Vernissage on Thursday, 17 February, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., observing all anti-epidemic measures and with controlled access.
Do we think we have everything?
Humankind is destroying nature for its own ends; industry is unscrupulously depleting its resources. Nature has rights that have been violated, and it is time they were protected!
Borjana Ventzislavova guides the viewer to current topics relating to the climate crisis and man’s relationship to nature and pleads for a reappraisal of the attitude towards it in our prevalent role of owners and exploiters. The artist reminds us that ‘we are nature’ and our attitude towards it is our own attitude towards ourselves.
The exhibition, entitled ‘Ghost Lights’, consists of a series of photographs depicting both natural landscapes and elements of civilisation—an ATM, a petrol station, a gun shop, etc.—and, in all, is the light symbolising man and his presence/absence. According to Borjana Ventzislavova, ‘Light is a particularly important symbol: it can be a beginning but also an end, can be hot or cold, sustain life, but also destroy it.’ In her film, ‘We The Nature’, the artist gives nature a voice that sends its messages to people, calling for a change in the way we treat the environment and its resources once and for all, before it is too late. The ‘We Are/Were’ installation, which transfers elements of nature and light directly into the gallery, is also on display.
The topic of ecocide is poorly covered in Bulgaria. Borjana Ventzislavova’s works draw our attention to the fact that causing substantial damage to the environment, the destruction or loss of the ecosystem of a certain territory to the extent that the life of its inhabitants is or will be seriously impaired and endangered, must be legally terminated.
The project is being simultaneously shown at Kvadrat 500 and at UniCredit Studio, the exhibition space of our partners, UniCredit Bulbank. The title of the exhibition at UniCredit Studio is ‘If You Want It’, for which Borjana Ventzislavova drew inspiration from the 1969 John Lennon and Yoko Ono poster that declared: ‘War Is Over! If You Want It!’ If we want to stop the ‘war’ we have been waging against the most important thing—nature— and respect its rights; if we consider for a moment our wrongful actions towards it, we will stop fighting against ourselves. ‘ECOCIDE IS OVER! If You Want It!’
‘If You Want It’ can be viewed at UniCredit Studio from 10 February to 15 March.
The ‘We/re Nature’ exhibition, shown for the first time between March and June 2021 at the Kunstforum Vienna, and curated by Lisa Ortner-Kreil, is organised with the financial support of the Federal ministry of arts, culture, civil service and sport, the Embassy of Austria and UniCredit Bulbank.
About the artist:
Borjana Ventzislavova was born in Sofia. She lives and works in Vienna and in Sofia. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.
The cross-disciplinary artist works in the fields of photography, film/video, installation, performative, and media arts.
Her works have been displayed in solo and group exhibitions, as well as at a number of media art and film festivals in Vienna, Los Angeles, Linz, Berlin, New York, Sofia, Plovdiv, Moscow, Istanbul and Split, among them: Belvedere 21, Kunstforum Vienna , Lentos Museum of Contemporary Art in Linz, MAK Vienna, MAK Los Angeles, Linz Triennial, k/haus, quartier21 in Vienna. Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien in Berlin, the Radiator Gallery in New York, Sofia City Art Gallery, the Sofia Arsenal—Museum of Contemporary Art of the National Gallery, Akademia of the National Academy of Arts, Credo Bonum, IDFA, Diagonale, EMAF, transmediale, filmwinter, Rencontres internationales, Berwick Film and Media Arts Fest.
Borjana Ventzislavova received the promotional award of the City of Vienna in 2017.
Her works are to be found in many private and public collections, including the Austrian Ministry of Culture and Art; the City of Vienna; the National Gallery, Sofia; Belvedere 21; LENTOS Linz; Essl Albertina, Estherhazy, and Angerlehner.
In 2017, she was granted honourable Austrian citizenship for her achievements in the visual arts.