOUNDS SOUNDSCAPE SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN

KULTUR KONTAKT, VIENNA GAUDENZ B. RUF AWARD CONTEMPORARY SPACE, VARNA SOFIA ARSENAL – MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART


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The exhibition “Sounds of Sea, Heart and Sun” features three large installation pieces made by Svetlana Mircheva with sound by Angel Simitchiev. Contemporary Space, Varna is the first place to see all three works exhibited in one place, with the first two originally shown in Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art and Kultur Kontakt, Vienna. Supported by Gaudenz B. Ruf Award.

SOUNDSCAPES

“Music: breathing of statues. Perhaps: silence of paintings. You language where all language ends.” Rainer Maria Rilke

How does a sound look like? There arises the idea that the sound may take shape, be translated into the language of images, and speak back to us. What sound can shake me up? There comes the thought of the emotion of sound, I think of a sound that can send imagination far away, carry it away, dissolve it. Can form be translated into music? Shapes can create rhythm, pulsation, and colors – give a sensation of tone. And where else would the shape of sound be located, if not in the air? In the three works there is a continuous flow of transition and crossing of the fields of sound and visual, passing through the imaginary. The sound is rendered into an object and reflects back in music; it flashes in the air like a light kinetic sculpture, but it can also be heard. And maybe there, between the two worlds, of sound and image, is the place of the elusive?

Svetlana Mircheva


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PARALLEL SOUNDS sculpture & sound installation acrylglass, light, sound sound: Angel Simitchiev 280 cm x 370 cm x 60 cm 2017-2018 Vienna soundscapes. Vienna seen and heard as grass near water, bird at the city end, hippo roaring, train departing. Translated first into light objects in space, sounds go back to the earphones, put in rythm. Facing the shining parallels, the viewer is free to imagine the city with his eyes and ears open. KulturKontakt Austria, Vienna


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PARALLEL SOUNDS sculpture & sound installation acrylglass, light, sound sound: Angel Simitchiev 280 cm x 370 cm x 60 cm 2017-2018 Contemporary Space, Varna


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PARALLEL SOUNDS SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN


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PARALLEL SOUNDS


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SOUNDSCAPE


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PARALLEL SOUNDS SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN SOUNDSCAPE sculpture, lights & sound 3 installations, 2018 sound: Angel Simitchiev Contemporary Space, Varna


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PARALLEL SOUNDS SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN


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SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN composition with light, visual reading of sounds lights, 3 colors, sound sound: Angel Simitchiev 300 x 900 cm 2018


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SOUNDSCAPE sculpture, lights & sound installation 40 mirrors, color, sound sound: Angel Simitchiev 140 x 460 x 60 cm 2016 Reflections upon sounds turned into image-object suspended in space. 2 copies of words spoken and recorded, turned into 2 parallel image-objects in space. A cinetic view, a soundscape.


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PARALLEL SOUNDS


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SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN Contemporary Space, Varna


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SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN Contemporary Space, Varna


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SOUNDSCAPE sculpture, lights & sound installation 40 mirrors, color, sound sound: Angel Simitchiev 140 x 460 x 60 cm 2016 Reflections upon sounds turned into image-object suspended in space. 2 copies of words spoken and recorded, turned into 2 parallel image-objects in space. A cinetic view, a soundscape. Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art


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SOUNDSCAPE


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SOUNDSCAPE installation drawing, collage 33 x 58 cm 2016


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IMAGES OF THE WORD II

REBUS COLLAGES FOR LAIKA WITH LOVE MAKE PAGE ADS FOR HAPPY DAYS MAKE BELIEVE

CURATED BY OLIVIER BOISSIERE UN CABINET D’AMATEUR GALLERY, SOFIA


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RANDOM, CHANCE, BLIND DATE, SERENDIPITY

