The Wall Vol. 5: Filipina Stamenkova

6/06/2024 - 31/05/2025

Curator: Martin Kostashki

Opening on Thursday, 6 June, at 6 p.m.
Kvadrat 500 Atrium
Entrance at 95, Vasil Levski Blvd.

The fifth edition of the National Gallery project, ‘The Wall’, presents ‘Reflections’, a site-specific installation by artist Filipina Stamenkova.

The mirror is a unique object, and an aspect of a deeply personal experience within the space where we find ourselves. What we see changes as we move—much like the sequence of frames in a film, an experience based on the principle of anamorphosis.

The artist explains: ‘When visitors reach this wall, they see themselves reflected in the mirror and thus occupy a central place in the installation. In the context of architecture and exteriors, mirrors retain the magical ability to bend, distort, expand and transform images and, through them, our perception of those images and our relationship with the living space. A sometimes pleasant, sometimes surprising or even comforting, often strange and confusing experience, the act of capturing oneself in a reflective surface is so fundamental to our continued assessment. The mirrored surface is strangely passive, yet intrusive and energetic, not only because it reflects the environment and the people around but, because of the very nature of its reflective quality, it transforms the way we see the world that surrounds us.’

When viewers see themselves reflected in a work, art immediately inspires a pronounced interest and creates a magical fascination similar to that in the myth of Narcissus. The scale of the mirrored sculptural installation expands the visual space of the Kvadrat 500 Atrium, adding another aspect to its entry into the inner life of the gallery—by changing it and creating a new space.

The installation was designed and built by Woood Makerspace, a shared workplace for people with ideas who are skilful with their hands, with tools, and who have an aptitude for engineering. A place for bold projects, design developments and creative workshops in ceramics and woodcarving, the atelier is well known for its production in Georgia, Morocco, South Africa, as well as throughout Europe. To this day, a condition for accepting a commission is that it be complex and require brainstorming and creativity. The Woood brand is also popular for its work with the fashion giant Louis Vuitton, for which it has produced various façade and interior installations for the brand’s boutiques in London, Paris, Tokyo, and other cities. In Bulgaria, Woood is widely known for a number of projects relating to urban causes: the Imp-Act Agency’s Christmas decoration, the hidden letters of the Reading Sofia Foundation, as well as for initiatives developing the capital’s tourist image of the, in partnership with Sofia Airport and, the independent platform for city symbols.

About the artist:
Filipina Stamenkova graduated in Textiles from the National Academy of Arts in 2013, before redirecting her academic interests to the history and theory of art, with a focus on contemporary art. Her interdisciplinary approach led her to experiment with a variety of media. Some of her signature works are objects representing ordinary, scaled-down household items made of numerous miniature mirrored plates. In her painting, as well as her easel sculpture, the artist is interested in the dialogue she herself conducts with reality—a reality that one can accept and sustain only with a subtle sense of humour and a naïve childlike view of the world and its eternal, insuperable dramas. It is also a kind of game: a play of lights and shadows dancing between them, of rhythmically flashing rays of light; a play of reflections, when the creator is, now, in the role of the reflected and, at another time, in that of the reflecting.

The project was made possible with the financial support of the Lachezar Tsotsorkov Foundation.

Media partner: BTA / Bulgarian News Agency.