THE NATIONAL GALLERY
SOFIA ARSENAL – MUSEUM FOR CONTEMPORARY ART
INSTITUT FRANÇAIS IN BULGARIA
Valentin Stefanoff and NINA Kovacheva
The Temptations of ninavale
15 March – 22 April 2018
Opening on Thursday, 15 March, 6 p.m. – 2, Cherni Vrah Blvd., Sofia
Nina Kovacheva and Valentin Stefanoff have lived and worked together for several decades. During this time, they have created both individual and joint works. Often, art critics speak of them as three artists: Nina, Valentin, and Nina & Valentin. Or ninavale.
The ‘three’ artists work with construction and destruction in their sublime concurrence. Whether exploring enclosed spaces and home trivia, or alternatively placing the living in an indifferent nature, their conceptual minimalism—their trademark—is brought to the level of aesthetic rigorism.
The theme of enjoyment/pleasure has already been presented in earlier exhibitions of theirs, such as Surplus Enjoyment at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Taipei, Taiwan, in which the Lacanian term ‘surplus enjoyment’ was taken as the point of departure. Life itself, as Lacan describes it at one stage, is simply ‘an apparatus of jouissance’. A similar topic is also present in their exhibition at the National Gallery of Macedonia.
‘The temptations of ninavale’ is an invitation to a journey with the artists, traversing their life and creative path, thoughts, hesitations, fears, temptations, with irony and/or love of the idea of pleasure and joy. Pleasure not as a physical delight, but rather as a state of the spirit, as a way of stabilising and overcoming the fears our time experiences.
This exhibition includes video, video installations, art objects, light installations, neon, as well as texts written on large-format vinyl.
The exhibition was organised at the invitation of curator Nadezhda Dzhakova, an