“langage=jeu galant”. Marcel Duchamp

Once upon a time, there was a flâneur. Baudelaire followed him strolling the city leisurely both distracted and attentive to the new world (it would become brave later), looking for modernity. A viewer/voyeur, he would note the remarkable in the environment of his contemporaries, the spread of commercial activities as a consequence of the industrial revolution and the raise of consumerism. The flâneur attitude marked a significant shift in the points of views upon the world. Shop-windows became familiar scenes where artists would dig for inspiration. The cubist collage and Duchamp’s ready-made replaced the representation of the object by the object itself incorporated into assemblages exposed to language that would become the rule at mid-century. Walter Benjamin haunted the Paris “passages”, the Surrealists the flea market of Saint-Ouen looking for bizarre objects of undetermined functions and forms, craving for close encounters of the third kind, expecting surprise ( “soup-rice” as the Marx brothers had put it ). “One does not do poetry with ideas, one does poetry with words”1. Mallarmé said. He must have foreseen that poetry could become image by means of “a throw of the dice”. Freeing words from one another, dispersing them on the page opens new interpretations as well as a disconcerting design. Are they pure coincidence or an effect of the Zeitgeist? Mallarme’s poem might look as a prelude to the re-introduction of the word in visuals arts. From Picasso’s first cubic collages to Schwitters’ Merzbau, to Saul Steinberg’s rebus and Rauschenberg’s, then “Conceptual“ and Art language, Kossuth, Lawrence Wiener, then Bruuuuuuuce Nauman, Ed Ruscha et al, words, sentences, aphorisms did invade the art field. An art work could both express and enounce? The computer age has generated a new version of the flâneur, the “geek” zooming and zapping on the freeways of information. Exit the street and the city. The world has turned global and the Net its cosmic echo. An all-over set of information both text and imagery has become available at fingertip distance. The somewhat naive first fans of cybernetics in the late 60s prophesized then the advent of some new Leonardo, Picasso or other artist genius who would take up the new medium and generate new masterworks. This has not happened (yet). But the amazing field of the Web providing for all kind of opportunities of criss-cross and short cuts is currently being explored. Wait and see… Horace Walpole coined the name “serendipity”2 from an indo-arabian old legend where the three princes of Serendip described a lost camel that they had never seen through the traces and indexes which they had noticed on the road. Serendipity was defined as discovering by chance something that one was not looking for, or the art to take notice to the surprising and give it a pertinent interpretation. It was thus chance + sagacity. The word had a discreet carrier at first until it reached the scientific domain with the discovery of the penicillin (a fortuitous accident, according to Fleming) or Albert Hoffmann’s one of LSD. Even Isaac Newton and his


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GOOD MORNING 1&2 collage on paper, accidental 30 x 40 cm 2016

1 Stephane Mallarmé “Un coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hasard” in Cosmopolis Paris. 1897 2 Sylvie Catellin “Serendipité, du conte au concept” Seuil Paris. 2014 3 Balzac “Theorie de la démarche” L’Europe litteraire 1833, La Pleiade 1981. tome XXII 4 Roland Barthes about Saul Steinberg in “All except you”. Repères. Galerie Maeght. 1983 See also Rosalind Krauss “Rauschenberg and the Materialized Image” in “The originality of the Avant Garde and other modernist myths” The MIT Press Cambridge Mass. 1985 5 William Burroughs


