The world never stopped turning

Artists from Bulgaria and Germany are returning to normalcy with a Goethe Institut exhibition in Sofia

Krassimir Terziev, Spectacular Surfaces, 2020

The gallery of Goethe Institut in Sofia is opening its doors to visitors once again with a new exhibition. The World Never Stopped Turning is a project informed by the pandemic, but one that focuses on the dangers of forgetting about crucial social and political topics rather than on the dangers of the virus.

The exhibition, which features participants from Bulgaria and Germany, brings to the forefront themes like the refugee crisis, armed conflicts, violence against women, the role of artists in society, etc. The project showcases works by Iskra Blagoeva, Stela Vasileva, Milena Georgieva, Keti Marinova and Stefan Prohorov, Ottjoerg A.C., Krassimir Terziev, and Pravdoliub Ivanov.

Some of the artists are presenting new pieces. For example, Ottjoerg A.C., who splits his time between Berlin and Sofia, is showing a new installation incorporating photos, etchings, video and randomly found objects. Young artist Milena Georgieva from Vienna is participating with an audio installation called From Violence to Ambience, which concentrates on violence against women. Among the participants are also Krassimir Terziev and Pravdoliub Ivanov as well as Stela Vasileva and Iskra Blagoeva, who present their joint artistic manifesto, which was created in 2012 but takes on a new meaning today - during and in the aftermath of the pandemic. The other creative duo in this event is made up of Keti Marinova and Stefan Prohorov, who are presenting the project The Whole Meaning of Life. On 18 and 25 June the audience will have the chance to see the ongoing performance of actress Martina Apostolova as part of the project of Marinova and Prohorov.

Here is what curator Stefka Tsaneva had to say about the exhibition:

“The last couple of months have been profoundly marked by the coronavirus, which has dominated our daily routines and consumed our thoughts. Traditional and social media relentlessly churned out verified and fake news and half-truths about Covid-19, the pandemic's impact and the governments' responses.

While we were preoccupied with the virus, many other problems went by the wayside - until recently pressing and urgent, they suddenly became secondary: from the refugee crisis at the Turkish border to the rise of right-wing movements in Europe, human rights violations and environmental protection issues.

And now that we are resolutely marching back to 'normal' everyday life, we will have to once again face the problems that already plagued the world before the virus outbreak. And the world, however unlikely that may have seemed from the isolation of our home offices, never stopped turning and it is not much different now that the pandemic is waning.

The exhibition aims to present artistic positions on various social topics that were especially relevant before the start of the pandemic and which we need to continue discussing. On the one hand, the exhibition 'reminds' of and brings the focus back to major topics. On the other hand, it offers insight into how artists are going about returning to 'normalcy' and reflecting on the last couple of months.”

The exhibition The World Never Stopped Turning can be seen until the end of July under stricter access rules in accordance with safety protocols introduced because of the pandemic.

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