Borjana Ventzislavova, Sofia/Vienna
Borjana Ventzislavova is based in Vienna and Sofia. She graduated MA in visual media art/digital art at the University for Applied Arts Vienna.
Ventsislavova works in the fields of photography, film/video, installation, new media and deals with issues such as identity, mobility, marginalization of individuals as well as different social groups, migration and cohabitation. In her works she explores everyday connections and social relationships and examines how individual and collective histories interact.
Her works have been exhibited internationally in solo and group shows as well as at media art and film festivals, including MUSA, Triennale Linz 1.0, Sammlung Essl, Thomas K. Lang Gallery, Gallery bäckerstrasse4, Austrian Cultural Forum, Washington DC and London, Bulgarian Cultural Institute Haus Wittgenstein, Vienna, ICA London, ex-garage, Maribor, Sofia City Art Gallery, National Art Gallery Sofia, Academia Gallery, Sofia, ICA Sofia, Art Today Plovdiv, filmwinter, Stuttgart, Rencontres internationales, etc.
She has received the Austrian State Scholarship for Fine Art 2013, numerous grants and awards for projects, Start Scholarship for Fine Art 2009, Otto Prutscher Fonds Award 2006, Susmann Stiftung Award 2005, recognitions at Art in Motion 2002, Los Angeles, Ars Electronica, 2002, Linz.
She was artist in residence in London (ACF), Rome (BMUKK), Newcastle (ISIS Arts), Berkeley (CEC Artslink), Los Angeles (MAK Schindler). Her works are part of private and public collections.
Photo: Borjana Ventzislavova
That Thing is a long-term and large-scale project of Borjana Ventzislavova. The core of the project is the form of monologue. The stories of the participants gained the importance of personal statements, manifests and even confessions. The scenario is the same for all - they sit in their favorite chair outside on the street in urban environments and have exactly five minutes to present their views on the Bulgarian scene - what defines it, what processes are relevant to it, what is appreciated or not, what is their personal relation to and position in this cultural space, etc. There are two important conditions. The first is that each participant should use not more and not less than the specified 5 minutes. If his/her story ends earlier, he/she remains sitting on the chair until the 5 minutes are over. The second condition is not to mention expressions like "the Bulgarian contemporary art scene".
Bulgarian contemporary art has been - for years - in want of reflection, rigorous analysis, critical evaluation and positioning within the national or global realities. That is why the artist decided that the most objective view to this question could be obtained by personally meeting with everybody and capturing their view on these subjects. The participants are of course those individuals who set the direction of the process - artists, curators, gallery owners, critics, art managers.
Another feature of the project refers to an important characteristic of contemporary artists who were born in Bulgaria - the fact that many of them live and work abroad. In the video local professionals alternate with those who do not physically witness the daily life in Bulgaria. In this line Ventzislavova moves her camera from Sofia, Plovdiv or Chernomorets to Vienna and from New York to Paris.
- Boris Kostadinov