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apple were called in. It became an argument for free versus applied research. In the art field, it sounds like a fact, No usefulness is expected. Free imagination, innovation and fantasy are supposed to be the rules of the game. Serendipity is supposed to pop up without notice. “The stupid call these strikings of the thought “chance” without thinking that chance never occurs to the dunces.”3 Svetlana Mircheva is the heiress of all the above. She walks the city, collects abandoned objects, bits and pieces, sheets of left over papers, fragments of newspapers (preferably old) photographs of loves forgotten, rags of faded materials evocative of lives unknown, memories anonymous. The artist reinserts them in comic strips, little tales to be deciphered, telescoping images and words (image as text, text as image) in poetic collages in the form of rebus, those “compositions that operate this great marriage of letter and drawing which has always haunted the baroque artists.”4 Mircheva’s attention to shop windows might be triggered by petty trivial domains. Exploring pet shops she has spotted a variety of dog food, biscuits wearing unexpected words suggesting pet loves … She has used them to design candid canine calligrams, nursery rimes whistling little tunes, pretty constellations, as many tributes to Laika, Pschyolka, Mushka and other moon dogs heroes of the first Sputnik age. Ironic compassion? Love thy dog as thyself? The interactive aspect of the computer can take (at least) two forms: communication with brothers/sisters internauts or direct dialog with the Machine, as it offers help/services to user/ client. Mircheva contacted once by curiosity programs which given a name of your firm + keyword to your activity would deliver the right slogan for your advertising. The tests Mircheva did rapidly proved deceptive, either irrelevant or conventional. But a little twist on a sentence could make them funny on the verge of the absurd. So… Coincidently Mircheva landed on the glagolitic site. Cyril and Method had elaborated an alphabet before the Cyrillic. In their devotion, they had followed up with three sentences using each letter as a key to a word all to the glory of God. A sublime early use of sacred advertising! Following up with her “mistakes” Mircheva has bumped into new intriguing incidents. A A4 found in a paper basket had all the visual seductions of the “conceptual” art of the 60s. The content, an exploration of the keyword “make” proved most serious and hilarious. A further research led (with the help of New York curator friend Eriola Pira) to a million words thesaurus accumulated by a very serious university department in Providence, RI, on the possibilities of computers in the field of language in the early 60s. With “Make” the viewer is invited to pursue with the game. Infinitely. “Language is a virus from the outer space.”5 Certainly serendipitous Svetlana Mircheva is not fooled by the process. She is well aware that the haphazard character of serendipity cannot ever constitute a method, only a state of mind. Told about the story of the three princes of Serendip, Mircheva had but a brief comment: “there is no normal camel” she said. Think of it.

Olivier Boissiere Un Cabinet D’Amateur Gallery, Sofia


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REBUS COLLAGES Menuetto in G major Cry me a river

4 collages on canvas with found papers 39 x 159 cm, 2014


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“Images of the word”, Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia “Summer Summary”, curated by Vessela Nozharova, Credo Bonum Gallery, Sofia


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REBUS COLLAGES At 11 o’clock put everything in the blue pot Fly me to the moon

4 collages on canvas with found papers 39 x 159 cm, 2014


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“Images of the word”, Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia “Forms of Coexistence”, curated by Maria Vassileva, Structura Gallery, Sofia


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SIT STAY SPEAK COME HUG ME KISS ME I LOVE U BE MINE FETCH LEAVE IT HEEL DOWN

FOR LAIKA WITH LOVE 9 calligrams x 16 polymer clay biscuites 1 calligram size around 70 x 60 cm 2014 Biscuits wearing unexpected words designed in poetic constellations of calligrams, whistling rimes. To be seen, read, sung, played, performed.


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FOR LAIKA WITH LOVE poetic constellations, clay sculptures 9 calligrams x 16 polymer clay biscuites 1 calligram size around 70 x 60 cm 2014


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MAKE PAGE 1-15 thesaurus for the word “make” color print on Torchon paper 85 x 60 cm 2014 From a found A4 to a million words thesaurus, an exploration of the keyword “make”, both serious and hilarious.


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ADS FOR HAPPY DAYS twisted slogans, compositions in Latin and Glagolitic You’ve got questions, We’ve got mountain. laser cut plexiglass 81 x 176 cm 2014


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“Images of the word”, Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia “Black on White”, curated by Marieta Tsenova, Red Dot Depot Gallery, Sofia


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ADS FOR HAPPY DAYS twisted slogans, compositions in Latin and Glagolitic How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Sun? laser cut plexiglass diameter 92 cm 2014 Started with the use of curiosity programs which would deliver the right slogan for your advertising. The first tests did rapidly proved deceptive, either irrelevant or conventional. But a little twist on a sentence could make them funny on the verge of the absurd. Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia Focus Bulgaria at Vienna Contemporary, Vienna


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ADS FOR HAPPY DAYS twisted slogans, compositions in Latin and Glagolitic Speak the word strongly Glagolitic sentence laser cut plexiglass 85 x 46 cm 2014 Cyril and Method had elaborated an alphabet before the Cyrillic. In their devotion, they had followed up with three sentences using each letter as a key to a word all to the glory of God. A sublime early use of sacred advertising! Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia National Art Gallery Collection


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ADS FOR HAPPY DAYS twisted slogans, compositions in Latin and Glagolitic Me, knowing the letters, I speak Glagolitic sentence laser cut plexiglass 134 x 34 cm 2014 Un Cabinet D’Amateur / OIlivier Boissiere Gallery, Sofia National Art Gallery Collection


