The one-artist show of Iskra Blagoeva in ICA-Sofia Gallery is woven out of contradictions. The artist is relaying on visual impact while at the same time composing her objects as obvious or hidden references, hints and quotations waiting to be deciphered.
The used light and color are symptomatic. They are reorganizing the very space of the gallery. The allover glamour of the environment is invaded by text. The fishing pole is marked as a S&M accessory; the musical “merry-go-round” is small and suspended from the ceiling like those toys over a baby’s cradle. It shines and glistens in a fury of pseudo-Swarovski utensils from the beauty markets. The rose neon sign “Never Forever” insistently introduces a hint of whining for the unfulfilled eternal love, happiness, beauty, youth…
The overly beautified atmosphere which the artist has created is triggering the sensation of pretense, and the feeling of unrest and insecurity. Passion and frustration, emptiness and satiation, the feminine and the “lady’s” characteristics are contesting each other as a commentary on the gender identity. The woman envisioned in the show is a product – of gossip and the laic opinion, of media generalizations and statistical manipulation, of misunderstanding and lack of respect, of her own insecurity.
Iskra Blagoeva graduated from the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. She has participated in exhibitions in Bulgaria and other European countries. In 2012 she was a fellow at Villa Waldberta in Munich. In 2013 she took part in the second Sofia Contemporary Festival. She was awarded the prize for painting at the National Competition for Young Artists, Sculptors and Art Critics of the St.st. Cyril and Method Foundation, as well as a prize at the Competition for Young Authors of the European Center for Culture and Debate GRAD in Belgrade.
The artist expresses gratitude to Neva Balnikova for her collaboration on the show!