Boryana Rossa [Bulgaria] + Oleg Mavromatti [Russia]
How Many Immigrants are Needed to Screw in a Lightbulb?
Boryana Rossa and Oleg Mavromatti are artists who live between Europe and United States. They migrate from one place to another, sharing the life of uncertainty and precariousness of all peoples who have left their countries. They have spent time at migrant and refugee services, not to merely observe the life of "the refugees”, but to deal with their own matters. Using perhaps beautiful but painful iconography, involving the most spectacular item connected to current refugee survival - namely the golden emergency blankets - mixed with typical USA symbols of racial hostility, in this performance they make a wider anti-xenophobic statement starting with the local and expanding it to the international.
BORYANA ROSSA [BULGARIA/USA]
Boryana Rossa is an interdisciplinary artist and curator who works in the fields of electronic arts, film, video, performance and photography. Most of Rossa’s performances and other works have been shown internationally at venues such as steirischer herbst, Graz; National Gallery of Fine Arts, Sofia; 1st Balkan Biennale, Thesaloniki; Kunstwerke and Akademie der Kunste, Berlin; The 1st and 2nd Moscow Biennial For Contemporary Art; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art (MUMOK) Vienna; Zacheta Gallery, Warsaw; Sofia City Art Gallery; Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia; Exit Art, NY, Sofia Arsenal – Museum of Contemporary Art (SAMCA), Sofia. In 2004 together with the Russian artist and film maker Oleg Mavromatti, Rossa establishes UTRAFUTURO–an international group of artists engaged with issues of technology, science and their social implications. Works by ULTRAFUTURO have been included in the Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP) and shown at Foundation for Art and Creative Technologies (FACT), Liverpool; Society for Art and Technology (SAT), Montreal. Rossa and Mavromatti performed also as ULTRAFUTURO in Trickster Theatre, Exit Art, NY between 2006-09. In 2012 Rossa has finished her PhD on Post Cold -War Gender Performances. Cross-cultural examination of gender representations viewed through Soviet, Russian and Bulgarian film re-enactments, in the Department of Arts, at Rensselaer, Troy, NY. She is also a director of Sofia Queer Forum, together with philosopher and activist Stanimir Panayotov. Recently she completed a residency for the research and development of the bio-art project “The Mirror or Faith” related to genetic predisposition of spirituality. This project is a collaboration with the biologysts Dr. Michael Edel, University of Barcelona as part of the Grid Spinoza program, funded by the European Commission. Her works are in numerous public and private collections among which as Kontakt. The Art Collection of Erste Bank-Group, Sofia City Art Gallery, SAMCA and others. Her performances and videos have been included in international art archives such as the performing art archive re.act.feminism and Transitland Video Art from Central and Eastern Europe 1989-2009. She also holds the prestigious award Essential Reading for Art Writers of the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA, Sofia) for 2008. Her dissertation was supported by the research grant by the School of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences at Rensselaer (HASS). In 2014 she has been awarded Ruf Award for contemporary art, and the 2014 NYFA Fellowship Award for Digital/Electronic Arts together with Oleg Mavromatti. She publishes in newspapers like Kultura Weekly, 39 Grama, n.paradoxa, Nature and others. Download CV Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
OLEG MAVRMATTI [RUSSIA/USA]
Oleg Mavromatti is an artist and filmmaker who makes films since 1989. In 1995 Mavromatti founded the independent film union SUPERNOVA, manifested as a fortress of Moscow radical cinema. Some films produced within the movement like “The Green Elephant” (1999) and “Bastards” (2000) became cult movies at that time and a decade later they inspired the appearance of Internet communities which create and share fan memes based on these films daily. Mavromatti is also a prominent representative of radical performance art scene in 1990s Moscow.
He has been legally prosecuted for his critical performance art and film work (such as the famous performance “Ne ver’ glazam” (“Do Not believe Your Eyes”), 2000, part of his film Holst/Maslo (“Oil on Canvas”), 2000- unfinished). His art and film archive has been confiscated in 2000, for what reason many of his early works are completely lost or accessible only from VHS copies. Mavromatti left the country in 2000 and since then he lives in Bulgaria and New York, where he continues making films and art. His work has been featured in numerous publications in monographs such as Rosyisky actionism 1990-2000 (“Russian Actionism 1990-2000”) and art journals like “Art in America.” He has been also a member of legendary Moscow performance art groups from the 1990s like “Expropriation of the Territory of Art” and NECEZIUDIK. In Bulgaria, together with artist and filmmaker Boryana Rossa he established international art collective ULTRAFUTURO, which focuses on the social, political and ethical impacts of technology on contemporary society. Works by the group have been shown at places such as Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Akademie der Kuntse, Berlin; Exit Art, New York; Biennial for Electronic Art, Perth (BEAP) and others.
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