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MAKE BELIEVE poetic “to make” composition print on laser cut plexiglass 117 x 128 cm 2014 A coincidentally found A4 paper with linguistic studies from the 90s in Sofia led to a deep look at American language in the early 60s. With “Make” the viewer is invited to pursue with the game. Infinitely. “Language is a virus from the outer space.” W. Burroughs


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS

CURATED BY MARCO ANTONINI NURTURE ART, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK


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INTERSTITIAL REALITIES

Notes on Svetlana Mircheva’s recent work

Such inter-generationally famous videogames as Donkey Kong, Pac Man and Dig Dug are among many golden age arcades to share a fascinating characteristic: an unavoidable dead end that comes in the form of a “kill screen.” Kill screens are regular game levels in which the obsolete code (and hardware) of the game simply could not technically deal with the required incremental datachecks, bringing the images on screen to crash or behave nonsensically. Located at impossibly high levels, the fabled kill screen is an autonomous zone, a technical glitch originating a momentary interruption to logic and order. It is also a moment to be remembered forever. We are often brought to think that computers and other such high-end toys are perfect machines. I remember a colleague in the design firm where I first landed an internship; PCs were his best friends because “If anything goes wrong, at least I know for a fact it’s my fault.” Reality is fortunately more interesting and surprising than that. A multitude of reasons can bring all sorts of technology (new and old) to develop nonsensical behavior and break the rules set for them by the engineers who projected them, the tools used to fabricate them and the behavior and choices of their final users. Considering how relevant and invasive a role technology plays in our daily lives, glitches, malfunctions and system crashes have been addressed by several artists who at different points and via different approaches, have tested the artistic potential of such interstitial events. One of Svetlana Mircheva’s early works, first presented in 2004 at ZKM in Karlsruhe, documents randomly generated screen-crashes. Triggered by faulty graphic files on her old computer, the screen-grabs presented in Mistakes are totally out of the artist’s control and yet resemble beautifully woven 8-bit tapestries suggestive of both Modernist and Vernacular art. The etymology of the word “Vernacular” comes from the name given to slaves that were born in their masters’ home; as an adjective, the word bears in its own roots an idea of dependence and submission.


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preparatory drawings 30 x 21 cm 2012


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Computers are for Mircheva living beings, bent into total submission and therefore incline to unexpected forms of rebellion. Every screen grab in Mistakes is a window open into the subconscious of a supposedly passive instrument. These fascinatingly fragmented images suggest the presence a creative potential, a glimpse offered by a supposed “malfunction” that the artist sees as a positive, creative moment. Mircheva’s interest in the grey zones between reality and imagination resurfaces in her recent project Saved Images, a collection of GIF files saved on an encrypted folder that she found to have been mysteriously copied on her hard disk. Printed large and small on various materials and displayed in different positions, the collection resembles a quirky, well-curated contemporary art exhibition. Their extreme visual diversity is unified by pixelation, a subtle hint to their provenance. Once again, unexpected events become repositories of treasured moments of total uncertainty and indetermination. The GIFs in Saved Images are projections of an invisible intelligence, liberated by the artist and ready to become part of the viewer’s own imagination. In a similar work titled Riverside, the artist collected discarded documents and photographs around Sofia. Presenting a carefully arranged selection of that material, Mircheva gently tests the viewer’s imagination, teasing it just enough to encourage participation in a creative process that is by definition incomplete and fragmentary. Imaginary narratives play an important role throughout Mircheva’s work. A combination of the artist’s and the viewer’s imaginations is required to connect the dots in her otherwise patchy repertoire of glitches, found objects, imperfections and twilight zones. More than any other work, the Possible Exhibitions series offers insight in the artist’s personal world and a gateway to interstitial realities hidden in the folds of her imagination. This series of diminutive, some quite simple, other slightly inscrutable dioramas form an ongoing collection of imaginary gallery-size installations. Possible Exhibitions showcases Mircheva’s signature sleek, highly-professionalized daydreaming at its most powerful. With their quiet and unassuming presence, the models lead both artist and viewer to imagine an infinity of possible scenarios, suspended between past, present and future. Did these exhibitions ever take place? Are we looking at documents, or rather maquettes for future shows? Are they just an exercise in formalism, or a form of soft-spoken institutional critique? The list of questions (and answers) could go on and on. It is a honor for NURTUREart to present a selection of Possible Exhibitions in Svetlana Mircheva’s first solo exhibition in the United States. This project was one of the winners of our yearly open call for artistic and curatorial projects and also marks the beginning of NURTUREart’s commitment to evaluating and presenting more and more projects by international artists. With Svetlana Mircheva’s Possible Exhibitions we are ready to transform our gallery in a temporary zone open to imagination, projection and reflection.

