STORMS, PARK AND PRINCESSES WITH HAIR ROLLERS

Daniela Kostova

16.04.2021 - 29.05.2021

Daniela Kostova. Dolores park in San Francisco, 2020

Daniela Kostova. Dolores park in San Francisco, 2020

Daniela Kostova. Domino park in Brooklyn, 2020, Photo by Marcella Winograd

Daniela Kostova. Domino park in Brooklyn, 2020, Photo by Marcella Winograd

Daniela Kostova. Princess Beauty, 2020, video, inflatable objects, Leo Kuelbs Collection

Daniela Kostova. Princess Beauty, 2020, video, inflatable objects, Leo Kuelbs Collection

Daniela Kostova. Princess Beauty, 2020, video, inflatable objects, Leo Kuelbs Collection

Daniela Kostova. Princess Beauty, 2020, video, inflatable objects, Leo Kuelbs Collection

Curator: Ilina Koralova

Daniela Kostova’s solo exhibition features three works created between February 2020 and February 2021. This period is important because, as the artist herself has said, “This year, it seemed to me that time stopped, contracted and expanded greatly – all at once. And in that regard, the exhibition at Structura represents my perspective on a special, strange and even crazy moment.”

With a hint of irony, Storms, Park and Princesses with Hair Rollers reflects the paradoxes of (self-)isolation and the realization of how important social contact is, as well as (self-) restrictions and the growing desire to remove them. In a broader context, Daniela Kostova explores the limits of what is allowed and the consequences of crossing those lines, the interaction between order and chaos and how they feed off each other.

The center of the exhibition is the site-specific installation Dejà vu. Restaurant. The work consists of digitally processed photographs depicting park scenes. The reference image was a photo found online, showing people having a picnic in a meadow that had demarcated circles to ensure they were far enough apart. The situation itself is paradoxical. Contrary to what we have had until now, with people free from the rules of public spaces in the intimate sphere of their homes, nature and open spaces have suddenly acquired the status of being “free”. This, of course, is an illusion given stronger rule enforcement in those spaces in practice, as well as in their strict modeling and modulation. The circles serve as a recurring element in the installation – a metaphor for the cyclical nature of various crises that befall humanity: political, economic, social, natural…

Against the backdrop of these park compositions, tables with chairs appear in the space Semi-transparent partitions are placed in the middle of the tables, on which seated visitors see either their own reflection or their face superimposed on that of the person opposite. The sculptural installation is a reproduction of Daniela Kostova’s work Déjà Vu, shown at the Underground II Festival at the National Palace of Culture in Sofia in 1998. Almost 25 years after its creation, the work is suddenly relevant again. Its updated version is also an attempt to open up the closed space of the gallery, to make the walls transparent, and to swap the notion of “inside and outside” and “private and public”.

Two artworks frame the central work in the exhibition. In them the main characters are children – a motif often present in Daniela Kostova’s works. The title for the work The Storms Inside is derived from a Rolling Stone article quote: “Think the storms are bad outside, wait until you see the storms inside.” The article describes the anxious feelings that psychologists observe in children aged 7-11 when they are confronted with environmental changes caused by adults. In these children, anxiety stems from a feeling of helplessness and an inability to have a meaningful impact on the process. This black and white, static work contrasts with the video installation Princess Beauty. In the bright, surreal video, children jump, go crazy and do exactly the opposite of what is expected of them. In real life, their behavior is shaped from an early age – they must accept stereotypes, social conventions and restrictions. In Princess Beauty, however, they can still be themselves, go wild, make a mess and be truly free, at least for a moment.

National Culture Fund: „One-year program for supporting private professional organizations in the field of the arts“

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