Mariana Vassileva’s works employ a clear visual language. Whether photographs, sketches, sculptures or videos, they are informed by ideas of aesthetics and harmony – and yet when looked at more closely, each of them reveals a subtle underlying irony. Taking her inspiration from art history, she draws on images from collective memory, staging them in a place beyond space and time. They are dissolved from any definite context – yet precisely through this transformation process, they convey a total and immediate actuality. She not only uses her cool, objective gaze to inventively expose domestic stereotypes, but also addresses and explores interpersonal relations and the problems of communication. In her work “nothing is just” she shows the subtlety of language.
Mariana Vassileva presents her work “Accelerator” in the foyer of the manor house. The centre of the hall echoes to the sound of a roaring Bugatti engine, while the space is crowned by a futurist-looking light object attached to the ceiling. The luxury limousine’s engine and the light object communicate with one another – the intensity of the light, suspended over the engine like a crown of thorns, changes as the sound of the engine grows or diminishes. The objects form a sharp contrast – the crown of thorns, symbolising downfall, crowns the engine, the symbol of riches and power.
I grew up in a small village in Bulgaria with no more than 400 people. A man with a drum brought the news.
He was later replaced by a loudspeaker and, about a year later, by little radios. The roads were full of puddles. Then at some point the massive road rollers arrived, asphalt and fast cars… machines, cinema and TV – and people were fascinated.
Since going through those changes in my childhood, I’ve been interested in speed, change and loss.
It’s as if my inner clock is running on two different times and I am in both of the4m at once.
When I was ten years old, we moved into a larger town. The time of my earlier childhood is like a template in my world – more unconscious than conscious – constantly placed over my present situation.
It was bewildering for me when I stood in Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten railway station twenty years ago and people pushed me to make me move on.
That was two speeds colliding. I had to learn a new choreography for acting and moving.
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2009 Mariana Vassileva Videos, Starkwhite Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
2009 Index Glass, Galleri Image, Aarhus, Denmark
2009 Just a Game, DNA, Berlin, Germany
2008 Mariana Vassileva, Musée d’art Contemporain, Montréal, Canada
Selected Group Exhibitions
2010 Still Moving, The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
2009 Der Brief aus Jamaika, Oi Futuro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2009 Transitland, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow, Russia
2009 Transistland. Videoarte de Europa Central y Oriental 1989 – 2009, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain
2009 The Beauty of Distance. Songs of Survival in a Precarious Age, 17th Biennal of Sydney, Sydney, Australia