Marco Antonini NURTUREart Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 Ń… 29 Ń…14 cm each 2012 Series of diminutive, some quite simple, other slightly inscrutable dioramas from an ongoing collection of imaginary gallery-size installations.


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS 10 dioramas of the gallery space plexiglas, pvc, glass, wood, rope, textile, stones 53 х 29 х14 cm each 2012


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MISTAKES

MISTAKES LINEAR SELF PORTRAIT IVAN MILEV REMIX INVISIBLE PLACES INSIDE STORY MEDIA ART AWARD, ZKM, KARLSRUHE GOETHE INSTITUTE, SOFIA STUDIO VOLTAIRE, LONDON TEMPORARY CONTEMPORARY, LONDON VIPER, BASEL COSMOS, ATHENS


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MISTAKES interactive video documentation ZKM Media Art Award 2004, best 50 2003


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MISTAKES interactive video documentation ZKM Media Art Award 2004, best 50 2003


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MISTAKES interactive video documentation ZKM Media Art Award 2004, best 50 2003


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LINEAR SELF PORTRAIT self portrait with colors and no shapes interective, processing application 7:30 min 2013


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IVAN MILEV REMIX video, animation, deconstruction transforming Ivan Milev’s painting “Dragon’s wedding” 1923 2:36 min 2009 Goethe-Institut Bulgarien, Sofia, 2009


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INVISIBLE PLACES turning off perceptions hipnotic video 01:46 min 2004 Infrastructure, Studio Voltaire, London, 2005 Blind Date, Temporary contemporary, London, 2004


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INSIDE STORY video work, animation, 14:00 min 2002 VIPER, Kunsthalle, Basel, 2004 COSMOS, Athens, 2003


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“Green and violet dots, like ants on the monitor. Something wrong with the film? But then the dots arrange themselves anew, over and over again. Sometimes they emerge like ribbons which soon disappear. Lines are coming into view like isobars. They are mixing, drying up, stand still, only to start moving again. Like water. A hypnotic artistic experiment without a specific content that leaves room for own thoughts.� VIPER Basel, 2004


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SPACE DOGS

SPACE DOGS LOVE&PEACE PUZZLE NO DOGS / MOOSE BIRDS OF SOFIA

NATIONAL ART ACADEMY, SOFIA ICA-SOFIA INSTITUTE OF CONTEMPORARY ART UN CABINET D’AMATEUR / OLIVIER BOISSIERE SOFIA POLYPHONIA, MOTTO BOOKS


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SPACE DOGS laser cut color plexiglass 90 cm x 55 cm 2016 Tribute to Laika, Pchyolka, Mushka and other moon dogs heroes of the first Sputnik age. Little stories to discover about feminine canines-cosmonauts, first brave galaxy adventurers. National Art Academy, Sofia


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SPACE DOGS


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SOUND GREEN collage on paper to be played 30 x 40 cm 2016


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SOUND PINK collage on paper to be played 30 x 40 cm 2016


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LOVE&PEACE PUZZLE laser cut color plexiglass 3 parts, 27 cm x 12 cm each part 2016 “Toyphilia - Toy phobia”, ICA Institute for Contemporary Art, Sofia


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LOVE&PEACE PUZZLE


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NO DOGS drawing on paper 42 x 30 cm 2019


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MOOSE collage, color print on Torchon paper 30 x 40 cm 2015


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BIRDS OF SOFIA 3 drawings with writing paper, satin, soft wood 30 x 21 cm each 2018 in Polyphonia Book, by Frans Oosterhof and artists, Motto Books


