Art Box

Art Project Depot - Art Box
2014 - 2016
Art Box Gallery, Sofia

Artists: Monika Popova, Bistra Leshevalier

In 2014-2016, Art Project Depot, in collaboration with the National Academy of Art, created an exhibition space where students, under the guidance of the organization's staff, put together a program to present their own work as well as small exhibitions of their teachers. The project participants explored the possibility of developing exhibitions in miniature spaces, the tools for their promotion and attracting audiences as well as different strategies for their marketing. The space (occupying 10 sq m within the site of the first, but now defunct, large commercial gallery Vitosha) was modelled on the 'Amerbach Cabinet', an exceptional collection that underpins the oldest art gallery in the city of Basel. Originally it was literally housed in a large cabinet, later in a separate room of the house of the Amerbach family and hence it takes its name. This historical analogy with the small room of the Art Box, was perhaps triggered by the clustering of quite diverse works in the ten square meters, which is actually a collection replenished over the years and reflecting the attitudes (momentary or lasting) of various people who worked at the Vitosha Gallery during its 24 year history. With no direct visual connection to the room is the limited cabinet space of the Art Box, facing outwards, accessible to all, regardless of gallery opening hours. The idea of exhibitions in a limited space was very well received by the artists and the first exhibition was a fact before we had even technically finished everything. The first exhibition was by prof. Monika Popova, followed by the exhibition of the well-known contemporary artist Bistra Leshevalier living in Paris , as well as a selection of works in which students and teachers participated.

Like rounding, Art Box, 2014
Artist: Dr. Monika Popova (Prof. of Ceramics at NBU)

When I was a schoolgirl, my mother used to bind my textbooks and notebooks with nylon, which she would hem on a machine. Back then I was ashamed of these textbooks and notebooks of mine because they were "unbearably" different. Years later, I realized how much creative "madness" my Mother had passed on to me and which I still feed off of to this day. The nylon; the stitching; the love of being difficult; the many "mother's"; and the creative "idiocy" are all legacies from Mother.
In "Art Box", I present the first in a series of appearances related to a painful emotion that is so deadly poignant that I have come to the point of being able to "round it off", through irony or story. Everything I paint and model, and that I will create as an image at all during this period and the next, is dedicated to my Mother. What you see are states that I first saw, then dreamed and only then painted, perhaps because the Dream is the "little death" that is the transition between Life and Death and without which Art would be otherwise.