Oda Jaune in Bulgaria – Project under the Patronage of a French Institute in Bulgaria


‘Who Is Oda Jaune?’, the premiere screening in Bulgaria at the National Gallery, The Palace, on 1 December 2018 at 4:30 p.m., in the presence of the artist Oda Jaune and the director of the eponymous documentary film, Kamilla Pfeffer. The production was shown at the Berlinale in 2016. The event is part of the project dedicated to Oda Jaune’s return to Bulgaria.

On 22 November this year, under the patronage of the French Institute in Bulgaria, a large retrospective exhibition, ‘Heartland’, opened, specifically prepared for the halls of the National Gallery, The Palace, by Oda Jaune (the artistic pseudonym of Michaela Danowska), curator Nadezhda Dzhakova. According to the contract between the gallery and the artist, on the same evening in the Ballroom Hall where there was no exposition, a performative cocktail called ‘Dinner—Still Life’ was organised. Oda Jaune, Galerie Templon (Paris), which funded the project and all its components, and the artist’s assistants, sent personalised invitations with hand-painted details to their chosen guests. The attendees were specially invited by the artist—artists, curators, gallerists, collectors, journalists or just friends from Bulgaria, Germany, France, Belgium, the United Kingdom and Switzerland. Most of them visited Bulgaria for the first time on the occasion of Oda Jaune’s exhibition. The vision, the script, the scenography, as well as the sculptural elements in the arrangement of the tables and the menu were based on the idea of the artist herself, and illustrated her individual style and concept of the exhibition. The performance brought the images of the paintings to life by engaging un/consciously those present of the artist’s design and by constructing a living painting of the live participants and objects (food). In this sense, the artist skilfully and precisely structured her performative still life at no detriment to the viewer’s personal space.

Another part of the project is Oda Jaune’s travelling bronze sculpture, ‘The Embrace’, which began its journey around Bulgaria on 1 September—an artistic adventure in several places in Bulgaria, specially selected by the artist herself and the curator Hristina Bobokova. ‘The Embrace’ was shown in Varvara in September, passed through the Vetovo quarry, the West 4 zone of the Kaolin Mines, and the famous Vazov’s Trail in the Svoge area near the village of Zasele; on 1 December, it will be exhibited in the garden of the Vrana Palace.