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RANDOM SHOW

SAVED IMAGES TIME PLACE POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS RIVERSIDE

CURATED BY VLADIYA MIHAYLOVA VASKA EMANOUILOVA GALLERY, SOFIA CITY ART GALLERY


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preparatory drawings 30 x 21 cm 2011


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RANDOM SHOW

The works of Svetlana Mircheva often present the specific features and particularly the mistakes in the use and operation of various technologies. The author seems to be constantly wishing to shake our trust in the accuracy, clarity, and reality of our perceptions of the world that are formed by contemporary digital culture. For that purpose she often uses the tools of design. Her works include prints, models, short videos, photography, and various digital images, in all of which there is keen interest to the graphic symbol and the visual characteristics of the image. Random Show is once again related to the idea of uncertainty of perceptions, only this time referring to the random, accidental as a loss of frame, of context, and of the immediate environment of events and objects. The core words for the exhibition, TIME and PLACE, are represented as strange monuments that mark the space as a place of absence, but also of discovery, where the accidental is an open horizon of imagination. The four models of the gallery space represent undeveloped, unaccomplished ideas for exhibitions. In such a way Svetlana Mircheva overturns the very idea of how an exhibition is created, presenting the very action as random. The exhibition is an „open” space, which similar to a box serves as a receptacle for various „saved” images, found objects and symbols.

Vladiya Mihaylova Vaska Emanouilova Gallery Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia


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SAVED IMAGES gif files of unknown origin and date of creation printed on buckram 150 х 240 cm 2011 From the deepest void of the artificial memory, from the global web of our digital existence - a selection of mysteriously appeared images after recovering deleted data. With no origin or past, miraculously saved from the black hole of the machine’s oblivion.


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SAVED IMAGES gif files of unknown origin and date of creation printed on buckram 150 Ñ… 240 cm 2011


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SAVED IMAGES


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TIME PLACE two transparent panels lases cut plexiglass 60 Ñ… 130 cm each 2011


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RANDOM SHOW Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia


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STATE OF APPARITION WORKS BY SVETLANA MIRCHEVA AND STELA VASILEVA

МОЖЕ / IT MAY PALM TREES

ÆTHER HAGA, THE HAGUE


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STATE OF APPARITION

Works by Svetlana Mircheva and Stela Vasileva. State of Apparition tells a visual narrative around the phenomenon of the movement of natural light and the interaction with objects in space. A series of geometric constructions refers to this ever-changing situation. Stela Vasileva invites the viewer to lay their gaze at the reflective surfaces of her at first sight constructivist objects. Exposed to direct sunlight, the installation casts shadows and creates a playground between matter and light. As a result, the viewer is involved in various and multiple shifts in perception. The works meditative effect explores the relation between the concreteness of forms and the liminal space, created in order to offer a possibility to transcend the geometrical point into a point of view. Svetlana Mircheva’s obsession with language emerges as a natural development in the context of ‘the appearance’, of ‘the thing’ becoming visible. Departing from the abstraction of any form that was connected to other forms or symbols, she looks for ways to articulate a space that has the potential to become a language – both physically and mentally and a way to understand the choreography of light in familiar spaces. Meaning appears mutable, always in transition and transient. The moment of ‘apparition’, in the constellation of objects, is in play to coincide with a self-reflecting experience of the embodiment of both time and language, internally, simultaneously. Part of an exchange project with Æther Sofia, an art space in Sofia (BG) and Æther Haga (The Hague), Æxchange Sofia-Haga. Part of Hoogtij 57, The Cultural Tour in The Hague.

Voin Voinov Æther Art Space, Sofia and The Hague


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STATE OF APPARITION


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МОЖЕ / IT MAY Large scale installation, brass, 13 parts deconstruction of a word of ultimate possibility 390 х 76 x 30 cm 2019 One deconstructed golden word hangs in the air, above the viewers, above all thin, shiny, fragile. “МОЖЕ” (IT MAY) written in Cyrillic - a verb, showing ultimate possibility, the almost yes. With many possible translations: it can, I know, maybe, or maybe not, nobody knows, could be, yes, it is possible ... It may.


