As part of the 6 ½ Weeks series Museum Folkwang is presenting the first institutional solo show by the young Bulgarian artist Martina Vacheva (born in 1988 in Plovdiv).
In her exhibition КОРЕНИ (Koreni; Roots) Martina Vacheva forges links to themes and representations of Bulgarian folk culture in a diverse and humorous manner. Since studying Illustration and Graphic Prints at the Art Academy in Sofia Martina Vacheva’s main interest has been in Bulgaria’s myths and fairy tales, and the archetypal stories provided the inspiration for two artist books. The presentation showcases the collaged models for the book Parents Cannibals (2013) and the elaborately designed pop-up book Stupid Woman (2015).
Aside from the sculptural work Plague (2018), a ceramic mask made of textiles and natural materials combined to form an archaic image of death and horror – albeit not without a certain ironic undertone. The Stone Wedding (2019) is a new large format sculptural work. It tells the legend of a petrified wedding party and was inspired by stories that arose over a rock formation in southern Bulgaria that resembles a group of people turned to stone. Vacheva places the focus on the psychological aspects of fairy tales and sagas, and in doing so highlights their relationship to the unconscious and to cycles in nature.
As a satellite of the exhibition, we are juxtaposing the ceramic series Postthracians (2017) to the archaeological objects in the Helmet by Los Carpinteros. Postthracians poses the question as to how evident traditions and handed-down stories are in Bulgaria’s contemporary visual culture. Martina Vacheva uses glazed clay to reproduce finely chased Thracian gold treasures dating from 4 B.C.E. using glazed clay. Thanks to her choice of theme, ancient shapes are thus linked to contemporary topics that range between consumerism and Pop.
In her artistic work Martina Vacheva explores the interfaces between tradition and the modern day as well as the influence of Western cultural imports to Bulgaria – a country that after the fall of socialism has been engaged in ongoing debate on its cultural identity.
6:30 p.m. with Martina Vacheva
Friday, 12 July 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Greeting by curators Annika Schank and Peter Daners
Afterwards in the foyer:
Drinks and snacks
nearly dog (Balkan Beats & Bulgarian 80s Pop / Plovdiv)
Eagles of Def Leppard (Rock'n'Roll / Wien)
Participation is free.