Exhibition of the BAZA 2021
The Young Visual Artists Awards (YVAA) international network, which was established in 1990, is among the most sustainable programs promoting cultural exchange between the USA and Central and Eastern Europe.
The BAZA Award, Bulgaria, is administered by the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia and the Edmond Demerdzhiyan Foundation in partnership with the Sofia City Art Gallery. The annual competition is open for artists up to 35 years of age, who are required to submit a portfolio. The jury, whose members are replaced biennially, selects four to eight nominees. The exhibition of works by award nominees is hosted by the Sofia City Art Gallery. The award winner is announced at the exhibition opening. The award entitles a Bulgarian artist to a two-month residency in New York City. BAZA Award winners are also given the chance to present their work in a solo exhibition at the gallery of the Institute of Contemporary Art – Sofia.
BAZA Award winners include: Rada Boukova (2008), Samuil Stoyanov (2009), Anton Terziev (2010), Vikenti Komitski (2011), Leda Ekimova (2012), Kiril Kuzmanov (2013), Zoran Georgiev (2014), Alexandra Chaushova (2015), Dimitar Shopov (2016), Martina Vacheva (2017), Martin Penev (2018), Valko Chobanov (2019), Maria Nalbantova (2020).
Members of the 2021 jury are: Ani Vaseva (theatre director), Krassimir Terziev (artist), Martin Penev (artist), Miryana Todorova (artist), Radoslav Mehandzhiyski (curator).
According to Alexander Lazarkov (b. 1999) after a certain lack of natural socialization in the last year, with which we were accustomed, some of our principles, actions and relations in our communication were broken and established. The artist use elements that belong to the nature to represent our relations, principles and inner feelings belonging to the new Social naturality.
The artwork of Marina Genova (b. 1989) combines past and current events, unfolding in a constantly mutating, hybrid choreography. In order to open up to the future, we need to dig deep into the folds of the past, give it depth and expand on it: what happens here has consequences elsewhere. What happened yesterday is still here today.
Marta Djourina’ project (b. 1991) documents a series of encounters which took place during the months of June and July in a staged environment in a photo studio.
The series captures an electrical discharge received from an impulse sent by the use of the so called Kirlian photography method, when a finger touches the surface of a photo paper. This moment is preserved as an image that visually represents the physical contact between the person involved and the light-sensitive material.
Martian Tabakov (b. 1992) explores the variable nature of the body, and how it is constantly modified by its surroundings. The bodies he creates have a human resemblance, but they represent more than that; they aggregate plant, animal and other natural formations. These forms propel themselves forward in an attempt to escape the earth from which they are born, but they cannot: they are bound to it.
The work of Mitch Brezounek (b. 1989) is based on stereotypes of people who pollute without any hesitation and who are proud of their behavior, but also extremist environmentalists who have the full range of solutions, but who not only do not implement them, but also take the position of moralizers. Two extremes of a problem that are never questioned to seek a solution.
Mitko Mitkov (b. 1989) works with the transfer between the image and the imagination. Six large format photographs on the wall represent short moments of transition and six stools in front of them offer the visitor an opportunity to contemplate those transitions and internalize them in its own DNA for a second. Objects, drawings, photos and space are interconnected by a text filtering the images through the aberrations of the mind.
Silvia Popova (b. 1986) examines the changes in our spatial and temporal orientation, the confluence of virtual and physical domains, drawing from the visual languages of sources such as Google Maps, Google Street View, Lidar and Photogrammetry. The artist looks at the symptoms of this transformation using traditional painting as a translation of optical perceptions received from the digital environment.
Winner BAZA 2021: Marta Djourina