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PALM TREES large scale poetic composition, textile, variations of reading a poem, imaginary landscape depicted by language 450 x 112 cm 2017


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МОЖЕ / IT MAY Large scale installation, brass, 13 parts deconstruction of a word of ultimate possibility 390 х 76 x 30 cm 2019

PALM TREES large scale poetic composition, textile, variations of reading a poem, imaginary landscape, depicted by language 450 x 112 cm 2017


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PALM TREES large scale poetic composition, textile, variations of reading a poem, imaginary landscape, depicted by language 450 x 112 cm 2017


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STATE OF APPARITION


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BIOGRAPHY


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SVETLANA MIRCHEVA 1976 Born in Kazanlak, BG. Lives and works in Sofia. EDUCATION 2003 Olafur Eliasson Summer Class, IUAV, Venice 1995-2000 National Academy of Arts, Sofia, MA in industrial design 1990-1995 Art and Design School, Kazanlak, BG SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2018 SOUNDS OF SEA, HEART AND SUN, Ruf Award, Contemporary Space, Varna 2014 IMAGES OF THE WORD, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissiere, Sofia 2012 103 MISTAKES, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissiere, Sofia 2012 POSSIBLE EXHIBITIONS, NURTUREart Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, NY 2011 RANDOM SHOW, Vaska Emanouilova Gallery, Sofia SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS 2019 STATE OF APPARITION, Ӕther Haga, The Hague SPA SOFIA POETICALLY ANIMATED, Structura Gallery, Sofia DONATIONS, National Art Gallery, Sofia OPEN ART FILES, Bulgarian Contemporary Art Archive, https://openartfiles.bg OUT OF THE BOX, Ӕther Sofia 2018

WITTGENSTEIN 1918-2018, Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna SPA SOFIA POETICALLY ANIMATED, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, New York-Sofia OTHERS, 0GMS, Ӕther, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia SUPPORT PAPIER, Archives, Strasbourg Works of art from Bulgaria, European Parliament, Brussels

2017

FORMS OF COEXISTENCE, Structura Gallery, Sofia SHIFTING LAYERS, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia POLYPHONIA, Goethe Institute, Sofia HERE AND EVERYWHERE, Open Arts, Night, Plovdiv GRAVITATIONS-OVER-CONSTRUCTION, Кvartal festival, Sofia KULTUR KONTAKT Exhibition, Vienna ARTISTS TALK at PCAP-Marina Griznic, Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna THE FUTURE WAS HERE, Ӕther, Sofia Toyphilia Toy Phobia, ICA-Sofia, Institute for Contemporary Art, Sofia

2016

SUMMER SUMMARY, Gredo Bonum, Sofia #UNTAGGABLE, National Academy of Arts, Sofia SPACE AUDIENCE, Sofia Arsenal-Museum for Contemporary Art, Sofia DRUNKEN BOAT, Issue 23, New York #LOW TECH LAB LONDON, Education Center of Saatchi Gallery, London

2015 FOCUS BULGARIA, Vienna Contemporary, Vienna FAMILIES OF OBJECTS, Abrons Art Center, New York, NY VARIATIONS ON 3D PRINTING, Plovediv, B2N Lab, One Design Week, Plovdiv


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2014 UN CABINET D’AMATEUR. 2 YEARS AFTER, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissier, Sofia 2013 USUAL SUSPECTS, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissier, Sofia RICHARD: “First Communion of Anemic Young Girls In The Snow and other works”, Interstate Projects, New York, NY 2012

WINTER GROUP SHOW, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissier, Sofia MAGNET AND ANTIMAGNET, ICA-Sofia, Institute for Contemporary Art WHO LEFT WHAT BEHIND, Ilya Beshkov Gallery, Pleven; Çankaya Art Centre, Ankara A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER, Un Cabinet D’Amateur/Olivier Boissier, Sofia Possible Exhibitions, Placette, Berlin

2011 2010

Sunday Matinees, Witzenhausen Gallery, Amsterdam YOU FAIL! periscope:project:space, Salzburg THERE HAS BEEN NO FUTURE, THERE WILL BE NO PAST, ISCP, New York, NY BROADCAST MEDIA SCULPTURES, WUK, Vienna Moscow International Biennial for Young Art, MMOMA, Moscow BAZA AWARD for Young Contemporary Art Exhibition, Sofia City Art Gallery, Sofia Border Situation, Industralna Gallery, Sofia

2009 DA FEST, National Academy of Art, Sofia TIME PLACE, artnewscafe, Night of Museums and Galleries, Plovdiv MASTERS REMASTERED, Goethe-Institut Bulgarien, Sofia 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003

Night of Museums and Galleries, Plovdiv Digital Games, Ivan Asen 22, Sofia Sofia Underground Festival, Sofia Mobile Spaces, Goethe Institute, Sofia Mobile Studios, European nomadic platform, Sofia INFRASTRUCTURE, Studio Voltaire, London 18 Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Stuttgart MEDIA ART AWARD, ZKM | Museum für Neue Kunst&Medienmuseum, Karlsruhe VIPER Basel Festival, Kunsthalle, Basel RADAR II, European Project, Venice - London BLIND DATE, temporary contemporary, London RADAR I, Contemporary Art for European Cities, Extra 50, 50 Venice Biennale, Venice COSMOS, 11 Biennial of Young artists from Europe and Mediterranean, Athens

AWARDS 2017 Gaudenz B. Ruf Award / Solo Exhibition 2012 Henkel Art Award for Contemporary Art / Bulgarian Nomination 2011 NURTUREart, Brooklyn / Solo Exhibition / Open Call Winner 2010 BAZA Award for Young Contemporary Art / Nomination 2004 Media Art Award, ZKM Karlsruhe / Best 50 COLLECTIONS National Art Gallery Collection, Sofia; Collection Cyclone le studio, Paris; Allianz Bulgaria Collection, Sofia; Private collections in Paris, Sofia, Plovdiv, Amsterdam.


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COLOPHON SVETLANA MIRCHEVA 103 MISTAKES IMAGES OF THE WORD SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS Texts by Olivier Boissiere Marco Antonini Svetlana Mircheva Vladyia Mihaylova Voin Voinov Photo credits © Tihomir Rachev / 14-35, 100-119, 127-135 © Svetlana Mircheva / 39, 45, 49-53, 65, 89-91, 174-185 © Goethe Institute Sofia / 55 © Hristomir Svoboda / 67-87 © Kalin Ivanov / 136-153 © Boris Missirkov / 195-197, 199-203 © Filmotekata / 40-41, 208-217 Cover Space Dogs, 2016 Edited & designed by Svetlana Mircheva Printing Bulged

© Svetlana Mircheva Sofia, 2019

svetlanamircheva.com


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“Mircheva’s works are based upon chance meetings

“Svetlana

with things and words. From rebus to cosmic

emerges as a natural development in the context

Mircheva’s

obsession

with

language

constellations, to twisted slogans and computer

of ‘the appearance’, of ‘the thing’ becoming visible.

explorations, a short sampling of possible intrusions

Departing from the abstraction of any form that was

of the visual arts in the infinite world of language.”

connected to other forms or symbols, she looks for ways to articulate a space that has the potential to

Olivier Boissiere

become a language – both physically and mentally

Un Cabinet D’Amateur Gallery , Sofia

and a way to understand the choreography of light in familiar spaces. Meaning appears mutable, always in transition and transient. The moment of ‘apparition’,

“Mircheva’s main interest is in the grey zones between

in the constellation of objects, is in play to coincide

reality

narratives

with a self-reflecting experience of the embodiment of

play an important role throughout Mircheva’s

both time and language, internally, simultaneously.”

and

imagination.

Imaginary

work. A combination of the artist’s and the viewer’s imaginations is required to connect the dots in her otherwise patchy repertoire of glitches, found objects, imperfections and twilight zones.” Marco Antonini Nurture Art Gallery, Brooklyn, New York

Voin Voinov Æther Art Space, Sofia / The Hague

Profile for Svetlana Mircheva

103 MISTAKES, IMAGES OF THE WORD, SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS  

Svetlana Mircheva's works, 2000-2019.

103 MISTAKES, IMAGES OF THE WORD, SOUNDSCAPES AND SPACE DOGS  

Svetlana Mircheva's works, 2000-2019.

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